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A Voice in the Wilderness

As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness. -- William O. Douglas

Saturday, February 16, 2008

¡Si se puede! - Yes We Can - Obama for President

There's something happening in America...

While he lost New Hampshire to Senator Hillary Clinton, I am convinced History will prove Barack Obama's Concession speech to be the pivotal event in his run for the White House.

I must say however, I do admire Senator Clinton and I would not hesitate to give her my vote come November should she come out on top in the Democratic primary. I very much appreciate both what she and President Clinton have contributed to America. This country owes them a great debt of gratitude.

That being said, I believe Obama is that kind of Human Being, who is equally capable and unafraid to face the onslaught presented by fear-baiting, overly-pious hypocrites of the opposing party. He has no historical baggage to contend with. Moreover, his fresh outlook stands in direct contrast to their game plan fraught with paranoia, negativity and control. Their demagoguery ran this country's global standing into the ground.
The snake-oil peddling fakes and liars will go down in History as the ones who perpetrated the biggest lie on America ever ; they wrapped themselves in the flag and trampled all over the Constitution. Their deceit of the good people who elected them into office will not soon be forgotten and rightly so because in-violable religious beliefs and family values should never have been co-opted by a few neo-conservative charlatans who - in the past seven years have fattened their wallets at the expense of America's constituency.

The end result has been a dark sense of demoralization in America as the cost of living continues to skyrocket, the American Dream slips further and further out of reach and we witness our Nation's respected reputation in the world called into question. We need a leader who can set the course for reestablishing what has been squandered by the current leadership.

I have played and replayed this video and am touched by its powerfully moving yet simple messages; hope and an abiding faith that change is possible. It serves as a reminder of all that is good in this country. It sparks my memory of Martin Luther King's, "
I Have a Dream" address, given at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. It echoes the spirit of connection made by President John F. Kennedy in his oratory,
"Ich bin ein Berliner." Obama's song-like address reminds me of the folksy tunes of Woody Guthrie. It resurrects idyllic words of a past president who was silenced long ago by the assassin's bullet, Abraham Lincoln.

Obama hearkens a resolve reminiscent of a time in America's past - when idealism and reassurance were dominant themes for confronting the trials and tribulations of the time. In a world where American politics have supplanted social consciousness with fear-mongering, hatred and fanatical fundamentalism, Senator Obama's voice offers us a chance to look to the past and live in present with our eyes squarely fixed on the future. I suppose this is why he reminds me of Bobby Kennedy who spoke words of hope and future focus that fateful night in L.A. during his bid for the Democratic party's nomination in 1968 - the night when he was assassinated.

I trust my fellow Americans are beginning to recognize that a great Human Being is in our midst. Barack Obama stands out among all the others - Democrat, Independent or Republican alike. He is the one to lead America in these troubled times. Obama offers up the same sense of reassurance which President FDR famously delivered at his first inauguration in the "Nothing to Fear" speech.

Indeed, many of our past leaders have failed to 'make it to the mountain top' - but that shouldn't stop others from trying because it is with such resolve that greatness is achieved and changes for the common good are accomplished. We cannot change this beloved country's course in History without being fully cognizant of the deep personal sacrifices we are called upon to make. The tasks ahead are challenging and by no means easy but we owe it to our children to at least try. Yes, we must and yes, we can.

Barack Obama is a winner.

I believe in Obama because he believes in us.

Transcript of Obama's 8 January 2008 New Hampshire Primary victory speech:

.... Awe thank you, New Hampshire.

I love you back!

Thank you.

Thank you.

Well, thank you so much.

I am still fired up and ready to go.

Well, first of all, I want to congratulate Senator Clinton on a hard-fought victory here in New Hampshire. She did an outstanding job. Give her a big round of applause.

You know, a few weeks ago, no one imagined that we'd have accomplished what we did here tonight in New Hampshire. No one could have imagined it.

For most of this campaign, we were far behind. We always knew our climb would be steep. But in record numbers, you came out, and you spoke up for change.

And with your voices and your votes, you made it clear that at this moment, in this election, there is something happening in America.

There is something happening when men and women in Des Moines and Davenport, in Lebanon and Concord, come out in the snows of January to wait in lines that stretch block after block because they believe in what this country can be.

There is something happening. There's something happening when Americans who are young in age and in spirit, who've never participated in politics before, turn out in numbers we have never seen because they know in their hearts that this time must be different.

There's something happening when people vote not just for party that they belong to, but the hopes that they hold in common.

And whether we are rich or poor, black or white, Latino or Asian, whether we hail from Iowa or New Hampshire, Nevada or South Carolina, we are ready to take this country in a fundamentally new direction.

That's what's happening in America right now; change is what's happening in America.

You, all of you who are here tonight - all who put so much heart and soul and work into this campaign - you can be the new majority who can lead this nation out of a long political darkness. Democrats, Independents and Republicans who are tired of the division and the distraction that has clouded Washington - who know that we can disagree without being disagreeable, who understand - who understand that if we mobilize our voices, to challenge the money and influences that stood in our way and challenge ourselves to reach for something better. There is no problem we cannot solve. There is no destiny that we cannot fulfill.

Our new American majority can end the outrage of unaffordable, unavailable health care in our time. We can bring doctors and patients, workers and businesses, Democrats and Republicans together, and we can tell the drug and insurance industry that, while they get a seat at the table, they don't get to buy every chair, not this time, not now.

Our new majority can end the tax breaks for corporations that ship our jobs overseas and put a middle-class tax cut in the pockets of working Americans who deserve it.

We can stop sending our children to schools with corridors of shame and start putting them on a pathway to success.

We can stop talking about how great teachers are and start rewarding them for their greatness by giving them more pay and more support. We can do this with our new majority.

We can harness the ingenuity of farmers and scientists, citizens and entrepreneurs to free this nation from the tyranny of oil and save our planet from a point of no return.

And when I am president of the United States, we will end this war in Iraq and bring our troops home.

We will end this war in Iraq. We will bring our troops home. We will finish the job We will finish the job against al-Qaida in Afghanistan. We will care for our veterans. We will restore our moral standing in the world.

And we will never use 9/11 as a way to scare up votes, because it is not a tactic to win an election. It is a challenge that should unite America and the world against the common threats of the 21st century - terrorism and nuclear weapons, climate change and poverty, genocide and disease.

All of the candidates in this race share these goals. All of the candidates in this race have good ideas. And all are patriots who serve this country honorably. But the reason our campaign always has been different - the reason we began this improbable journey almost a year ago, is because it's not just what I will do as president.

It is also about what you - the people who love this country, the citizens of the United States of America can do to change it. That's what this election is all about. That's why tonight belongs to you. It belongs to the organizers, the volunteers and the staff who believed in this journey and rallied so many others to join the cause.

We know the battle ahead will be long. But always remember that, no matter what obstacles stand in our way, nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change.

We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics - they will only grow louder and more dissonant in the weeks and months to come.

...Yes we can...

We've been asked to pause for a reality check. We've been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope. But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.

For when we have faced down impossible odds, when we've been told we're not ready or that we shouldn't try or that we can't, generations of Americans have responded with a simple creed that sums up the spirit of a people; Yes, we can. Yes, we can. Yes, we can.

It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation - Yes, we can.

It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists as they blazed a trail towards freedom through the darkest of nights - Yes, we can.

It was sung by immigrants as they struck out from distant shores and pioneers who pushed westward against an unforgiving wilderness - Yes, we can.

It was the call of workers who organized, women who reached for the ballot, a president who chose the moon as our new frontier, and a King who took us to the mountaintop and pointed the way to the promised land - Yes, we can, to justice and equality.

Yes, we can, to opportunity and prosperity. Yes, we can heal this nation. Yes, we can repair this world - Yes, we can.

And so, tomorrow we take the campaign south and west and we learn that the struggle of the textile workers in Spartansberg is not so different from the plight of the dishwasher in Las Vegas, and the hopes of a little girl who goes to public school in Dillon are the same as the dreams of a boy who learns on the streets of L.A.

We will remember that there is something happening in America; that we are not as divided as our politics suggest - that we are one people. We are one Nation and together, we will begin the next great chapter in the American story with three words that will ring from coast to coast - from sea to shining sea;

Yes We Can!

Thank you, New Hampshire.

Thank you.

Thank you.

The speech has taken on a life of its own. Check out the following Youtube music video montage recently created by Will.I.Am, lead singer of the Black-Eyed Peas. How fitting it is that his words sound like Abraham, Martin and John.


¡Si Podemos!

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