I was going to vote for Barack Obama because I had to.
After his acceptance speech, I'm doing it because I want to.
As I sit listening to the recaps critics have already begun saying, well, it's just a speech, or just words. That, of course, could be said of the Constitution under which they live (the parts that are left in tact), or their very Holy Words, whatever they may be. Just words.
But like those words that are sacred either politically or spiritually, words, just words can inspire.
And if all Barack Obama has to offer, the only single thing, is inspiration, then he's earned my vote.
Yes, I saw Hillary, and yes, she was presidential and yes, I wanted her on the ticket. But it's time to let that go, she's not. And tonight, I did, because for once, the man lived up to the insurmountable pressure of the situation, his biggest moment, history, in the making on a day when King himself made history. Would he take us to a new mountain top?
Indeed he did.
Before the speech I had wondered, would King endorse Obama? Is it folly to assume that because he's the first African American candidate to make it through the race that King would endorse his election? I'm quite sure that King would disagree with some of Obama's policies.
And then Obama came out and addressed issues in an approachable way, in a way that not only inspired but strengthened, look forward instead of back and didn't pander as much as most at this level.
And yes, he even said "gays and lesbians" and "abortion" and decided why run and hide. Let's just put it out there and get on with it. And let's have some perspective.
No president can educate the American electorate in a few months about why they should care about Russia and Georgia, why the economy really isn't working..no candidate can erase years of apathy both civically and many cases physically in one campaign or term. But, they can inspire, it's what the greatest of them have done.
And this speech was inspiring, to say the least.
I've thought a lot about inspiration recently. I lost mine almost eight years ago for reasons well documented elsewhere. Much the same time the country had the inspiration and breath knocked out of it on 9/11 and then the darkness that was and is the failed Bush group of neoconservative criminals.
It's been dark, for me and my country.
But now, through a lot of grief and pain, I see the light more than not. I'm inspired again more than tired. There's hope in my life.
And tonight, I saw hope in my country, in the eyes of 75,000 people who came together in Denver to welcome history. A shameful history no doubt, a fact that in over 200 years we've been so racist we've never allowed the many capable African Americans who have populated government and culture throughout America's history to elevate to Presidency; just as when a woman breaks that final barrier it will again be a bittersweet bit of history. But history a long time coming is still history.
Hope is a powerful thing, and it is lost very slowly. But 99% of the times, there's always hope. Or should be. No one has reminded us of that in some time, at least not in politics. They've told us to be afraid, they've told us we don't know what we're doing and let them handle it, they've told us spying on us was in our best interest and that spending billions to line the pockets of their friends was good foreign policy. They've told us plenty the last eight years, and at many other times before that, but seldomly have they told us to keep hoping, to keep moving, that we can, in fact, be better.
And that they can't do it for us. Obama made it clear WE must change before government can.
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were both right in their inspirational speeches when they said that this election is not about either of them. It's about America, and Americans, it's about you and I, each of us (yes, breaking that third wall of detachment between you and I for a moment).
The country is on life support. The course of treatment with the doctors at hand has not worked. If we don't make a change in our triage team, we're dead. But we have to want to live just as much as they want to save us. That takes energy, that takes determination, that takes hope.
Maybe all Obama has to offer is inspiration, hope, feelings not policies or years of political pedigree.
Maybe right now some inspiration to be Americans first, to hope for a future instead of carrying the weight of the past divisions isn't such a bad thing for these very non-United States of America.