Thursday, August 28, 2008

Barack Obama's Acceptance Speech: A Rousing Success

Barack Obama made history today, in Denver, by being the first black American to make an acceptance speech after being nominated a major party's presidential candidate.

Barack Obama's acceptance speech comes on the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s, "I Have a Dream" speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

I've seen Martin Luther King's speech, and I've heard Barack Obama's acceptance speech. Both men are accomplished orators.

Judging from the cheers, boos, and occasional chant, I don't think there's any doubt that Barack Obama's acceptance speech was an effective speech. He assured the Democrats in attendance that McCain wouldn't be a good president, and that he, Barack Obama, would be. He stated that he was ready to win the election, and closed his speech with "America, we cannot turn back. We cannot walk alone. At this moment, in this election, we must pledge once more to march into the future."

Then "The crowd gave Obama a roaring welcome and met lines of his speech with chants of his catchphrase, 'Yes, we can.'..."

All in all, Barack Obama's acceptance speech was an effective, rousing, political speech: quite appropriate for the occasion, and one which obviously had an impact on his fellow-Democrats.

However, I don't think that Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech is in danger of being eclipsed by Barack Obama's oratory tonight.

This is no reflection on Barack Obama, or his speech. He was addressing his fellow-Democrats. Being a good politician, he praised his party and his positions, and cast doubt on those of his opponent.

Martin Luther King, Jr., was also at a political event of sorts when he delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. But he was engaged in the March on Washington. He wasn't trying to win an election: he was trying to change minds. And succeeded. I recommend reading the transcript and seeing the video of King's "I Have a Dream" speech at "Martin Luther King Speeches / I Have a Dream - Address at March on Washington (MLK Online).

In the news: I didn't get either of those CNN videos to load tonight: my guess is that the CNN servers are working near their limits. You may have more success.

And, you can try YouTube. Be sure you get the real Obama acceptance speech, not the one done by Eddie Murphy. These seem to be actual videos taken from coverage of Barack Obama's acceptance speech:
Why write this post? I wanted to mark a historic occasion, and give my reaction to a speech made by one of this year's more accomplished orators.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.