While I sit here waiting for Hurricane Noel to knock out my power, I’ve spent the last 3 or 4 hours reading about JFK, among other random topics.
In his speeches, JFK brought energy and a certain hope to the people of America in the 60’s. He had dreams, he had hope, and he had the will to change things (He also had some really talented advisors as well as a brilliant speech writer, Ted Sorensen). As a President, Kennedy wasn’t perfect. He made mistakes, but he admitted his mistakes, he corrected his mistakes and most importantly, he was as open and transparent as he could be to the public.
Kennedy alter-ego Ted Sorensen compared Kennedy to the Democratic nominee for 2008 Barack Obama in a recent article, where he points out the striking similarities between Obama and Kennedy, such as their education, their age, their travels, and the fact that they were both Juniors in the Senate when they ran for Office.
I’m personally excited about the prospect of Obama becoming President. I think he’ll bring a fresh new face to the White House that hasn’t been seen in a very long time. He cares about the people, he doesn’t have affiliations with the large Corporations that influence the Government, and he’s seen the injustices in the world and in America first hand. He doesn’t come from a privileged family, so he has a connection with the poor and the working Middle Class of America.
Most importantly, Barack Obama is a great and inspirational speaker. In his 2004 speech at the Democratic National Convention, Obama delivered a brilliant and inspiring speech that planted the seed for the opportunity to become the Democratic candidate in the 2008 election.
I understand that you probably don’t have time to watch the entire 17 minute speech, so I have listed a couple quotes from the speech that I enjoyed.
“Believing in a tolerant America, your name is no barrier to success. In a generous America, you don’t have to be rich to achieve your potential.”
“Tonight, we gather to affirm the greatness of our nation. Not because of the height of our skyscrapers, or the power of our military or the size of our economy. Our pride is based on a very simple premise. Summed up in a declaration made over 200 years ago. We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That is the true genious of America, a faith. a faith in simple dreams, an insistence on small miracles; that we can tuck in our children at night and know that they are fed and clothed and safe from harm; that we can say what we think, write what we think, without hearing a sudden knock on the door; that we can have an idea and start our own business without paying a bribe; that we can participate in the political process without fear of retribuation; and that our votes will be counted — or at least most of the time.”
“People don’t expect — people don’t expect government to solve all their problems. But they sense, deep in their bones, that with just a slight change in priorities, we can make sure that every child in America has a decent shot at life and that the doors of opportunity remain open to all. They know we can do better. And they want that choice.”
“If there’s a child on the south side of Chicago who can’t read, that matters to me, even if it’s not my child. “
“If there’s a senior citizen somewhere who can’t pay for their prescription and having to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it’s not my grandparent.”
“If there’s an Arab-American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties.”
“It is that fundamental belief — it is that fundamental belief — I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sisters’ keeper — that makes this country work.”
“It’s what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family: “E pluribus unum,” out of many, one.”