Editor’s Note: “Our woman at the DNC,” Jessica Coates, is sending real-time observations and tweets (@jessicalcoates) to the Carrboro Commons and Durham VOICE. Coates is a rising senior at South Mecklenburg High School and a future journalism major at UNC-CH.
By Jessica Coates
The Durham VOICE and Carrboro Commons
Surprisingly, I wasn’t crying and shaking with joy during President Obama’s speech tonight.
I had been doing so for most of the night, during speeches by speakers like a young man with two lesbian mothers and Sen John Kerry. But five or so minutes into Obama’s speech, I realized that I wasn’t experiencing that overwhelming emotion. Then, as the president became more comfortable and confident on stage, his slightly hollow sound bytes turned into political gold.
He began elaborating on his economic deficit plan, emphasizing how and why he would move tax cuts to the wealthy rather than the middle class. He focused on the upcoming end of the Iraq war, and saying that we need to do “some nation building” rather than continue to fund unnecessary military expenditures. Most importantly, in my opinion, he highlighted the fact that the recovery of our nation is partially in our hands.
He continuously asserted that America’s power comes from “citizenship,” and is founded upon everyday people taking responsibility for reforming the problems that they see in the nation.
“If you turn away from the citizenship, then change will not happen,” he stated to uproarious applause.
Yes, they loved it. People want to take responsibility for the nation, and Obama seemed eager to give them the chance.
He also addressed his critics, as he said “I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished, but I’m much more aware of my failings.”
However, he continued on to say that this awareness of shortcomings isn’t going to slow him down. He affirmed that he still has hope for America, and that he knows America’s future will only grow brighter.
Now, you can take those as worthless promises if you so desire. But personally, listening to the man who will always be my president regardless of November’s outcome, I can’t help but envision the bright, hopeful future that Obama has mapped out.
And I have never been more excited to be an American.