Monday, February 04, 2008

Beyond an Ecology of Fear

Early Saturday morning over 14,000 stood in the 26 degree cold to watch Barack speak at Boise State's Taco Bell Arena. The line itself, stretching from the Arena clear across campus to the Education Building and a second reaching around the football stadium and over the Boise River, was inspiring for an Idaho Democrat.

The audience filled the largest Arena in Idaho, spilling over outside where a crowd listened in the subfreezing temperatures.

I was a Barack supporter before I arrived, I left a believer.

I believe this man can restore America. I believe this man can restore America's leadership in the world. I believe in this man.

Here's video of the event. If you're short on time skip to 20 minutes in.
(Note there is a silent section in the audio from 21:45 – 22:10)

Here's a couple highlights.

Civil Liberties:

All across America I meet people young and old, all of them patriots, all of them who love their country who are embarrassed about Guantanamo and embarrassed about Abu Graib and don’t understand how it is we’ve have seen our civil liberties undermined over the past few years and how it is we’re still having an argument about whether or not the United States tortures or not. These people love this country and they want their cherished values and ideals restored.

That’s what I’ve been hearing from the American people all across this country. And what I have said to them is if you are ready for change, then we can change this country. If you are ready for change we can we can go and tell the lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over. They have not funded my campaign, they will not run my Whitehouse and they will not drown out the voices of the American People when I’m President of the United States of America.

I want to have the highest standards for our children, but I don’t want those standards just measured by a single high-stakes standardized test, because I want our young people to learn art, music, and poetry and science all the things that make an education worthwhile.

And I don’t know about you, but I think it’s about time we made college affordable for all young people in America. So we’re going to provide a $4,000 tuition credit, every student, every year. But you know what, students are going to have to do something in return: work in community service, work in a veterans home, put some hours in a homeless shelter, join the Peace Corps, we will invest in young people and they will invest in America and together we will move forward.

If we cap the emission of greenhouse gases we will generate billions of dollars that we can invest in solar and wind and biodiesel, clean energy that can create jobs and economic development throughout the United States.

If we raise fuel efficiency standards to just 40 MPG we would save the equivalent of all the energy we import from the Persian Gulf. Imagine, imagine what that would do. Not just for the environment, not just the economy, but also our National Security.

And by the way, when I made that proposal, I didn’t do it to the Sierra Club, I didn’t go to Sun Valley, I did it in Detroit, in front of the automakers and I told them they had to change their ways. And I have to admit that the room was really quiet, nobody clapped. But that’s ok, because part of what you need from the next President is somebody who will not just tell you not just what they think you want to hear, but what you need to hear, will tell you the truth.

America needs his leadership. Show up tomorrow. Caucus for Obama. If you're in Ada County the Caucus is at the Qwest Arena. Doors close at 7PM. If attendance Saturday morning was any indication, you should show up early. I'll be there at 5PM.

Meet me there and I'll buy you a beer to celebrate democracy (and Mardi Gras) afterwards.


Anonymous said...

Are you blind !! Lead us a socialist America...wake up

Brent said...

Please, listen to his speech and then tell me where you disagree. Start a debate, I'm curious.

I liberal true, but I also agree with about 70% of what Ron Paul believes. But please, provide some substance.

Publicly funded education, highways, police and fire protection have worked out really well for me and America. Is this the socialism you fear?

Random Guy said...

I have been waiting for your post on this topic, I had a feeling you would be at the Arena. Either that or the winter games, but I assumed this would take rank.

Two points: 1) I like most of Ron Paul, too. I could listen to him talk about finances all day long. But (second point), I think Barack is the realistic choice for developing policies of reform that can actually make it through congress. Word.

Don't you just love the boldness of an anonymous poster? :)

Anonymous said...

One of the joys of blogs and online forums is that individuals with one-sentence ideas can publish those ideas. anonymous clearly doesn't understand that many aspects of American life are socialized (education, driver's licenses, and even the military are all examples of socialized institutions that our government controls). Under non-socialized health care, I cannot visit the doctor I want to without paying significantly more than I would otherwise, so I do not see a "socialized medicine" something that would inhibit my choices.

I am still a staunch Kucinich supporter. One of the big differences between his platform and Obama's is health care. Obama and Clinton both advocate providing all Americans with health insurance but maintaining the for-profit insurance industry. The downside to this is that insurance corporations make money by denying individuals access to care - this is done in numerous ways from simply not paying for procedures to denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. Kucinich is a co-author of HR676, a bill that would create a single-payer, not-for-profit health care system; such a system would take the profit motive out of deciding what care is appropriate for people and presumably would provide greater coverage to the American people.

Sadly Kucinich is out of the race (largely because the mainstream media worked really hard to paint him as an outsider with no chance, even denying him entry into multiple televised debates) and perhaps Obama is the best remaining choice. It is my hope that Obama will pick up on some of Kucinich's ideas - not-for-profit health care, new trade policies that protect American jobs, using diplomacy instead of war as policy, and so forth. I honestly feel that Democratic voters are so scarred from Florida in 2000 that they have been afraid to embrace a candidate that is truly progressive, and instead have opted for the media friendly individual such as Obama and Clinton (of course they would be a big step in the right direction when compared with GW Bush...).