Saturday, April 12, 2008

Michelle Ma Belle's Speech at UCLA

I didn't see a transcript of this until now. Socialism on wheels. Besides being creepy. I guess I'd be one of the first sent to a reeducation camp.

"In 2008, we are still a nation that is too divided. We live in isolation, and because of that isolation we fear one another. We don't know our neighbors. We don't talk. We believe that our pain is our own. We don't realize that the struggles and challenges of all us are the same. We are too isolated. And we are still a nation that is still too cynical. We look at it as 'them' and 'they' as opposed to us. We don't engage because we are still too cynical.

"Americans are in debt not because they live frivolously, but because someone got sick. And even with insurance, the deductibles and premiums are so high that people are still putting medication treatments on credit cards. And they can't get out from under. I could go on and on and on, but this is how we're living, people, in 2008. And things have gotten progressively worse. Throughout my lifetime, through Democratic and Republican administrations, it hasn't gotten better for regular folks.

"We have lost the understanding that in a democracy we have a mutual obligation to one another. That we cannot measure our greatness in this society by the strongest and richest of us. But we have to measure our greatness by the least of these. That we have to compromise and sacrifice for one another in order to get things done. That is why I am here. Because Barack Obama is the only person in this race who understands that. That before we can work on the problems we have to fix our souls. Our souls are broken in this nation.

"If we can't see ourselves in one another we will never make those sacrifices. So I am here right now because I am married to the only person in this race who has a chance of healing this nation.

"The first major decision he had to make in his life, after college, 'do I go to Wall Street and make money or do I work for the people?' Barack worked as a community organizer in some of the toughest neighborhoods on the south side of Chicago. Helping young mothers find their voice and their power. Folks who had a reason to be cynical because government had forgotten them long ago. There is no one else in this race who can claim that kind of commitment to the people on the ground. No one.

"Barack, as Oprah said, is one of the most brilliant men you will meet in our lifetime. Barack is more than ready. He'll be ready today. He'll be ready on day one. He'll be ready in a year from now. Five years from now. He is ready. That is not the question. The question is what are we ready for? Wait, wait, wait. Because we say we're ready for change, we say we're ready for change but see change is hard. Change will always be hard. And it doesn't happen from the top down. We do not get universal health care, we do not get better schools, because somebody else in the White House. We get change because folks from the grass roots up decide they are sick and tired of other people telling them how their lives will be. When they decide to roll up their sleeves and work. And Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your division. That you come out of your isolation. That you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual; uninvolved, uninformed.

"We have young kids all over the world who are looking to this nation and they're trying to figure out who we are and what we want to become. We have a chance not just to make history, but we can change the world. We can change the world. Yes we can. Yes we can. Yes we can. Yes we can. Yes we can."

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