Sunday, August 31, 2008

An "alternative" convention speech

David Brooks, op-ed columnist in the New York Times, writes on August 29, 2008.

'My fellow Americans, it is an honor to address the Democratic National
Convention at this defining moment in history. We stand at a
crossroads at a pivot point, near a fork in the road on the edge of a
precipice in the midst of the most consequential election since last
year's "American Idol."

One path before us leads to the past, and the extinction of the human
race. The other path leads to the future, when we will all be dead. We
must choose wisely.

We must close the book on the bleeding wounds of the old politics of
division and sail our ship up a mountain of hope and plant our flag on
the sunrise of a thousand tomorrows with an American promise that will
never die! For this election isn't about the past or the present, or
even the pluperfect conditional. It's about the future, and Barack
Obama loves the future because that's where all his accomplishments

We meet today to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans, a
generation that came of age amidst iced chais and mocha strawberry
Frappuccinos(R), a generation with a historical memory that doesn't
extend back past Coke Zero.

We meet today to heal the divisions that have torn this country. For
we are all one country and one American family, whether we are caring
and thoughtful Democrats or hate-filled and war-crazed Republicans. We
must bring together left and right, marinara and carbonara, John and
Elizabeth Edwards. On United we stand, on US Airways, there's a
25-minute delay.

Ladies and gentleman, I never expected to be speaking before you
today. Like so many of our speakers at this convention, I come from a
hard-working, middle-class family. I was leading a miserable little
life, but, nevertheless, overcame great odds to live the American
Dream. My great-grandfather fought in Patton's Army, along with Barack
Obama's great-grand uncles' fourth cousin once removed.

As a child, I was abandoned by my parents and lived with a colony of
ants. We didn't have much in the way of material possession, but we
did have each other and the ability to carry far more than our own
body weights. When I was young, I was temporarily paralyzed in a
horrible anteater accident, but I never gave up my dream: the dream of
speaking at a national political convention so my speech could be
talked over by Wolf Blitzer and a gang of pundits.

And today we Democrats meet in Denver, a suburb of Boulder, a city
whose motto is, "A Taxi? You Must be Dreaming."

And in Denver, we Democrats showed America that we have cute daughters
who will someday provide us with prestigious car-window stickers. We
heard Hillary Clinton's ringing endorsement of "the weak-looking thin
guy who's bound to lose."

We heard from Joe Biden, whose 643 years in the Senate make him
uniquely qualified to talk to the middle class, whose family has been
riding the Acela and before that the Metroliner for generations, who
has been given a lifetime ban from the quiet car and who is himself a
verbal train wreck waiting to happen.

We got to know Barack and Michelle Obama, two tall, thin, rich,
beautiful people who don't perspire, but who nonetheless feel
compassion for their squatter and smellier fellow citizens. We know
that Barack could have gone to a prestigious law firm, like his big
donors in the luxury boxes, but he chose to put his ego aside to
become a professional politician, president of the United States and
redeemer of the human race. We heard about his time as a community
organizer, the three most fulfilling months of his life.

We were thrilled by his speech in front of the Greek columns, which
were conscientiously recycled from the concert, "Yanni, Live at the
Acropolis." We were honored by his pledge, that if elected president,
he will serve at least four months before running for higher office.
We were moved by his campaign slogan, "Vote Obama: He's better than
you'll ever be." We were inspired by dozens of Democratic senators who
declared their lifelong love of John McCain before denouncing him as a
reactionary opportunist who would destroy the country.

No, this country cannot afford to elect John Bushmccain. Under
Republican rule, locusts have stripped the land, adults wear crocs in
public and M&M's have lost their flavor. We must instead ride to the
uplands of hope!

For as Barack Obama suggested Thursday night, wherever there is a
president who needs to tap our natural-gas reserves, I'll be there.
Wherever there is a need for a capital-gains readjustment for targeted
small businesses, I'll be there. Wherever there is a president
committed to direct diplomacy with nuclear proliferators, I'll be
there, too! God bless the Democrats, and God Bless America!'

I do not understand all the humour but it's worth blogging as I was disgusted by our biased BBC TV news describing Obama's speech as magisterial. Gone are the days when the BBC gave news as news not comments dressed as news.

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