The first time I saw him deliver a speech he moved across the stage with a grace and elegance I haven’t seen on stage since Fred Astaire. If you’re under the age of sixty you probably won’t get this reference at all, but the man was it. His career spanned sixty something years. He danced, he sang, he moved with such effortless grace. He was the most influential dancer/choreographer of the twentieth century according to George Balanchine and Rudolph Nureyev . Look him up on Wiki or rent some old Musicals and watch the man move. Forget the funny clothes. I know black and white film is a distraction, but take a look. Fred Astaire could be an ancestor of Barack Obama. Neither man is really pretty, but they both have that long-wristed, lean body that seems to always be slow dancing. And clothes hang on him so beautifully. No politician has ever had his slightly slouchy, dancers way of moving across a stage. So just the visual of him is fantastic. But I’m not talking about just the visual.
Barack Obama is an elegant man in every way we experience him—his voice is pleasing to the ear, and his use of language and phrasing makes the most mundane topic sound meaningful. But no matter how serious or important the topic, his voice and delivery are uplifting, soaring. It’s the reason Will I Am from the Black eyed Peas can make a beautiful song out of a victory speech. He is the man with a Dream for this generation. Every speech he gives is an “I had a dream” speech. His name is musical—a little percussion, a lot alliteration. It is exotic to us, so used to names like George, John, Bill—names so blunt and truncated. He does not need to use words like a cudgel to scare us like our current President—so stupid sounding. George Bush has the most tenuous grasp of his native tongue, making almost all words sound ugly. He couldn’t possibly be as stupid and boorish as he sounds, could he? But it is not just the almost eight years of being embarrassed by the speech of our leader that makes the elegance of Barack Obama’s words feel like a drink of cool, fresh water to the thirsty and tired, waiting to be uplifted and inspired, not just scared by threats from the boogieman Bush who uses words so ineptly that his very dumbness scares us.
Barack Obama has a smile that fills our hearts with hope. It light’s up his face, it lifts our spirits. We have been smirked at by a fake cowboy and his truly scary side-kick Darth Vadar glowering in the background. We haven’t pushed for impeachment for the high crimes of George Bush because we don’t want Dick Chenney as our president, not even for a few months. He really could finish the job Bush started and suspend the Constitution along with the rest of the Bill of Rights. He has his own personal private army of mercenary thugs called Blackwater.
The world is ready to see us right the ship of state, to elect someone who will not only inspire us, but make us proud of who we are. We will all be made more elegant, more eloquent if the leaders of our government set the tone, lead the way. We will again be seen around the world as a beacon of hope, where there is real Liberty and Justice for All. Not just big donors and rich friends. With a little luck and a lot of hard work, we might even get our civil rights back.
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