Hello convention delegates!
Thanks for the invite to speak to you all.
I salute your party today because your primary campaigns offered, for the first time, viable contenders for the office of President who were not White Males. I think that is a most historic event, worthy of praise and admiration, and points to a nation lead more by ideals than any other thing.
I am an Independent voter, sort of. I decided to vote in the primary in Tennessee back in February and in order to do that I had to pick a political party primary to vote in. (Of course, I was also voting on a local sales tax increase, which I voted against, which really meant nothing, since the city voters decided in June to vote again and passed it and now the county says they want the increase too and it is on the ballot in November, but I wonder how it can be on the ballot twice in one year, and sorry I digress here.)
So as of this moment, I am still an Independent but a peek at my voting record would show I voted this year in the Democrat primary and am thus, I suppose, a Democrat. (The state's Democrat blog links to my page while the GOP's blog does not link to me, whatever that is worth.)
(Jeez-oh-Pete, look at these parenthetical remarks ... that's what happens to my writing and speechifying after I've just read a Robert Heinlein book. Ah well. Anyone who finds the use of the word or the form of parenthetical writing are all gone now, so it may be safe to continue.)
I mention all this as a form of full-disclosure. I have never been a dues-paying, card-carrying member of any political party, but I did vote in the primary and most folks who know me who are members of the two-party system have always labeled me a "liberal democrat", mostly as a short-hand way of expressing distaste for my views, meaning not so much they are 'liberal' as they are individual.
Since so many bloggers, texters and jillions of other event-recorders are at your convention, and since your candidate, Sen. Obama, is intent on including more than just delegates at his acceptance speech, I decided to make my virtual attendance and provide a speech. Thanks for thinking of me.
(Oh, and for those who think the Senator's speech in front of "Greek columns" is a grab at the power of Godhood, what? Have you people even been to Washington, D.C.? The style of our government's architecture is purely Greek temple.)
Here is my plea:
Don't blow it.
Our current Republican President and V.P. and his appointees have greatly abused the powers of their offices. Never thought I would see such abuse in my lifetime. Centralizing authority in a single political office is utterly opposite the reasons our Nation was founded. And they led by stirring fear and suspicion and woe and still, even with all that power, they are inept; so inept that 3 years ago they could not muster a response to a hurricane in the Gulf Coast and still can't; so inept they cannot conduct a military campaign to victory even after they have claimed it; so inept ... well, you get the point and I am no Great Orator.
My concern is that much of the conduct of this official and his crew were all made possible by the elected representatives in Congress. It was allowed to happen and accountability has been sorely absent. So I'm saying - Do Not Blow This Opportunity.
Our Nation has been stained with the acceptance of torture, of acting without legally obtained warrants, and all the while telling me to get some duct tape and plastic to make myself safe in my home and to take off my shoes to be safe in an airplane. The last eight (well, seven and change) years have been surreal. More so than normal.
I'm about twelve years past the median age in this country, so this ain't my first rodeo. Political conventions are as engaging to most folk as oral surgery. Now that you have had your time to gather some unified energy, it is time to hit the streets and get some face time with voters who are unsure of what to do after having the bejesus scared out of themselves. And should you be fortunate and blessed and obtain the office of the Presidency, then boy oh boy the real work starts. And it will not be easy to undo the damage. I will be watching closely and you can check what I think by visiting this page often and thank you for that.
Still, I speak today to support the Obama/Biden ticket. Your choice is highly optimistic about our Nation. I surely hope that is what you begin to spread among the masses and truly bring back into government.
As a great British writer once wrote: "God bless us, every one."
(Can you get your house band to play this as I leave the stage? Can I pretend to conduct, too? No? Ah well, play on, play on.)