Talkin' 'bout my generation

I stand here today at the crosscurrents of that history -- knowing that my piece of the American Dream is a blessing hard won by those who came before me... All of us driven by a simple belief that the world as it is just won't do -- that we have an obligation to fight for the world as it should be.

And that is the thread that connects our hearts. That is the thread that runs through my journey and Barack's journey and so many other improbable journeys that have brought us here tonight, where the current of history meets this new tide of hope.

That is why I love this country.

~ Michelle Obama

My favorite cerebral sporting event started last night. The Democratic National Convention. Nice of it to follow so closely the end of the Olympics so that I wouldn’t have to go through Big Televised Event withdrawal.

I love watching the convention activity. The conceptual come to life in the form of exuberant delegates (dressed with an eye towards making a statement -- and not necessarily a fashion one, either) and passionate speeches. The spectacle. The pomp. The circumstance.

It’s one bigass ideological pep rally. Go Team! Let’s be the champions!

I watch these things with a biased eye. My mind is already made up regarding the candidate I’m supporting. Has been for a very long time, actually.

Horn Toot Alert: I got on board the Obama train right about the time he formed his exploratory committee in January 2007... check me out!

Given that predisposition, I tune in and observe the convention shenanigans only partially from an intellectual standpoint. I do like to soak up the rhetoric and the vibe. But, as I discovered last night, I watch primarily, at least this go-round, with my heart. My emotions.

At my core, deep inside where my basic essence resides, I am an idealist. A glass-half-full kinda chick. And intellectually, I know that many things that are bandied about are pure rhetoric and abstracts designed to set tone and hit people just where it’s all hitting me -- in the heart.

I know that this part of me is naive -- politics is never as noble as it is made out to be during such subjective showcases as party conventions. I’ve worked on enough political campaigns to understand how this shit really functions.

But just for a moment, I like to believe that it is. A noble beast. When someone like Teddy Kennedy speaks about this being “... a season of hope -- new hope for a justice and fair prosperity for the many, and not just for the few -- new hope.” my heart soars and my eyes fill with tears. Yes. This -- this is what I believe. What I cling to. What makes me tick.

Right now, I’m coupling that with the ah-ha realization that the next POTUS could be someone with whom I went to college. This is not my daddy's candidate. He's mine. Through and through.

This is my generation
This is my generation, baby

Barack and Michelle are my age -- Michelle is literally only a few months older than I.

They are my peers. I could have danced with Barack at a college frat party. Been project partners with Michelle in a class.

Our kids are close in age. Our pop cultural references are the same. Our historical context in terms of world events are the same.

My generation. Moving to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. (Yup -- there’s that optimism again.)


This is my generation
This is my generation, baby

So pardon me if I hold onto that cloak of idealism just a little while longer. The time for practical action will come soon enough. Right now, it’s just nice to simply be inspired.

And this November the torch will be passed again to a new generation of Americans, so with Barack Obama and for you and for me, our country will be committed to his cause. The work begins anew. The hope rises again. And the dream lives on.
~ Senator Edward Kennedy


Edwin said...

Perfect, CJ

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Weren't both of those speeches magnificent? I was absolutely crying during parts of both.

I'm a glass half-full kind of gal, too, but I'm a hard sell on machine politics. I grew up in a family where leftist politics were our equivalent of rooting for our favorite sports teams and I have a jaundiced eye at this point.

I'm really hoping for change through Obama. I really LIKE that he has a woman like Michelle at his side. I like Joe Biden well enough. I'm trying to get my game on in a big way.

There's no doubt he's got the best potential for real leadership for this country for the first time in a long, long time.

I'm sleepy... please excuse my lack of proper English.

Jeff said...

Michelle was great, but Hillary hit it out of the park last night!


Miss Janey said...

Yes, the dream lives on. Let's hope it becomes reality.

On a limb with Claudia said...

I think you should just run for President. In fact, I have a quarter, shall we start a fund? :)

Miss Attitude said...

What an extremely well written post! I know you won't believe this, but Miss Attitude does not enjoy watching it, probably less than the Olympics (yikes!) But of course she catches all the highlights and then some at work.

TopSurf said...

Excellent. I too am glad the convention has fallen right after the Olympics, watching the past few nights of speeches has made me proud to be an American again! :)

mehitabel said...

I hope that you will be able to hold on to your idealism and your enthusiasm for a long long time. Mine has been buffeted and battered but it's still there, and I hope (against hope) that "your generation" can beat out the old fogeys of cynicism, despair, and profitmongering!

perpstu said...

Excellent post! I will admit that I was a firm Hilary supporter, but have tiptoed on to the Obama bandwagon!

So far, every speech given has been phenomenal! I have high hopes for November!

April said...

I told Kori in an email, how strange is it that the most positive things I've heard this week came from politics? What a week!