Friday, August 29, 2008
I Hear a Symphony
Not surprisingly, I have been watching the Democratic convention this past week. The abilities of the speakers ranged from pedantic to symphonic. I choose the word symphonic because a CNN commentator last evening likened Obama's speech to a symphony. One dictionary defines symphony as a consonance (i.e., harmony or agreement among components) of sounds. The eloquence with which Senator Obama spoke inspired me to look not only at how he was saying things but also specifically what he was saying.
Does this man believe he can achieve what he proclaims he can accomplish? I believe he does. What is more, I believe that with the hard work and determination of each one of us his so-called "lofty" ambitions for our country can come to fruition.
One section of his speech that particularly stands out in my mind is the following:
"For over two decades... he's [McCain] subscribed to that old, discredited Republican philosophy: Give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else.
In Washington, they call this the 'Ownership Society,' but what it really means is that you're on your own. Out of work? Tough luck, you're on your own. No health care? The market will fix it. You're on your own. Born into poverty? Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, even if you don't have boots. You are on your own.
Well, it's time for them [Republicans] to own their failure. It's time for us to change America. And that's why I'm running for president of the United States."
Then he continues with talk about America's promise:
"What...is that American promise? It's a promise that says each of us has the freedom to make of our own lives what we will, but that we also have obligations to treat each other with dignity and respect.
It's a promise that says the market should reward drive and innovation and generate growth, but that businesses should live up to their responsibilities to create American jobs, to look out for American workers, and play by the rules of the road.
Ours...is a promise that says government cannot solve all our problems, but what it should do is that which we cannot do for ourselves: protect us from harm and provide every child a decent education; keep our water clean and our toys safe; invest in new schools, and new roads, and science, and technology.
Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us. It should ensure opportunity not just for those with the most money and influence, but for every American who's willing to work.
That's the promise of America, the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, but that we also rise or fall as one nation, the fundamental belief that I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper.
That's the promise we need to keep. That's the change we need right now."
Senator Obama then delineates how he will keep his promise for change. It will not be easy but with our help I believe his promises to us can be fulfilled.
This speech typifies a symphony in that it conforms to a "consistent, orderly and pleasing arrangement of parts." And it made my heart, soul and mind SING!
His speech convinced me that a vote for him and Joe Biden in November will be a vote for my children and my grandchildren and all future generations who depend on us to keep the American promise alive.