Welcome to my asylum for ideas and thoughts on movies, politics, culture, and all things Bruce Springsteen.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Land of Hope and Dreams

Watching the Democratic National Convention tonight, I must say that I was impressed with the rhetoric given by some of the most prominent and rising members of the party.  Howard Dean, the loose cannon former Vermont governor, Teresa Heinz Kerry, and Teddy Kennedy all rose to the dais to deliver impassioned platform speeches rallying the already faithful to turn out and support Kerry.  Most impressive in my book were two men new to the scene: Ron Reagan and Barack Obama.  The former stumped in favor of stem cell research and the great possibilities of this new medical field.  As we are all familiar, after being deluged by the coverage of a month and a half ago of Ronald Reagan's death, we understand how much stem cell research can aid in the possible cure for neural diseases such as Parkinson's and even Alzheimer's.  His son went on to say that the theology of a few should not be allowed to hijack the needs of the nation.  Speaking out against the fundamentalist religious right's opposition to stem cell research in playing a role in abortions and "playing God," Reagan helped push this issue to the forefront of medical politics.  If the Religious Right is concerned with doctors and medicine playing God, then we should end all internal surgeries such as organ transplants, skin grafts, appendectomies, and heck, even arthroscopic procedures.  As soon as this group attempts to take on the AMA and protest the use of any surgery regardless of its necessity in saving human life because they, too, play God, then I'll wave its flag.  No more cold medicine, vaccinations, and Eric in Philadelphia, stop brushing your teeth!  God-players, all of you be damned!!!
The shining light of the evening was the Democratic contender for the Senate seat of Illinois, Barack Obama.  He spoke of an America without "blue" and "red" labels that was united in the quest for decent basic good and the improvement for future generations.  Ringing of Martin Luther King's "injustice anywhere is a threat to injustice everywhere" speech, Obama's speech brought home the importance of Americans' faith, patriotism, support for justice, defense, and other flag-waving characteristics that are included in all good campaign speeches.  What most convinced and inspired me was his hammering home of the necessity in this country to return to "democracy"; little-d, grass-roots, power-to-the-people democratic processes.  In quoting Jefferson's radical Declaration of Independence that "all men are created equal", and possessing of "certain inalienable rights", this rising star of the Democratic Party harkened back a time in this nation's mood when politicians inspired, encouraged, and pressed for the citizens of this country to remember that the nation's fate lay in their hands. Even a cynic like myself was touched tonight.  I'm not even a Democrat.  However, and most importantly, I'm a democrat, and this is why I believe that the actions and rhetoric of political groups including the major parties are important to participate in.  I believe that I'm cynical about politics and politicians because deep down inside I believe that people can truly do what is right and bring about a better world than what currently exists.  I guess you can lump me into that category of nut-case believers of utopia like MLK, Gandhi, Marx, Jefferson, More, and that crazy Jew from Nazareth.  No apologies to anyone.
Look out-tomorrow night is Edwards and Thursday is Kerry; any bets as to the Springsteen theme music that will be playing for both guys?  They claim that The Boss' stuff is tops.  If it's "Glory Days" then we should just pack it in and give the keys back to Bush/Cheney. 

On a completely unrelated note, my wife came back from the doctor's today.  She needed to be tested for gestational diabetes.  See, she's seven and a half months with child, and she's been sick for most of her pregancy.  Morning-, noon-, and night-sickness has plagued my precious wife, making this a relatively difficult pregnancy.  I can only hope and pray that she and our little baby are okay.  I'm not panicking, though I must admit that I'm concerned and sad that she is not one hundred percent.  Those of you who are blessed to know her can attest to the fact that she is my rock.  She's been a trooper and doesn't complain at all, soldiering on and feeling that this is just par for the course.  Think good thoughts for her.  Thanks.