Absorbed as I am in my own mercilessly hectic life, I have sort of taken a pass on Election 2008. Too, the experience of Election 2004 left me cynical and jaded. I’ve suffered from a profound disappointment with the American people, and a conviction that not only is our country not headed toward anything resembling progress or greatness, it is in full retreat away from those things.

Still, it has been physically impossible for me to stay entirely ignorant of the over-reported details of the campaign. One would have to be confined incommunicado in a lead-lined room to avoid being poisoned by the latest media-hyped campaign news. I heard about the Geraldine Ferraro flap (and cringed during Keith Olbermann’s five-minute overwrought lambasting of the Clinton campaign over the Ferraro remarks on “Countdown.”) And I heard about the latest conflagration over remarks made by the pastor of Barack Obama’s church. (I can hear the wheels grinding in Karl Rove’s evil, twisted mind…”Okay, maybe we can’t believably make Obama a Muslim…but, oh look! We can make him a racist!!!)

So I have been hanging on the sidelines, waiting for the dust to settle in the Democratic campaign. Staying out of the line of fire and lining up to vote for whoever came out on top. I had no preference, as long as it was a Democrat. They seemed equally capable to me.

And hoping against hope that the candidates didn’t do so much damage to each other in their protracted battle for the nomination that they torpedoed the party’s chances to win in November.

News of Obama’s inspired “More Perfect Union” speech—they’ve already given it a name to go down in the annals of American History—just made me more tired. How different could it be from the “you attack, I defend (or back-pedal)” see-saw game that went on in 2004? The issues might be slightly different, the principals are mostly different. But 2008 has promised to continue the onslaught of inflammatory sound-bytes, trumped-up charges of dishonesty, immorality, inexperience, weakness and “flip-flopping;” pelting the American people so fast and so furiously that even those who want to will not be able to withstand the barrage to get to the real issues. And I just DON’T want to play this time around.

But then…I was visiting a friend’s blog, and there was a link to a transcript of the speech.

And I clicked. And I read.


Now YOU click. And YOU read.

And then come back here and tell me whether these words are not the exact polar opposite of everything this country has been about these last eight years.

And whether this is not exactly the direction in which we need to turn, at exactly this time in our history.