March 1, 2008
The new Will.i.am video in support of the Obama campaign is out. I like it. I like it better than the first one, which was interesting, but not something I would listen to more than once. This one on the other hand is funky, inspiring and eminently listenable. I've played it over and over today. I'm playing it now as I write this post.
Its moving and I suspect that when Michelle and Barack watch it in private, they may be thinking to themselves, "You know, I think this is getting out of hand". The crowd chanting Obama in the background, the posters of him raising the spectre of the cult of personality, the emotion provoking music, the singers moaning Obama's name. I watch it, and I hear him at the end speaking that line and I want to believe. Now, I'm a thoroughly grown man with a family and obligations and I know that hype and speeches and momentum are not going to solve the problems of the world or the U.S. and on the real real, its not going to feed my family or pay nary a one of my bills.
But I watch this video and I think to myself, in 40+ years of life, I've never felt this much excitement. I never gave to a campaign before, I never felt that supporting a candidate made me a participant in history before. Is this what the people who experienced JFK felt? Is this what they have been talking about all these years? And how sad is it that we never felt this way before?
We are the ones we've been waiting for. Are we....are we really? Because you watch this video and it raises your expectations of Obama if you let it. It makes you want to believe that he is going to take us higher. But his words...we are the ones we've been waiting for... thats more than just a great line, its a challenge, its a call to action. Its an appeal to everyone who hears it to get off our buts and do something, to get busy making a contribution to our communities, our country, our world. Its an implicit reminder that we are responsible, we are accountable. Those words are telling us that we can't sit around waiting for the world to change as the song goes, but that we have to be the change. Its a message that win or lose, in the end, its not about Obama, its about us and what we're gonna do. Together. We are the ones we've been waiting for......
Are We Really The Ones We Have Been Waiting For?