1/16/2006

Daily Kos: Two Speeches, One Dream: A True People's Democracy

SusanG blogs: A white former future president, - Al Gore - a son of privilege, summoning up the words and life of - ML King- a black minister who rocked this country to its roots with his dream 40 years ago, both of whom referred back more than a century to [Abe Lincoln] who took on the burden of the presidency when this nation's indivisibility and very survival were in doubt.

Two Speeches, One Dream: A True People's Democracy
by SusanG
Mon Jan 16, 2006 at 06:34:24 PM PDT

We were treated today to what I can only think of as a uniquely American experience: A white former future president, a son of privilege, summoning up the words and life of a black minister who rocked this country to its roots with his dream 40 years ago, both of whom referred back more than a century to a rural lawyer who took on the burden of the presidency when this nation's indivisibility and very survival were in doubt.

It's important to note that both men addressed the country in no official capacity - both could speak their beliefs most freely and truly from positions outside the entrenched system. Gore moved from the inside out; King began on the outside and only moved inward enough to capture the ear of mainstream America. Both, in their own times, have been vilified by critics as extremist, traitorous, "communist," crazy, dangerous, foolish, not to be taken seriously. Both continued to speak nonetheless, as the conscience of our nation.

Both stressed the immediate dangers to our democracy, with King's words urging an expansion of rights and a national commitment to tolerance, and Gore sounding the alarm that those rights - to all Americans - are at risk as never before from a "strong arm" presidency. Both painted the contemporary picture as stark and dark and true. King acknowledged the deep divide between black and white, Gore talked of the divisiveness along party and constitutional lines. But both were and are committed to an incontrovertible and optimistic belief that there is a solution to the recurring problem of power in America: this republic's people.

You. Me. We. The people. Gore and King are only voices, single individual men who found words for our despair and offered a way out. We, they reminded us, are the way out. All of us, individually and collectively, are the sleeping giant they aimed to rouse with their speeches. Yes, we citizens feel impotent as we fax, phone, blog, write letters to the editor, shoot off emails. We feel powerless as our citizens are spied on and imprisoned without due process, as people are kidnapped and tortured in our name, as children half a world away are bombed in their beds through tax dollars taken from our paychecks.

We feel, in short, like outsiders to our own system. Like King. Like Gore. Like Rosa Parks. Like Cindy Sheehan.

I'm coming to think it takes outsiders to change the world. And that we need to pay attention to these outsiders who have a gift for speech...

Go read the rest! -- law


Daily Kos: Two Speeches, One Dream: A True People's Democracy

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