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Analysis and Reaction to Barack Obama's Acceptance Speech at Invesco Field Denver

The Morning After: Our Reactions to Obama's Change Promise

Liberty: Last night I saw Americans who have been hiding in the shadows of apathy or cynicism come out and get excited about the future of their country. Americans who showed that they can wait in a line for hours, just to participate in a celebration of their power to make a difference.

Barack Obama's speech stressed individual and mutual responsibility. He said Democratic leadership, and an Obama presidency, would not do everything for Americans. It would, though, help them accomplish the things they cannot do for themselves, like protect the country from national security threats in Afghanistan, and give those who do not have bootstraps a pair so they can pull themselves up into the promise of middle-class prosperity. And while he was at it, Obama fiercely made the case that John McCain has and will turn his back on America's urgent needs because he just doesn't get it.


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Whenever a politician claims that government can make peoples' lives better, critics become skeptical. But last night I saw a candidate that will, and did, make a commitment to ordinary people. Who did the best he could to offer specifics, without falling prey to a typical Democratic weakness of ignoring an emotional argument. Democracy became an action verb, not something that the well-connected took care of for you.

To see Citizen's reaction and more pictures we took at the event,

.

Citizen: At its heart, there wasn't so much about the speech that was innately objectionable, the broad strokes he painted are a fine landscape — but he doesn't speak to me. Whether a fundamental difference of political philosophy or a complete lack of chemistry with the man, as much as I enjoyed witnessing the spectacle, I was not moved by it. I was not inspired by the parade of done-wrong stories. When he said, "More of you have cars you can't afford to drive, credit card bills you can't afford to pay, and tuition that's beyond your reach. These challenges are not all of government's making." My head screamed, but does that mean they're for the government's fixing?

I'm all for roads and a smart, no-waste globally beneficially governmental structure (and let's get it right), but I sure as hell don't want to rely on that as my complete bedrock of security. With great reliance comes great power, and I don't want my government to have that power over me. My building blocks of support come from the ground up, not the top down. When things go wrong, I want solutions to come from self first, then family, then community, on up — the government would never be my first call. As Liberty and I hashed it out afterward, it's a different philosophy. If you have a safety net you're more likely to fall. It's just human nature. If someone will fix your problems for you, why wouldn't you let them? Though he said this: "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," that was not the real message conveyed last night, at least not to me.

Then there was the event itself. I've loved this week — you don't have to support a candidate to support the effort of democracy. But last night's dressed-down, come as you are, jumbo-soda and plate-of-nachos stadium setting was disappointing. With the crowd doing the wave and the half time-style line up, I kept waiting for kickoff. Between the utter distraction and screaming every time a famous person appeared, for much of the event what was happening on stage was an after thought.

And on that stage? A veritable variety show. Sheryl Crow? Stevie Wonder? Where is the sense of decorum and humility and ceremony in the midst of a rock concert? There is a time and place for celebration, but this most serious and sterling of occasions isn't it. I'm here for the speeches, not the snacks; the weight of grave responsibility, not the wave; and the gracious dignity, not the grandstand.


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PinkNC PinkNC 7 years
Wow...boy did this blog get some people a little hot :)
Sugasuga29 Sugasuga29 7 years
My grandparents talk about how, within communities, there used to be a greater sense of responsibility, specifically within neighborhoods. My grandfather once gave a woman a brand-new washing machine, because she was hand-washing clothing to make money for her family, and her knuckles were bleeding. BUT--this was all before the government began taking so much of our paychecks--the money we earn--that now people are so much less inclined to help. We have to worry about feeding our own families. Churches, community groups and individuals all used to be able to help out so much more than they can now. Less government social programs would get us back to the way things used to be in this regard--the generosity of these groups used to handle these issues.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 7 years
:rotfl:
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 7 years
:rotfl:
Michelann Michelann 7 years
Since Jude seemed to think it was a good point, I'll respond to this:"not helping people who genuinely need it only speaks to two thing: self-comforting greed and the judgemental assumptions that people only fall into bad times because they obviously are too lazy, stupid, or unworthy to do any better for themselves."Nobody has said that we shouldn't help people in need. Some of us simply think that job should be left up to private individuals and charities, not a massive, inefficient bureaucracy. Furthermore, although it's not all of them, there are some people who DO fall on hard times simply because they are lazy. It should not be my responsibility to help those people. Finally, let me explain to Rabidmoon what a principle is. It's an underlying rule that you apply to everything to get your opinions. One of mine is that the government should not do for people what they can do for themselves. Another is that the government should not legislate morality. Those helped me arrive at my opinion on socialized medicine. You, however, seem to think that the government should legislate morality (or 'humanity' whatever you want to call it) in the case of health care, but not in the case of abortion. That is why I said you principles were confused."Its even about practicality, in that a system people can count on WHEN THEY GENUINELY NEED IT only benefits everyone in the end. A happy society is a productive society. A society with hope is a productive society."This is not true, and it has been proven over and over again every time socialism fails. Incentives make people productive. That is human nature. That is "humanity" if you will.
Michelann Michelann 7 years
Since Jude seemed to think it was a good point, I'll respond to this: "not helping people who genuinely need it only speaks to two thing: self-comforting greed and the judgemental assumptions that people only fall into bad times because they obviously are too lazy, stupid, or unworthy to do any better for themselves." Nobody has said that we shouldn't help people in need. Some of us simply think that job should be left up to private individuals and charities, not a massive, inefficient bureaucracy. Furthermore, although it's not all of them, there are some people who DO fall on hard times simply because they are lazy. It should not be my responsibility to help those people. Finally, let me explain to Rabidmoon what a principle is. It's an underlying rule that you apply to everything to get your opinions. One of mine is that the government should not do for people what they can do for themselves. Another is that the government should not legislate morality. Those helped me arrive at my opinion on socialized medicine. You, however, seem to think that the government should legislate morality (or 'humanity' whatever you want to call it) in the case of health care, but not in the case of abortion. That is why I said you principles were confused. "Its even about practicality, in that a system people can count on WHEN THEY GENUINELY NEED IT only benefits everyone in the end. A happy society is a productive society. A society with hope is a productive society." This is not true, and it has been proven over and over again every time socialism fails. Incentives make people productive. That is human nature. That is "humanity" if you will.
organicsugr organicsugr 7 years
Socialism is always practical. I'd rather be happy than free anyday.
Jude-C Jude-C 7 years
<blockquote>We can bandy these words like "moral" and "humane" around forever, but at the end of the day, not helping people who genuinely need it only speaks to two thing: self-comforting greed and the judgemental assumptions that people only fall into bad times because they obviously are too lazy, stupid, or unworthy to do any better for themselves.</blockquote><blockquote>Why is it that right can acceptably say "its up to private individuals and charities to decide whom to help" when it comes to welfare, then simultaneously say "Its up to us to make value judgements about who you sleep with, and how you deal with the ramifications of it?"</blockquote>Hear, hear, rabidmoon!
Jude-C Jude-C 7 years
We can bandy these words like "moral" and "humane" around forever, but at the end of the day, not helping people who genuinely need it only speaks to two thing: self-comforting greed and the judgemental assumptions that people only fall into bad times because they obviously are too lazy, stupid, or unworthy to do any better for themselves.
Why is it that right can acceptably say "its up to private individuals and charities to decide whom to help" when it comes to welfare, then simultaneously say "Its up to us to make value judgements about who you sleep with, and how you deal with the ramifications of it?"
Hear, hear, rabidmoon!
Michelann Michelann 7 years
Perhaps you should direct your rant at somebody else. I'm not part of the "right" as you see it. I thought about replying to the comments in that post that might actually apply to me, but they're so confused that I can hardly make out any argument to rebut.
Michelann Michelann 7 years
Perhaps you should direct your rant at somebody else. I'm not part of the "right" as you see it. I thought about replying to the comments in that post that might actually apply to me, but they're so confused that I can hardly make out any argument to rebut.
rabidmoon rabidmoon 7 years
Wow. Let me make it clearer for you, since you feel the need to get personal with me about it and imply I don't know my own mind, I will imply you are unable to read between the lines without having them spelled out to you. My principles are intact, and I do not believe that helping people in need is about legality or morality. It is about HUMANITY, SOCIETY, and Hell, if that fails to move you then its even about practicality, in that a system people can count on WHEN THEY GENUINELY NEED IT only benefits everyone in the end. A happy society is a productive society. A society with hope is a productive society. Notice that at no point there do I say "any bugger with a palm out, tugging at your purse strings." Is it amoral to not help someone in need? I say its is less amoral and more inhumane. You live in a society, like it or not, and benefit from the success of the society as a whole, be it the company that employs you, the clothes and food you can afford, or the car you are able to drive, none of that was down to you alone, how much you might like to think so. Luck, timing, the economy, who your parents were, fate, where you were born, what job you took, who you met along the way. It all could have easily gone another way. We can bandy these words like "moral" and "humane" around forever, but at the end of the day, not helping people who genuinely need it only speaks to two thing: self-comforting greed and the judgemental assumptions that people only fall into bad times because they obviously are too lazy, stupid, or unworthy to do any better for themselves. That you even start to preach to me about principles when you just swatted every needy person in the USA into the rubbish bin without so much as a second thought is shockingly absurd. Now, that aside, let me attempt to drive home my point again: You highlighted your belief that aiding people in need is a moral issue but should not be a legal one. So running with that same perspective, but broadening the application outwards to other "right wing" policies and voters, (which were on my mind since Palin has come up and whom may or may not vote just like you on issues), I decided to throw back to you another side of the same coin, for the sake of debate and to see how you would justify it. I even asked you if you were pro-choice or not, to in fact demonstrate that I DID NOT assume you were, in the hopes you would understand that it was not a personal attack or assumption you were the same on every issue, but instead to get some sort of perspective on how the right can justify one morality and cast aside another one. I wanted to apply that same thinking or "morals don't belong in government" to abortion, which is seen as a moral issue, same as "family values" which have been spouted by that end of the poliical spectrum for my entire lifetime and see how you reconciled them. You typed a sentence that gave me pause for thought, and I threw it back at you to see what you would come up with. What you came back with, was an insult! Good going. So..here, again, one more time: Why is it that right can acceptably say "its up to private individuals and charities to decide whom to help" when it comes to welfare, then simultaneously say "Its up to us to make value judgements about who you sleep with, and how you deal with the ramifications of it?" How would you, as a potential McCain voter, justify this reasoning in your own mind, as applied to other right wing principles? That good enough?
Michelann Michelann 7 years
Well then maybe you should explain your principles to me. It seems like you've got your ideas right where you want them, but there's no underlying principle.
rabidmoon rabidmoon 7 years
No, I think my principles are pretty much right where I want them, thanks.
Michelann Michelann 7 years
Well, first of all let me say I believe a woman should have a right to choose up to a point. So no late-term abortions, but I'm still more or less pro-choice. Your point doesn't work on that level. But even if I WAS pro-life, your point wouldn't make sense. I'm assuming that you're pro-choice, which means that you think the government shouldn't legislate morality. Except when it's for socialized medicine.My principles are in line, maybe yours are confused.
Michelann Michelann 7 years
Well, first of all let me say I believe a woman should have a right to choose up to a point. So no late-term abortions, but I'm still more or less pro-choice. Your point doesn't work on that level. But even if I WAS pro-life, your point wouldn't make sense. I'm assuming that you're pro-choice, which means that you think the government shouldn't legislate morality. Except when it's for socialized medicine. My principles are in line, maybe yours are confused.
rabidmoon rabidmoon 7 years
Gaa I need to proofread, wording properly now, I type too fast. :P "If you turn the topic from charity to abortion, I will counter that statement and say that by that allright...then I have a real problem with other people's morals becoming MY legislation too, and that it is not a pro-lifer's right to say that THEIR moral code dictates the legalities of what I do with MY body." Ditto on gay rights, for that matter, both of which get solidly stomped on by the right more than grapes in Tuscany.
rabidmoon rabidmoon 7 years
Quoting: "However, I don't think moral obligation is equal to a legal obligation." Really - so on that same train, Mich, are you pro-life? Because if you turn the topic from charity to abortion and counter that have a real problem with other people's morals becoming MY legislation too.
kastarte2 kastarte2 7 years
Hypno: :notworthy:
kastarte2 kastarte2 7 years
Hypno: :notworthy:
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
Oh citizen Citizen tis of thee I speak when I say I most respectfully disagree. On the anniversery of the march on Washington he was telling all of us that (we) have dream today . It is our responsibility to pursue our dreams and it is his goal to inspire the call with in our selves to feel the fire of dreams untold and I believe he did just that. From the very announcement of his campaign for presidency Sen. Obama has demonstrated not only through word of mouth but through personal history, vision and intellect; I have done it and so can you. As President Clinton suggested we want to be moved by the power of example not the example of power. The ladders to personal success have had their rungs broken one by one over the past eight years burdening our climb with ever greater weight to bear in our assent. Sen. Obama is simply pledging to provide us a good ladder and if necessary hold it steady during our climb but he’s not offering to do the climbing. He’s just promising he’ll be there holding it and saying go on now you can do it.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
Oh citizen Citizen tis of thee I speak when I say I most respectfully disagree. On the anniversery of the march on Washington he was telling all of us that (we) have dream today . It is our responsibility to pursue our dreams and it is his goal to inspire the call with in our selves to feel the fire of dreams untold and I believe he did just that. From the very announcement of his campaign for presidency Sen. Obama has demonstrated not only through word of mouth but through personal history, vision and intellect; I have done it and so can you. As President Clinton suggested we want to be moved by the power of example not the example of power. The ladders to personal success have had their rungs broken one by one over the past eight years burdening our climb with ever greater weight to bear in our assent. Sen. Obama is simply pledging to provide us a good ladder and if necessary hold it steady during our climb but he’s not offering to do the climbing. He’s just promising he’ll be there holding it and saying go on now you can do it.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 7 years
Troll!
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 7 years
Troll!
kastarte2 kastarte2 7 years
:yoda:
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