- The thing I liked best about Obama's acceptance speech at the convention was its emphasis on the progressive vision of the government: essentially, the pendulum has swung too far from "united we stand" to "divided we fall". You can find the speech on mp3 here. It's not much different than watching the video, I think, which is here. It was really decent and inspiring, a real way out of the world of the Bush Administration.
- The Bush government has faith in the impersonal fairness of systems like world markets, corporate America, the insurance industry, the No Child Left Behind accountability algorithms, realpolitik, no fly lists, data mining of your phone and internet traffic. If you somehow get ground between the gears of the systems, obviously you're doing something wrong. And the people on top deserve to be there. All is right with the world...
- Meanwhile, in the machine, us ground-up people can decide whether we want to be cooked in someone else's hamburger and served for lunch, or whether this is not in fact the way things should be.
- There is nothing shameful about leaving behind 99 sheep to save the one that's falling through the cracks. There is nothing shameful about selling your property and giving the proceeds to the poor. There is nothing shameful about providing safety from the catastrophes of our modern era, guarantees that there is a way out.
- If you're in jail, you should get a habeas corpus writ. If you're sick, you should be insured in such a way that you won't go bankrupt. If you're poor, you should get the help you need to stand on your own two feet. If you're on the no-fly list, you should be able to challenge your presence on the list. If you've profited from the machine, you should pay for those who haven't. If you're well, you should care for the sick. If you're free, you should visit those in prison.
- As Obama said:
It's not because John McCain doesn't care. It's because John McCain doesn't get it.
For over two decades, he's subscribed to that old, discredited Republican philosophy — give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else. In Washington, they call this the Ownership Society, but what it really means is that you're on your own. Out of work? Tough luck. You're on your own. No health care? The market will fix it. You're on your own. Born into poverty? Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps — even if you don't have boots. You are on your own.
Well it's time for them to own their failure. It's time for us to change America. And that's why I'm running for president of the United States.