Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Connecting the Democratic Dots

The convention tonight spanned half a century from the possible Last Hurrah from a generation of privileged Kennedys who devoted themselves to the public good to the First Act of a new family with roots in poverty and prejudice aspiring to the same goal.

In their speeches, Ted Kennedy and Michelle Obama embodied common values that bridge differences of race, wealth and social advantages.

"We are told," Kennedy said, "that Barack Obama believes too much in an America of high principle and bold endeavor, but when John Kennedy called for going to the moon, he didn't say it's too far to get there. We shouldn't even try.

"Our people answered his call and rose to the challenge, and today an American flag still marks the surface of the moon...This is what we do. We reach the moon. We scale the heights. I know it. I've seen it. I've lived it. And we can do it again."

Michelle Obama talked about her children's future: "I think about how one day, they'll have families of their own. And one day, they--and your sons and daughters--will tell their own children about what we did together in this election.

"They'll tell them how this time, we listened to our hopes, instead of our fears. How this time, how this time, we decided to stop doubting and to start dreaming. How this time, in this great country--where a girl from the South Side of Chicago can go to college and law school, and the son of a single mother from Hawaii can go all the way to the White House--that we committed ourselves, we committed ourselves to building the world as it should be."

The Kennedys and the Obamas started out from different places in life, but this election has brought them together and, if tonight's speeches are any indication, they will connect with Americans of all backgrounds who want something better than what we have had so far in the 21st century.

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