Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Return to Hope


I was channel hopping last night. I was really watching CBS with NCIS but I was also interesting in American Idol in small doses and wanted to catch the results of the Beltway Primaries. In one of my hops I caught part of Barack Obama's speech on hope.

It quite frankly brought tears to my eyes for a whole wealth of complicated reasons. First, it has been entirely too long since I had any hope that the United States could be saved from the path it has been led down. Hope was first fostered in my during the Kennedy years and was totally decimated by his cruel death. Let's face it there was nothing inspiring about Nixon unless you were in league with the dark side.

The Clinton years re-kindled some of that Kennedy era hope but Bush totally trashed it. Bush was not just the death of hope but the death of the middle class dream and our country as a shining example of hope. And it was the death of public speaking; replaced by the five second sound bite generally trashing someone else that does not agree with him.

So when I chanced upon Obama's address last night I lingered. I remembered when I first saw him deliver the nominating speech at the Democratic convention. And I was spell bound by his message of hope for not merely the young people of this country but all of us who have lost hope. I was so enticed with what he was saying that after they cut away to McCain I went to CNN's website and watched Obama there.

Up to this point I really did not have a dog in this hunt. I wanted a Democrat over all else and I really did not care which democrat it was quite frankly. And when it got down to Hilary and Barack I found myself split. Part of me really wanted to vote for a woman for president but she kept failing to totally enfold me into her camp. Just when I thought I could rally around her she would act shrill or peevish or send Bill out to do the dirty work. And while she is capable of public speaking she always seems a bit over rehearsed.

Maybe last night I just wanted to believe in something or someone so bad that I was going to fall for the first image thrust before me but I think not. It was a good speech and quite well delivered. I am thrilled this morning that he leads in delegates. But I am very scared the political machines of Clinton and McCain will again crush this fragile flower of hope. That would be so sad.