Tuesday, January 20, 2009

a better tuesday: the speech

it was not, to my ears, the soaring rhetoric we're accustomed to hearing from barack obama. it was strong, and muscular. it was literary. i immediately found myself wanting to return to it, re-read it. and to co-opt a commenter i read out there somewhere, if president george w. bush had ever said anything like it, i would have fallen over dead.

president obama did not talk down to us. this was not a speech written for first graders – it was full of rich, complex, challenging ideas and thoughts. he did not paint a rosey picture. he did not act as cheerleader. and he called us to follow our better history, and to take responsibility. for ourselves, for each other, for our country, and for our world.

that, to me, was what was most different: this seemed to be a speech as much to the people of the world, as to the people of the united states. make no mistake, it was from our leader, and it was for our country. but president obama spoke – not in a condescending or threatening way, but in a sincere, hopeful, adult way...in an honest way – to people everywhere.

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