Thursday, July 24, 2008

Die Deutschen schreien "Ja, wir können!"

The L.A. Times is reporting that 200, 000 folks showed up in Berlin for the Obama experience. It was a great speech, and if he pulls this thing out in November, it should go down as an historic one. I don't want to summarize it, for any snippier or summary would cheapen the experience. So please check out the video and/or transcripts by clicking the appropriate link.

A few observations outside the words of the actual address stand out for me, and I think they should be noted:

For starters, is there anywhere in the world that John McCain could draw that kind of crowd? The enthusiasm gap between the two is colossal. According to the latest NBC/WSJ Poll, 44 percent of Obama voters say they are excited about their candidate, but only 14 percent feel that way about McCain. Another 33% of Obama's supporters are satisfied with him as a choice, while the overwhelming majority of McCain's supporters are against Obama and not for McCain. I predict this gap will widen when people hear the words and see the images of this speech. This is what the world wants, and well, we the other 95% of our species one after these last 8 years.

Obama is the anti-Bush. He is articulate, brilliant, dynamic, charismatic, seemingly competent, and inspiring. I am flabbergasted that an American leader could enthuse a crowd half the size of the original Woodstock Festival to wave thousands American flags in the heart of a major Western European capital while George W. Bush was still in office. But that's Obama's magic-- he is the pendulum swinging the other way.

I wonder how many of those 200,000 people even understood what he was saying, and I wonder how many of those that didn't really cared. The global order, for anguish or glory, is currently being led by the U.S. in the three primary metrics that matter-- cash, might, and cultural influence. Yet we are weaker in all three of these areas and I think many in the world understand that we are all worse for it. How else can you explain so many chanting "Yes we can!" in Berlin for a man that might not ever be President of the United States of America.

Lastly, I couldn't help but think of the absurdity of wanting to build a wall on the border with Mexico while watching all those hopeful people in Berlin.


enigma4ever said...

you raised really good points....I watched some German Live Steam before the event and they were interviewing people why they there- and many spoke English and some spoke limited English....but enough that I bet they did understand him, I also noted that there was a HUGE Screen TV- I have a hunch it was translated on the screen....because they applauded while watching...

from bloggers I have met from abroad...they know we are in trouble here, they write , they watch, they hold their breath like the rest of us...

(and for the record McCain and Lidnsay Graham had lunch with some folks at the Schmidts Sausage House here in Ohio...and then they stood in the parking lot by the Fudge Haus sign...McCain was picking his teeth while he gave an interview was disturbing...)

Randal Graves said...

"Psst. John, you've got a bit of fudge there."

"Yeah, I was talking with Hagee."

Bradda said...

You sick SOB! If he's got fudge on him then he might have been hanging with Ted Haggard! Meth and sausages make a great combination.

Anonymous said...

Two simple words explain the crowd there: free beer.