Monday, March 24, 2008

I Challenge You

Thank you for reading after that. Here is my challenge:

Tell me how this speech fails. Not in overblown, general statements. Not in partisan blandishments. Tell me specifically, in concrete detail, how Senator Barack Obama is wrong.

Because unless I'm missing something, he's the smartest human who's run for the presidency in my lifetime, and one whom I'd like to see putting his hand on whatever book and becoming my boss.


Mike said...

I don't think you're missing something. There is no doubt that Obama is a smart man. I think he holds the best chance to put together a solid campaign against Jon McCain. Let us not forget that Obama has speech writer's just as the other candidates have. I honestly can say that my vote will most likely go for Obama even though I am not totally sold on his ability to be president. His will be a trial by fire for he has limited experience in being president. However...until he is tested how will we ever know? I am ready for a change in the White House, a change away from the empires of the Bush's and Clinton's. I hope he is paying his speech writer a heafty salary...for this was a good one.

M.Filly said...

Are you asking because you think there's something wrong with it that you can't put your finger on, or is it because you think the man can do no wrong, and you're seeking some mythological chink in his armor?

Personally, I DO think the man can do no wrong, but I wanted clarification on how to inflect your voice in my head as I read your question.

buckarooplus2 said...

Great speech. But, like Mike said, it was written by a speech writer.

Compared to Clinton, Obama is amazing- he has charisma, charm, intelligence and a certain manly grace. He's politically minded with roots in religion and diversity. Whereas Clinton is your run-of-the-mill yuppie with a lot of money and a lot of nothing to say. She lacks the charisma and good natured styling of her opponent. If this was merely a campaign of personalities Obama wins in a landslide.

I see this election as, perhaps, a division between the old politics of slandering and disgracing your opponent to a new form of politics. Clinton and her camp has attempted to defame Obama on numerous occasions, both anonymously and not, to varying degrees of failure. Her methods are of the old politics of the last twenty or more years, whereas Obama merely takes the slandering in stride, sees it for what it is (emotional manipulation of the voters) and moves through it addressing the core issue and not the outlying emotional garbage our society thinks is the real issue: "boo hoo, you hurt my feelings!"

I noticed in this speech a lack of accusations against anyone, something I wouldn't expect from another politician. Instead, he has faced the issue and shown the underlying truth of our lives: we have family and friends that will do wrong for we are human, but that does not make us love them less. I know I've done wrong to friends and family before, but I was forgiven, just as I have forgiven those who have wronged me. He makes the obvious connections between people: strife of daily life and the hope of a better day- something everyone encounters throughout the world. In this deep connection he unveils the truths few have known because of the propaganda of the media. They are so obvious when he speaks them that you almost feel like a fool for not knowing them- of course everyone has trouble! of course everyone hopes for a better life for their loved ones if not just for themselves!

These simple truths that should be learned have somehow slipped through. You want a better world? Start by understanding that everyone is just like you.

Jason said...

Mike & Jim: While I have no doubt speechwriters had something to do with that speech, I think the candidates have more to do with their words than you're giving them credit for. For instance, Dubya has speech writers, and he can afford as good or better than Obama or Clinton, and yet he has always sounded like an idiot. Some of that is his delivery and his lack of anything approaching gravitas, but mostly it's because his ideas are inferior and no speechwriter alive can polish that turd.

MFilly: It's just a rhetorical question. I thought the speech was damn-near flawless, but I've read some pretty silly criticisms of it (Charles Krauthammer and Michael Gerson of the Washington Post come to mind). I really was just wondering if there's something I'm missing. There's been a good amount of negative reaction, and it can't all be partisan silliness or poor reasoning. I'd like to know if there are real problems with what he said.

Mike said...

Jason..while I can't disagree with your statement that Dubya has speech writers as well. You may have missed an important point. The speech may be written by a professional, however the speaker must have the ability to read said speech. That my friend is where Dubya suffers...the dude can't read. All he can do is be the decider.