I haven’t been watching the Democratic Convention, because I don’t really watch TV. But a partial transcript of Barack Obama’s speech sent me to the Web for a video of the whole thing. Three-quarters of the way through, I’m wiping tears from my eyes, feeling profound gratitude, and recognizing a basic yearning for really impressive leadership. All kinds of burdens are going to be piled on Obama, because he’ll be the only African-American in the U.S. Senate, he’s young enough to be a presidential contender, and he enters the national stage with incredible reviews. It won’t be possible for him to meet these expectations–but I don’t care about unfair pressure. Although I’ll defend the American political system, today’s politicians just cannot satisfy a fundamental need for inspiring, unifying leadership. Obama can do that; he has the talent, the instincts, the intellect, and the personal integrity for it. So he owes it to his country to spend the rest of his life trying to meet our expectations.
There are people who say that “nothing happens” at a convention, that it’s all just an “infomercial” that needn’t be covered. But a convention is an opportunity for political leaders to speak without filters to the American people. Doesn’t “something happen” when a new national leader emerges?