Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Presidential Essay (Feel Free to Skip)

When I was 18, I voted for Bob Dole. I was raised in a fairly conservative household, in which Bill Clinton was considered a buffoon (which, of course, he is--just a damned charismatic one). I don't really regret that vote, since I think Bob Dole would've been a funny president. His voice never changes pitch!

But he didn't win, and Clinton became Democratic deity in much the same way that Reagan became Republican deity.

In 2000, I voted for Nader because I was 22 and was convinced the country needed a third option in the form of a crotchety old consumer advocate. The bummer of that situation (aside from the fact that I voted for Nader) was that Nader wasn't on the ballot in Georgia, so my write-in vote was probably the equivalent of throwing the ballot in the trash (his final tally was 13,000, which seems low).

I didn't care for Gore (whose new adoration by Democrats doesn't make any sense to me, because he's still a stiff weirdo who would never win a presidential race), and Bush just seemed to be a throwaway candidate who might be able to surround himself with good enough people to get by. I remember a conversation I had with my mom pretty vividly, wherein she asked what I thought of W--I told her that I really didn't mind him except for his trouble with foreign affairs. That's what I call a prescient bummer.

I didn't vote in 2004, because I thought Kerry was the worst possible choice to run against Bush (he is basically Bush without a sense of humor, plus he is a corpse).

The awesomely brutal part about 2004 was the convention, where the democrats nominated the doomed corpse, while Obama gave the best political speech of my lifetime. I commented to a friend that it was bittersweet to have to wait four years before that dude could be president. The friend laughed.

All this is to say that regardless of what happens in Obama's presidency, the chance to have a leader who can present our country with ideas--not just rhetoric--is ridiculously exciting and refreshing.

Last night at work I turned my back on all my customers and watched his acceptance speech. This passage stood out:

To all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world – our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand.

To those who would tear this world down – we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security – we support you. And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright – tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.
The thing that stands out to me in reading the transcript is that the words are good, yes, but without his delivery--really, without him--they could be any other political speech. The awesome thing is that it wasn't.

P.S. The depressing part of the evening came before all this, when CNN premiered what can only be described as the wackest thing ever seen on television, when they interviewed super-speller will.i.am (it's like WILLIAM but deconstructed, see) via HOLOGRAM.


Thank god I watched this in HD so I could see the grainy, static footage in all its glory.

2 comments:

nush said...

very nicely done.

*golf claps*

Meowington said...

The last time I voted it was for Purple. Purple should have been the newest M&M color and I have absolutely no regrets.