Well, tonight is the big night, President Obama will accept the Democratic nomination for President!


Of course, everyone, be they Democrat or Republican, will be listening to what our President has to say because he can definitely turn a phrase.


But more than simply “turning a phrase,” the President has the power of inspiration.


Unlike his opponent and many leaders on the republican side, President Obama inspires people. Now, I know actions ultimately speak louder than words and we should and will hold both candidates and parties accountable on Election Day, but there’s something to be said about how you move and connect with people in trying times.


It’s not a democratic or republican trait. Ronald Reagan, regardless of how you felt about him, was gifted in the inspiration category… Few of us will ever forget the former president’s poignant address to the nation on the day of the tragic explosion of the space shuttle Challenger in 1986.


So how our leaders make us feel is important  they can set a tone of inclusion, optimism and a shared vision for their followers and conventions, or one of exclusion and intolerance.


And, to be blunt, few of us in the black community felt inspired that the most memorable words coming out of the Republican National Convention last week were delivered by two peanut-throwing racists who said, “This is how we feed the animals.”


And then there was Clint Eastwood, who said…Ok, I actually still have no idea what he said.


But you get the point,  it certainly was not inspiring.


That said, a candidate has to deliver more than an inspiring speech, we shouldn’t vote for anyone because of physical features or how well they can speak.


But, words are important, especially in combination with effective action. Words can lift us up, encourage us, motivate us, console us, guide us, touch us and unite us… They can also scare us, tear us down, hurt us, limit us, and divide us (or in the case of Clint Eastwood, completely confuse us.)


Words can paint a beautiful picture, a shared vision inspiring us to build or reach it – together.


As a young candidate for senator, Barack Obama painted such a picture with his first national address at the Democratic Convention in 2004.


He added more color to the canvas with his A More Perfect Union speech on race as a presidential candidate in 2008.


This picture took on historic proportions with his acceptance speeches as the Democratic nominee and then as the winner of the Oval Office.


I am hopeful that he will paint that kind of inspiring picture for us once again tonight.


I’ll close with these words from Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.”


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3 thoughts on “The Inspiration Gap

  1. africanwarrior on said:

    This election is about all of us not Obama.
    We need re elect President Obama for US all thinking Americans. This election is about ensuring that America regain it’s position among educated countries. Right now we have fallen to #32 in Math and Sciences our Greatest Ally and friend up North Canada is #1 why? Canada is hiring more Math and Science Teachers , reduce dramatically tuition fees in some of the best universities in the world .
    Like President Bill Clinton stated , over 4million high paying jobs requiring mahh and science are unfilled in America .
    Vote for You vote for Obama , make sure you drag all your friends to the voting booth

  2. DUKODY1 on said:

    Mrs. Sister, let me tell you something, it has passed the point of setting a tone of inclusion and sharing a BLIND VISION. You must have a job and is not one of the use to be middle class Black Americans that is now on food stamps and unemployed. Wake Up and get out of this Obama trance. Tonight is the big night for more Hype, Lies, and false Promises. This POTUS can’t deliver what He don’t have. That’s the problem with most Black folks, they look for inspiring words instead of challenging the story teller. Obama fooled many Americans of all colors and races. it was a difficult 8 long years with arrogant George W Bush. But that was then and this is now. If Americans will tune-in and listen tonight to Obama’s speech, it won’t be for inspiration, it will be to hear from this this Lying, Hyprocritical, Blame everyone else, POTUS , the answer to where is the Change, Hope, Civility, Changing the way DC does business. That’s what Obama owes every single voter that supported him in 2008. He cannot fulfill his commitments. All Obama will talk about is the Repubs. He has nothing else to add, he has nothing else for Americans to believe he can get it done in the next 4 years. Who will be looking for Obama to paint another picture of Devastation. Our leaders are not elected to make us feel good by inspiring words that they even don’t believe in, but it is their obligation and duty to Get It Done. We will see what Obama and Old Say Anything Joe will have tonight. But one thing you won’t hear is CHANGE. HOPE. Those are ghost words from the past. The problem with this former Slumlord Community Oganizer is the future is more scary than the past. We will see tonight. Remember Black folks speeches don’t Get It Done. We’ve heard it All before.

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