Saturday, July 26, 2008

Out: Hope and change. In: This is the moment.

Having been on the road this past week, I didn't catch Barack Obama's speech in Berlin, nor did I see any sound bites on the news. What can I say...10 hours of meetings every day followed by late dinners every night doesn't leave much time for anything else.

So this morning, I tracked down a link on Obama's campaign web site to the text of the speech, and managed to get through it without any tingling thrill going down my leg. But I may have to check my blood sugar level. I'm sure it's elevated.

First, I'll have to concede what I liked about the speech. A speech in Berlin by any politician wouldn't be complete without at least a passing reference to the Berlin Airlift. But Obama went well beyond superficial references and pays proper tribute to the significance of that event, even if he does refer to cargo planes as "airlift planes" (snicker). I guess Merrill McPeak didn't proofread the final draft.

Proper emphasis is also placed on combating terrorism, although he steered carefully around the source of that terrorism and not once mentions Islam and the only time he mentions Muslims is in the context of that Vast Majority™ who reject extremism.

A few more observations...
  • The word "hope" is used only eight times and "change" only once. "Hope and change" appear to have been thrown under the bus in favor of "This is the moment." The word "moment" appears 16 times in the speech, and the phrase "This is the moment (or some variant thereof) appears 12 times. It's a good thing that "moment" doesn't specify a finite period of time since there's an awful lot of things His Holiness plans to do in "the moment".
  • In a passage where he expresses his dream of a world without nuclear weapons, he says "...we need not stand idly by and watch the further spread of the deadly atom". I had no idea that the tiny particle of which all matter is made was "deadly". Yikes!
  • The Messiah's inner commie comes out with this call for the redistribution of wealth:
    This is the moment when we must build on the wealth that open markets have created, and share its benefits more equitably.
The speech reaches a lofty rhetorical crescendo with these parts:
Now the world will watch and remember what we do here – what we do with this moment. Will we extend our hand to the people in the forgotten corners of this world who yearn for lives marked by dignity and opportunity; by security and justice? Will we lift the child in Bangladesh from poverty, shelter the refugee in Chad, and banish the scourge of AIDS in our time? [Never mind that George W. Bush has done more to fight AIDS than any world leader. Ever. --ed.]
And:
People of Berlin – people of the world – this is our moment. This is our time.
Oh, my...what does he think he's running for president of?

2 comments:

Tyler said...

Eric, I'll take a whack that you have red Bill O's Culture Warrior. Obamas speech is a damn perfect example of the secular progressive movement in America.

Eric said...

Actually, I haven't read that one yet, but I've seen enough Bill O. to know what you're talking about, and you're right.