Thursday, November 6, 2008

Which campaign lines will be remembered?

Despite Barack Obama's eloquence, and despite the fact that I voted for him (in a primary and then in the general election), and despite having downloaded the text of his so-called race speech from the NYT to read at some point (because somehow I missed hearing most of it at the time), I'm afraid that the single line of rhetoric I will remember from this past election may be a John McCain line: "We are Americans. We don't hide from history. We make history." This is not even a good line; it resonates with the kind of American exceptionalism I reject. But because it was the conclusion of McCain's nomination acceptance speech, and because he resurrected it in the closing days of the campaign, and because I made the mistake of watching a pro-McCain YouTube pastiche that prominently featured it, I fear it may prove to be the one line I recall from this election season. (Except for Obama's "yes, we can," but that's less like a line and more like a chant, and also the thing about 'no red states, no blue states,' but that goes back to 2004.)

So, is there some kind of Vulcan-style procedure to eliminate unwanted words from one's memory banks? I'll take it please, pronto. That McCain line is one bit of history I'd just as soon hide from.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I too picked up on that. Yes, another iteration of American Exceptionalism that is shared my most Americans.