Saturday, February 23, 2019

Obama's Inspiration (Hope In Spires)

by Reza B (writer), West Hollywood, February 04, 2008


I was born in the apathy of the 1970s, grew up in the decadence of the 1980s, came to maturity (semi) in the millennial inertia of the 1990s, and devolved, in the first years of the “New Millennium,” into a cynic—a witness to liberty’s silent nightmare.

I watched helpless as my country was attacked—the anger burned. I mourned the loss of life—the pain left an indelible mark. I welcomed the spirit of friendship and fraternity that erupted from that tragedy—hope dared to break the surface. For people around the world, America was, for all its faults, either consciously or unconsciously, more than just a country, it was a symbol. It symbolized freedom, innovation, opportunity, justice, kindness, charity, honor, honesty, and more than anything, hope. Hope in what is and hope in what might be.

For whatever our reasons, we surrendered ourselves to the will of a vocal minority. We took all that made us great and put it in a box—a big ass metal, take off your shoes, leave your deodorant, abandon hope ,and embrace terror box—and, in doing so, ignored the warnings of our founding fathers: “Any society that would give up liberty to gain security will deserve neither and lose both.” (Benjamin Franklin).

We debated the definition of “Torture,” and reminisced for the days when we debated the definition of “Is.” A people that once condemned the kinky (and incidentally, in this authors opinion, imaginative and hot) use of cigars, condoned the practices of “Water-Boarding” and “Renditioning.” The country was sliced up into “Blues” and “Reds,” “Democrats” and “Republicans,” “Liberals” and “Conservatives,” and the “Powerful” and the “Powerless”—all the while, Liberty laments…

I’ve only read of men like Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Kennedy, and while none of them were perfect, or as altruistic as I was taught (read Zinn), they all accomplished one critical task at critical points in this nation’s history—they inspired.

Thomas Jefferson once said that “the ‘Tree of Liberty’ must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” While this may be true, it would be folly to assume that the “Tree of Liberty” can survive without the breath of inspiration and the light of freedom. We have spilt the blood but cut off the air and blocked out the light—shortsightedness and reckless aggression have seen to that.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines the word “Inspire” as “to stimulate to action; motivate; to affect or touch,” but it also cites a more archaic use of the word which means “to breathe life into.” While the former definition certainly applies, the next leader of this nation must be more than just great; they must be inspirational, in that they must breathe new life into our democracy.

In scanning the field of remaining candidates, I am happy to see that people are finally beginning to take notice of Barack Obama. The man’s charisma is undeniable, but even more importantly his ability to bring inspiration and hope to the desolate doorstep of a cynic is nothing short of a miracle. For the first time in my life I believe that I may be witnessing the ascendance of a truly great hero—one that can bring change and foster harmony, not just for the United States, but for the world as a whole.

We consider ourselves citizens of the greatest nation the world has ever seen. This declaration cannot stand on the volume of our collective voices; rather it requires the honesty of our collective actions. A nation that fights terror cannot impose it. A nation that espouses freedom cannot stifle it. A nation that sustains itself on the blood of patriots, the inspiration of leaders, and light of freedom cannot demand respect, it should, and it must, earn it.

About the Writer

Reza B is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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5 comments on Obama's Inspiration (Hope In Spires)

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By Lady D on February 04, 2008 at 09:37 pm

Excellent article, who ever gets in is going to need to rally this country out of its fear mentality. We haven't had an inspirational president since President Kennedy, and we all know how that ended. As a matter of fact anyone who is the least bit inspirational (Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy) ends up with a bullit.

I am still thinking.

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By Steven Lane on February 05, 2008 at 12:32 am

Very nice too see you back, Mr B.

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By Brain on February 05, 2008 at 10:06 am

Good article, but I have some issues with a few things:

"I am happy to see that people are finally beginning to take notice of Barack Obama."

Finally?  People have been talking about Obama since before he was even running. 

And since when has "charisma" become a tool to gauge a candidates effectiveness?  There are plenty of leaders who were bursting with charisma, of course a few of them were responsible for mass genocide, but dammit, they did it with a smile and they got people to rally behind them.  Is that what counts?

Kucinich was way more inspiring than Barack.  The man oozed idealism.  There was more hope in a handful of young Kucinich supporters than there was in Obama's entire book about hope. El-G I'll have to say you're wrong.  If Obama was white, he'd be John Edwards.   Kucinich will come back eventually .  It'll be in a few years when everyone is completely pissed off about the way things turned out with whomever was elected.   He'll pop on the TV like the little gremlin he is and say, "I told you so.  Go fuck yourself America".  Then he'll flip us off and move to France with his super hot wife.

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By Brain on February 06, 2008 at 11:37 am

That's Mr. Brain, but that makes me sound like some sort of James Bond villain, so just stick to Brain. 

And no its not like going from a paper route to being president.  He was in the senate for two years, and granted while he may have done good things in those two years, its the equivalent of taking guitar lessons for two weeks and deciding that you're going to be a rock star.   One can't help but question his experience and his ability to bring about the "change" he so desperately promises.   The problem is that the media is playing up his "Change" theme (which isn't really different from any other politiccal campaign slogans in U.S. history) to the point where they don't even bother questioning these things. 

And celebrity endorsements do have a tendancy to trivialize a candidates credit as well (in my brain at least).  I have no problem with them doing it mind you, but it would bother me less if instead of asking what Barack's favorite feel-good movie is, Oprah would ask about the benefits and drawbacks of using the "Merit Pay" system in education, which he supports, I'm sure there are tons of teachers who watch her should and would love to know.   Or rather than just saying "I support Obama becuase its time for a change" George Clooney would say "I support Brack Obama because he has good ideas for energy and the economy, and is working on ending the war."  If these folks in the media want to take the responsibility of informing the masses, thats great, but don't waste time taking pictures with the candidate and spewing nauseatingly cliched slogans to the public, feed them real facts, data, and proof as to why the person you're endorsing is worth their vote.

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By V on February 07, 2008 at 01:16 pm

Great read Reza, great! I wish I could vote and totally agree ... he's not worse in his deficiencies than any other candidate, but he's the only one currently in politics embodying the properties of a charasmatic leader (that IS important) and so passionately inspiring hope.

"A nation that fights terror cannot impose it. A nation that espouses freedom cannot stifle it. A nation that sustains itself on the blood of patriots, the inspiration of leaders, and light of freedom cannot demand respect, it should, and it must, earn it." TOTALLY!!!!

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