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One dream... a promise
by Thanos Kalamidas
2008-08-30 09:03:41
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Over the last few hours I have watched Barack Obama’s acceptance speech for his nomination from the Democratic Party to run for president of the USA in the party’s national convention in Denver. Actually, I watched it twice and I also listened to all the main speeches Hillary Clinton, Michel Obama, Al Gore, Joe Biden and, of course, I heard Bill Clinton’s speech.

Amazing, I have to admit that I’m not used to this kind of festival - that’s the only word that I can think of now. I’m more used to heavy political arguments and byzantine intrigues than sentimental speeches and family photos on a stage ending with fireworks but again ...this is Europe and that is America. So I could sense the disappointment – not bitterness though – in Hillary’s speech, I could sense the bitterness in Al Gore’s speech; the perplexity behind Michel Obama’s speech and experience behind Joe Biden’s speech, a person still under a question mark for me.

Bill Clinton was magic. The man knows how to speak to the hearts of the people, even his body language and his reaction to the people’s voices was magic. I have to admit that I really admire him and if he had the chance to be candidate again I bet anything that he would have won again. His speech has a bit of everything, its sentimental touch and the numbers’ logic to prove how bad the US has become over the last eight years under the command of George W. Bush. He dismissed John McCain with a plain move of his hands; I said before that his body language is superb.

And then Barack Obama came. I have to admit that I was expecting a far more aggressive speech in much higher tones. He was calm, self-confident and was ready to become the next president of the United States of America. I liked the way he stood for the average American, not the billionaire, not the Americans in Forbes magazine but the American who needs a mortgage to buy a two bedroom house, the American who’s worrying for their child's future. I liked it when he pointed that there is an obvious line that separates Democrats and Republicans, it's when the state is not there to help corporations but people’s business, the state is not there to insure profits for the companies but that the worker is insured. I liked it when he said that the future of this globe depends on education.

There are too many things I liked about his speech, I liked his tax cut plan and I liked more the reasoning, Barack Obama obviously thinks what George W. Bush forgot and keeping the tradition that McCain missed, the average people, the everyday people, the people that don’t make millions but pennies. Actually I think that was the worst mistake of the George W. Bush administration and I’m really sorry that McCain is missing the people! For both of them people are just numbers without lives and problems and what makes me sorry is that people’s lives have nothing to do with Republicans or Democrats but they have to do with a nation. It's one thing to be proud for the dozens of billionaires and another thing to ignore the millions in poverty and homeless.

Barack Obama in his speech, even when he talked about security or foreign policy said the self-evident, the invasion to Iraq was unexcused and waste of people and funds while Bin Laden and the Taleban are still at large in Afghanistan or Pakistan; and they are not just there but they are winning as well due to lack of enough force to defeat them. Regarding foreign policy, the US has lost most of her main allies or the only thing that she inspires is mistrust said everything. Whatever Bill Clinton built for eight years was lost in the first two years of the Bush administration and McCain saying that he will continue this policy is only a nightmares scenario. His promise to end the war in Iraq sounded like a dream. He used the magic word regarding foreign policy, diplomacy! This is all about, diplomacy, talk, listen and be heard. Weapons should be the last resource not the first act and, as he very cleverly pointed, this has nothing to do with patriotism.

Barack Obama used a series of ‘I will’ and of course that makes everybody suspicious when it comes from the mouth of a politician but in his case it sounded like a promise that he’s determined to fulfil. And what gave more value to his promises was the move McCain did at the very same moment by announcing Sarah Palin, the 44-year-old Governor of Alaska, as his running mate. I have no idea who is Sarah Palin, only what I’ve read about her on the news, but only that she supports the idea of drilling Alaska brought me chills.

Worst of all is how obvious she let herself be used to save the lost ground among the people who have connected change with age, gender or race, not to mention the cunning thought that she might attract women voters, even the ones who would like to see Hillary in the presidential seat regardless of the party. I think that it was a very cheap trick and perhaps the biggest mistake McCain did in a very well worked campaign.

Barack Obama’s speech, his first speech as the official candidate for President, was touching and very realistic. As I said before he said the self-evident, what every candidate for the presidency should say and even though in some parts of it you could feel how tired he was after months of fighting, even though he said some very serious things without bothering to explain and clarify. For example, how he’s going to make reality everything he said about education – he actually promised more schools, more teachers and better salaries – he said exactly what Americans not only need to hear but need to be done to make the USA again a respected power and force of democracy and equal opportunities.

With this speech and everything that happened the same time in the opposition at least to me, Barack Obama shown that he is the next President of the USA while McCain is a man in agony to win.

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Emanuel Paparella2008-08-30 13:25:23
Interesting article. Obviously the DNC has impressed even cynical Europeans with Machiavellian political paradigms. What did Socrates say? Speak that I may know Thee.

Actually, Joe Biden has even written a book titled Promises to Keep. Reading it may transform question marks into exclamation marks. The reference is not an attempt to send you running to the bookstore, Thanos, but simply to intimate that next you will hear from the RNC and will soon enough perceive the difference between authentic promises meant and kept and pseudo promises put up there like flying balloons to merely win an election. Ms. Palin bears special watching there. She is McCain's birthday gift to the Democrats.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-30 13:35:25
P.S. That choice speaks volumes about McCain. While Bush could be counted on being consistently and predictably stupid in his choices, McCain prides himself on being a maverick as unpredictable as the weather, as one of his spokesmen pointed out. That, plus a hot temper (which for the moment he is keeping under control) spells disaster for a nation. And one cannot be too sanguine about a Democratic party winning handly; it has previously snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory. Let us hope and pray that it will not happen this time around.

Thanos2008-08-30 22:10:00
"She is McCain's birthday gift to the Democrats." You made me laugh and after reading about her today - of course she's everywhere - I agree that McCain did a birthday present to the Democrats!!!

AP2008-09-01 02:49:47
Ah, these and the next months must be a great time to be in America! :)

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