Okay, I had FOUR favorite parts. Here is the first:
"For over two decades, he's (John McCain) subscribed to that old, discredited Republican philosophy - give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else. In Washington, they call this the Ownership Society, but what it really means is - you're on your own. Out of work? Tough luck. You're on your own. No health care? The market will fix it. You're on your own. Born into poverty? Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps - even if you don't have boots. You're on your own."
Then this came just before he outlined specific policies.
"Ours is a promise that says government cannot solve all our problems, but what it should do is that which we cannot do for ourselves - protect us from harm and provide every child a decent education; keep our water clean and our toys safe; invest in new schools and new roads and new science and technology.
"Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us. It should ensure opportunity not just for those with the most money and influence, but for every American who's willing to work.
"That's the promise of America - the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, but that we also rise or fall as one nation; the fundamental belief that I am my brother's keeper; I am my sister's keeper."
Then he brought up this point that I think is so powerful, and something I've believed in for a long time, particularly when differences of opinion cause family members or friends to worry about my salvation or my sanity.
"In the weeks ahead, I look forward to debating with John McCain. But what I will not do is suggest that the Senator takes his positions for political purposes. Because one of the things that we have to change in our politics is the idea that people cannot disagree without challenging each other's character and patriotism.
"The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan playbook. So let us agree that patriotism has no party. I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain. The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a Red America or a Blue America - they have served the United States of America."
But the end. Oh, the end. He made reference to one of the greatest speeches ever from 45 years ago yesterday. He is the living embodiment of America's promise finally being realized. His body language was like that of a preacher and he lifted that crowd in a way that one orator in a generation might have the gift to do. When it was over, Plantboy said, a bit tongue in cheek, "Where to I get baptised?" The conservative pundits will make much over the next several weeks about how he knows nothing of the middle class, forgetting where Mr. Obama came from and how his parents sacrificed so that he might know the American dream; isn't this the same dream we have for our kids? They will talk about the expense of his sweeping ideas, casually overlooking the billions spent in Iraq that have done little to secure our country. They will say that he is just another liberal who wants to tax and spend, ignoring his core belief that all men and women who are able should work, and that no government program can substitute for a father in the home. But mostly, they will say that he is "just" words. Just words? JUST words? But such words . . . .
"This country of ours has more wealth than any nation, but that's not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military on Earth, but that's not what makes us strong. Our universities and our culture are the envy of the world, but that's not what keeps the world coming to our shores.
"Instead, it is that American spirit - that American promise - that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better place around the bend.
"That promise is our greatest inheritance. It's a promise I make to my daughters when I tuck them in at night, and a promise that you make to yours - a promise that has led immigrants to cross oceans and pioneers to travel west; a promise that led workers to picket lines, and women to reach for the ballot.
"And it is that promise that forty five years ago today, brought Americans from every corner of this land to stand together on a Mall in Washington, before Lincoln's Memorial, and hear a young preacher from Georgia speak of his dream.
"The men and women who gathered there could've heard many things. They could've heard words of anger and discord. They could've been told to succumb to the fear and frustration of so many dreams deferred.
"But what the people heard instead - people of every creed and color, from every walk of life - is that in America, our destiny is inextricably linked. That together, our dreams can be one.
"'We cannot walk alone,'" the preacher cried. "'And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.'
"America, we cannot turn back. Not with so much work to be done. Not with so many children to educate, and so many veterans to care for. Not with an economy to fix and cities to rebuild and farms to save. Not with so many families to protect and so many lives to mend. America, we cannot turn back. We cannot walk alone. At this moment, in this election, we must pledge once more to march into the future. Let us keep that promise - that American promise - and in the words of Scripture hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.
Thank you, God Bless you, and God Bless the United States of America."
God. Bless. America.