They say you shouldn't talk about politics or religion in mixed company, because you never know who you might offend. But find forty minutes in your day and listen to this. And if you don't have forty minutes, then take the time to read this.
I know that for many this will sound like more rhetoric from a masterful rhetorician. But as someone who frequently finds himself on the side of the other side of the political fence of his church leaders and fellow church goers, the words used here resonate with me. And as someone who makes his living studying and reading and analyzing words, I believe that words have power, and that these words are powerful. Change begins by talking about it, and even when the game of politics would suggest that a discussion of race is too risky and alienates too many and highlights a key stress-point in American society, Obama suggests a new vision for race relations in this country: one in which past sins are acknowledged and the fingers they still use to reach into contemporary life are cataloged and imprinted so that they might be cut off.
This is the America I want to live in. This is the man whom I believe can make it happen. I want a leader who believes that he can change the world, and that so can I and so can you. I want a leader who understands the past but looks to the future. I want a leader who is a visionary man. I want a leader who acknowledges the worst in us but reaches for the best. This speech moves me. Not only can I not imagine either of the other candidates still standing making a speech as important and meaningful as this, I can't imagine any other candidate from my brief history as a voter making a speech like this.
And that is change I can believe in.