Thursday, July 24, 2008

History in the Making

Posted by Teresa at 3:40 PM

I watched Sen. Obama's speech in Berlin live and reread the speech. It was a good
speech, no doubt. There were points that I disagreed with but the overall theme was
something most people can get behind. However, the more I see Obama campaign,
the more I get the sense he's trying to stage history. Everything major speech he
gives evokes historical figures. It's like he wants to capture history. In fact, in his
victory speech in Iowa he clearly stated how how historic it was when he said, "But
on this January night - at this defining moment in history - you have done what
the cynics said we couldn't do."

Today he spoke about 'walls' just like Ronald Reagan did in 1987:

Obama even had a line that was very reminiscent of Reagan:

The walls between the countries with the most and those with the
least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes; natives and
immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now
are the walls we must tear down.

Obama has even praised Reagan, which a rare thing for a Democrat to do.

There's another U.S. President that has given a major speech in Berlin; John
F. Kennedy. It also just so happens that Obama is also constantly compared to
JFK. In fact, a Time has an article titled the "Berlin Awaits 'New JFK'". His wife,
Michelle, has been compared to Jacqueline Kennedy. Obama even chose Caroline
Kennedy to be head his search committee for Vice-President. The media pundits
have on various occasion likened Barack Obama to John F. Kennedy.

Allahpundit noted that Sen. Obama was making an allusion to Abraham Lincoln when
he said, "Now the world will watch and remember what we do here — what we do with
this moment,” in his speech today. I've noticed that Obama talks a lot of 'healing' and
how 'divided' we are in a lot in his speeches. Healing divisions were major themes in
Lincoln's most popular speeches, obviously because of the Civil War. For example, take
Lincoln's First Inaugural Address or the Proclamation of Thanksgiving.

I point this out because in every speech of his it seems like he is trying to reference,
sometimes overtly and sometimes subtlety, another historical figure in American
history. It's almost like he wants every one of his events to be 'historical' and have
some historical context. He tries to get the biggest crowds for maximum impact. In
fact, his acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention is going to be at a stadium.
This type of referencing probably is most effective with the younger voters. We want
to feel like we're making history and accomplishing something.

However, people don't realize they're in the mist of some historical event until they've
lived through it. I don't think you can force history. Just let history happen, Sen.
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