The reason I loved to watch The West Wing
until it went off the air last year (you know what I mean) was that, beyond from being a great drama superbly executed, it scratched my itch for thoughtful, constructive political dialogue, even though it was taking place in an alternate universe. Then Barack Obama came along last winter, and suddenly here was a guy who could talk that talk, but in a real, meaningful, this-universe way. His DNC keynote
not only brought that style to the masses, but transformed his already formidable message to Illinoisans into a transcendent, American one. The remarkable reaction his speech is still generating hints at what a yearning there was - lying dormant amidst all the Rovian, Rumsfeldian, and, yes, even Clintonian cynicism - for an honest sense of shared hope not puffed up with empty rhetoric.
columnist William Raspberry outlines
nicely why Obama is causing such a stir:
The political marketers have become so adept at finding America's fault lines that they have almost convinced us that we are mindless elements of a jigsaw puzzle, incapable of complex beliefs. If we take religion seriously, then we must be undereducated bumpkins with no appreciation of the Constitution or science. If we believe the government has a duty to protect the weakest among us, then we must be silly tax-and-spend liberals.
Obama was saying: It's not that simple.
And my conservative Republican friend Ed Chinn was saying from Fort Worth: "My gosh! I so resonate to that. I hope his comments catch on like a prairie fire through the land.