I’ve never watched CNN like I’ve done this past week. I think it all started when I watched Obama’s bio last Sunday. What surprised me even more than my own interest in this election race was that my brother was watching with me the whole time.
This afternoon, I found myself tuned in again, still watching an Obama-related coverage: his acceptance of the Democratic nomination for the Presidency of the United States of America. Before some 75,000 Americans, he laid out plans, made promises and, in my opinion, reminded them of what an election is supposed to be about: Change you can believe in. I’m not about to say that he’s better than McCain - I haven’t seen anything about the latter, other than those related to the Paris Hilton/Celebrity issue. But I have to admit that after watching Obama’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, part of me wished that his promises to Americans will also be made by a Filipino presidential candidate to the Filipino people someday.
I don’t really know if he's going to keep his promises or if he’s even capable of fulfilling his 10-yr (!) plans but I like his speech because it talked about the importance of one, a single you, an individual me. As a wise professor phrased it: "The power of one and the strength of many." It also talked about a change in the basic system of values: one that cares for the other as much as the self – individual and mutual responsibility. It talked about the citizenry and the government working together to achieve the desired reforms – change in the White House and change in every home. It talked about people believing, wanting and creating that change for themselves and their posterity.
Maybe Obama’s just great at rhetoric and in public speaking. Maybe he won’t deliver the promises he made. Maybe he’s just another politician who speaks more than he acts. But even from where I’m sitting, miles and oceans away from Denver, Colorado, I was made to remember that I can do something for the change that I want... That I can cast a stone in the vast ocean of possibilities before me and hope that its ripples will make this world better than how I first found it… That the change I can believe in is one that comes from within me.
You may see the whole transcript of Barack Obama's speech HERE but here are my favorite parts:
What is that 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 the obligation 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, 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 new 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.
...we must also admit that fulfilling America's promise will require more than just money. It will require a renewed sense of responsibility from each of us to recover what John F. Kennedy called our "intellectual and moral strength." Yes, government must lead on energy independence, but each of us must do our part to make our homes and businesses more efficient. Yes, we must provide more ladders to success for young men who fall into lives of crime and despair. But we must also admit that programs alone can't replace parents; that government can't turn off the television and make a child do her homework; that fathers must take more responsibility for providing the love and guidance their children need.
Individual responsibility and mutual responsibility - that's the essence of America's promise.
I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk. They claim that our insistence on something larger, something firmer and more honest in our public life is just a Trojan Horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values. And that's to be expected. Because if you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare the voters. If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.
You make a big election about small things.
And you know what - it's worked before. Because it feeds into the cynicism we all have about government. When Washington doesn't work, all its promises seem empty. If your hopes have been dashed again and again, then it's best to stop hoping, and settle for what you already know.
I get it. I realize that I am not the likeliest candidate for this office. I don't fit the typical pedigree, and I haven't spent my career in the halls of Washington.
But I stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring. What the nay-sayers don't understand is that this election has never been about me. It's been about you.
For eighteen long months, you have stood up, one by one, and said enough to the politics of the past. You understand that in this election, the greatest risk we can take is to try the same old politics with the same old players and expect a different result. You have shown what history teaches us - that at defining moments like this one, the change we need doesn't come from Washington. Change comes to Washington. Change happens because the American people demand it - because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership, a new politics for a new time.
The tune playing before the speech is U2’s City of Blinding Lights!!! hehe. sorry... i just had to point this out!
If you want to watch Obama deliver his speech, i posted it in the video section of my multiply. It's also in youtube.