Wednesday, November 05, 2008

One more chance to change America

I am sure that most of you have absorbed Obama's speech from last night, if not its full implication. I want to talk about just this excerpt copied from here.

I believe that these words from our president elect tell us exactly what we must now do and, like Boone Pickens on energy, I have a plan. Click Read more! for the future of our party.

Obama said:

This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that's on my mind tonight's about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She's a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing: Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn't vote for two reasons -- because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.And tonight, I think about all that she's seen throughout her century in America -- the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can't, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

At a time when women's voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs, a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that "We Shall Overcome." Yes we can.

A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination.

And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change.

Yes we can."

Today, I posted the following at Green Change, but since most of you don't read that, I will repeat it here.

I know that most progressives loathe Dr. Frank Luntz. He was, after all, the architect of the message that was behind Newt Gingrich and the Contract with America. Most do no know that he was also the man who wrote Harold Ford Jr.’s stirring keynote speech at the 2000 Democratic Convention, crafting a message that was far different from the one written by Gore’s staff. There are several points that Luntz makes about political discourse in America that we had better pay attention to… and I will just mention 3.

Candidates need to be genuine. Luntz feels that Kerry lost the election in 2004 the moment he stepped on the stage, saluted and said “John Kerry reporting for Duty.” That almost universally generated negative reactions and forever marked Kerry as being not real.

Candidates need to have a narrative to what they are doing. We understand stories. This is the opposite of being policy wonkish, which I tend to be.

Candidates must use that narrative to express their aspirations for their community, their state, their country depending on what level of office they aspire to. Obama did this very well, maybe never as well as he did last night with story of the older woman, the daughter of slaves, who had seen so much, done so much. And then using that narrative to point to where our future might be.

If we can not find the candidates who can do that, then we will never have success.

Now here is a simple biographical narrative. Malik Rahim bringing NOLA together on Common Ground. Malik Rahim, keeping the lights on, the clinic open when government could not. Malik Rahim rebuilding New Orleans’s 9th Ward after the Destruction of Katrina. And we need Malik Rahim to help rebuild this country after the destruction of Bush / Cheney.

If we are going to stop the hemorrhaging we need to turn total attention to getting Rahim elected,, as Obama would say “in this year, in this election, at this time, Change can come to the Green Party.”

The election in Louisiana’s 2nd District is December 6… we have one month to change this party, to change this country. What will you do to help?


Alex Walker said...

I, too, have been following the New Orleans story. Tuesday was the runoff election between two Democrats and the incumbent Congressman William "Dollar Bill" Jefferson won the Democratic nomination. He is the notorious crook who get bribery money in his freezer. He also bullied the National Guard into giving him special treatment during Hurricane Katrina. Jefferson has the worst voting record of the Congressional Black caucus.

See below a link to a story in the New Orleans Times Picayune:

Louisiana faces loss of clout in House

The December 6th election will be a major test of whether or not it really is a "new era" in American politics.

Unknown said...

Hi Alex and Wes,

Green Change has rolled out a page that allows people all over the country to plug in and help Malik Rahim's campaign however they can. The site is here:

Could you write an update to let your readers know that they can get involved?