Late Cat Wisdom

I intended to choose an Obama quote yesterday and post it, but it turned out to be a very long day. When I got home at about 8, I had some water, took a shower, and went to bed. I thought I’d get up again later that evening to spend a little time with my husband, but I ended up staying in bed all night until I got up for work this morning! It was great to get the rest…

Anyhow, what I wanted to say was that I am so excited and happy that Obama will be the Democratic Party’s candidate for President! I watched both Clinton and Obama’s speeches on Tuesday night, and I got chills listening to Obama. It was a good time to once again pause, consider, and celebrate the fact that he made it, that he’s the first black candidate for President for one of the two major parties in American politics.

There was a great NYTimes article, Many Black Find Joy in Unexpected Breakthrough, about how people are responding – primarily, by feeling more optimistic about race relations in America than most of us have in a long time. Within the article, Obama is quoted as saying in an NBC interview:

Probably the most powerful story I heard was today at a conference, a woman came up to me. She said her son teaches in an inner-city school in San Francisco and said that he has seen a change in behavior among the young African-American boys there in terms of how they think about their studies. And, you know, so those are the kinds of things that I think make you appreciate that it’s not about you as an individual. But it’s about our country and the progress we’ve made.

It’s very moving to me to hear about how this is affecting and motivating some of our country’s youth. I believe that a lack of similar role models (from similar backgrounds) really does on the whole affect us as we grow up and set our career goals and life plans.

I’m not sure that Hillary Clinton is my favorite candidate for VP (because I disagree with some of her politics, wishing she was more liberal, and because I am turned off by her methods of traditional politicking), but I sure do salivate at the thought of a black and a woman leading the nation from the white house next year! Just the fact that it’s a real possibility gives me more pride in America than I’ve had in years.

For my new Cat Wisdom quote, I am taking an excerpt from the closing of his nomination victory speech on Tuesday night. Many times during the speech, Husband and I cheered, clapped, hollered, and high-fived, despite the fact that we were alone in our apartment. But this part not only gave me chills when I watched him deliver the speech but gives me chills now, as I reread the text:

In our country, I have found that this cooperation happens not because we agree on everything, but because behind all the labels and false divisions and categories that define us; beyond all the petty bickering and point-scoring in Washington, Americans are a decent, generous, compassionate people, united by common challenges and common hopes. And every so often, there are moments which call on that fundamental goodness to make this country great again.

So it was for that band of patriots who declared in a Philadelphia hall the formation of a more perfect union; and for all those who gave on the fields of Gettysburg and Antietam their last full measure of devotion to save that same union.

So it was for the Greatest Generation that conquered fear itself, and liberated a continent from tyranny, and made this country home to untold opportunity and prosperity.

So it was for the workers who stood out on the picket lines; the women who shattered glass ceilings; the children who braved a Selma bridge for freedom’s cause.

So it has been for every generation that faced down the greatest challenges and the most improbable odds to leave their children a world that’s better, and kinder, and more just.

And so it must be for us.

America, this is our moment. This is our time. Our time to turn the page on the policies of the past. Our time to bring new energy and new ideas to the challenges we face. Our time to offer a new direction for the country we love.

The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations. But I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people. Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth. This was the moment – this was the time – when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves, and our highest ideals.


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