Did you catch President Obama’s Nobel acceptance speech? If I didn’t know better, I would’ve thought he was competing in a Best Orwellian Satire contest. After his Afghanistan announcement, I’d been hoping he’d have the decency to turn down the prize, or that the Nobel committee would take it back. But no…as he went on about just wars and soldiers standing strong to keep the peace, I had this sudden flash: when he decided to send more troops into Afghanistan, he might have had a brief twinge of conscience about the prize, but dismissed it with the comforting thought, I’ll just talk my way out of it. This is a man accustomed to talking his way out of trouble.
I used to listen with open ears to Barack Obama, soaking up his poetic rhetoric, hanging on to words of wisdom here and there. During this speech, I realized that I can no longer turn to this man for wisdom or guidance. It was a sad moment.
When Obama first came on the scene I was extremely wary. It took a long time to convince me that he meant what he said, that his gorgeous speeches had substance behind them. I eventually began to trust, but as a die-hard feminist I wanted a woman President, and I backed Hillary until she lost the nomination. As the election drew near, I got swept up in the wave of hope, and even went down to Democratic HQ a few days before the election to work the phones. I live in Oakland, and that hopeful wave was high enough to carry me a long, long way.
Now it’s crashed. What was it Jesse used to holler? Keep Hope Alive! Even more than young lives are going to be lost in the cruel craggy landscape of Afghanistan.