...I stand before you as someone who is not opposed to war in all circumstances.
The Civil War was one of the bloodiest in history, and yet it was only through the crucible of the sword, the sacrifice of multitudes, that we could begin to perfect this union, and drive the scourge of slavery from our soil. I don’t oppose all wars.
My grandfather signed up for a war the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, fought in Patton’s army. He saw the dead and dying across the fields of Europe; he heard the stories of fellow troops who first entered Auschwitz and Treblinka. He fought in the name of a larger freedom, part of that arsenal of democracy that triumphed over evil, and he did not fight in vain.
I don’t oppose all wars.
After September 11th, after witnessing the carnage and destruction, the dust and the tears, I supported this Administration’s pledge to hunt down and root out those who would slaughter innocents in the name of intolerance, and I would willingly take up arms myself to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.
I don’t oppose all wars. And I know that in this crowd today, there is no shortage of patriots, or of patriotism. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other arm-chair, weekend warriors in this Administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.
What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income — to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression.
That’s what I’m opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics.
2. He is not a muslin; no, he is an actual human being rather than a piece of fabric traditionally used for quilting. (Also, he is not a Muslim, but rather a Christian; however, personally I don't give a rat's ass what his religion is.)
3. While the conventional wisdom said Hillary Clinton was a shoe-in, Obama quietly and carefully set up an exceptional campaign machine, making brilliant use of new technology and old-fashioned statistics, and won his party's nomination. Without raising his voice, he took on some of the toughest and most experienced politicians in Washington to get where he is today -- and if he can beat hardscrabble politicians like the Clintons, Karl Rove and John McCain, just think what he can do in the White House.
4. He passes the "one house/one spouse" rule.
5. He's run an honorable campaign, and despite the conventional wisdom and all the handwringers, he's never stooped to sling mud the way his opponent has.
6. You can tell a lot about a person by the way they treat their family. Obama cut out of his campaign with less than two weeks to go to visit his ailing grandmother, so he wouldn't risk missing her should she pass away before Election Day. (By the way, he showed good judgment on that, too; his grandmother passed away Sunday night at the age of 86.) He took another break on Friday night to take his two daughters trick-or-treating. That says something about the measure of the man.
7. People like him and are inspired by him. It's foolish and short-sighted to hold his transcendent ability as a speaker against him. And the fact that he inspires people in America and around the world is a good thing. If you can inspire people, they will work with you to get things done.
8. If John McCain dies in office -- and no presidential candidate has been as old or had such an ominous medical history (as far as we can tell from the limited release of McCain's medical records) -- Sarah Palin would be president. 'Nuff said.
9. Don't be manipulated by fear. Don't let the powers-that-be who have profited handsomely and grabbed obscene amounts of power unto themselves scare you into thinking we'll be less safe with a democrat, or a person of color, or a man who wants to work with our allies, or a [fill in doomsday scenario here] in office.
10. We've had dumb for nearly eight years and look where it's gotten us: now it's time to try smart.
And please vote for Barack Obama.
For eighteen long months, you have stood up, one by one, and said enough to the politics of the past. You understand that in this election, the greatest risk we can take is to try the same old politics with the same old players and expect a different result. You have shown what history teaches us - that at defining moments like this one, the change we need doesn't come from Washington. Change comes to Washington. Change happens because the American people demand it - because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership, a new politics for a new time.
America, this is one of those moments.