So I’m lying on my bed, wondering how much longer I have to watch before I can turn off the TV. I saw Romney give his concession speech, which was one of his best efforts ever, despite appearing to be a robot, and I was just waiting to hear what our President, past and future, had to say.
It’s long after midnight on the east coast. Even a brand new day in Chicago. He won, but it’s not quite the celebration of four years before, we no longer have that kind of hope. And then he hits the stage and there’s this song playing in the background, picked up by the room mic, not bled into the main mix like a professional TV program, connecting with the synapses in my brain, stimulating me.
We’re gonna continue to have abortion. Gays are gonna have rights. The Supreme Court won’t turn so far right that we have revolution. But this is all latent, in the back of my mind, until I hear those notes I know so well, embedded in my DNA, truly bringing together the meaning of this historic event, the reelection of an African-American President who truly embodies the fact we live in a melting pot society, no matter what Karl Rove and Donald Trump have to say.
Yes, in a week where Chris Christie could compliment the President and finally embrace his hero Bruce Springsteen, once again it’s illustrated we’re all in this together, and nothing evidences this more than our music.
Yes, this blind African-American with this indelible number is the best our country has to offer. In a nation where hip-hop is embraced by whites and Jay-Z playing Barclays gets more ink than Barbra Streisand playing the same joint days thereafter, we’ve got to admit that this is not our parents’ country anymore, IT’S OURS!
I’ve done a lot of foolish things
That I really didn’t mean, didn’t I?
We all smoked dope, we had unprotected sex, we promised things that did not come true, it’s part of growing up. Gotcha only seems to matter in politics, in real life we’re all floating down the rushing river, trying to get along.
Obama could not single-handedly give everybody a job and make everybody rich, but he did do the impossible, pass health care legislation and institute a stimulus bill whose only flaw was it was not big enough. He did the best he could. And I wish he were even more left, less conciliatory, that he would stop pandering to Republican talking points like the deficit and just LEAD!
That’s what we want our politicians to do.
But that seems to be passe.
The days of Kennedy. The days of the Beatles. Athletes are not role models, just ask Lance Armstrong, but artists certainly are, when they decide to do what’s right as opposed to what’s expedient, when they throw out the focus groups and speak from the heart.
Oo-ee baby, you set my soul on fire
That’s why I know you’re my heart’s only desire
I’d be lying if I said I felt this way about Obama. I didn’t even think that his acceptance speech was that great. But when I heard “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” playing on my TV, I loved my country just as much as those right wing wingnuts, I was proud to be an American.
That’s right. Just like we rejected Perry Como and embraced the Beatles, Obama’s rejecting the Confederate flag that Lynyrd Skynyrd was afraid to abandon and clinging to the hope, the bringing together of the tribes of black and white, that’s embedded in the exquisite Stevie Wonder ditty, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours.”
That’s what he was. This was a better choice of music placement than any movie this decade, any TV show, it was not driven by money, but what was exactly right.
We are together.
Nobody likes government waste.
Nobody likes killing fetuses.
Everybody wants the freedom to live their life how they choose, as long as they don’t infringe upon the rights of another.
Everybody wants to be safe.
Everybody wants to crank up the music, throw their hands around their loved ones and exclaim…
SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED I’M YOURS!