So many people were tweeting about Michelle Obama’s speech last night that I watched the video of it and, yeah: WHAT A SPEECH. I would say it rivals the president’s speech on the tarmac in Independence Day, or anything Aaron Sorkin has written for anyone. If you’re interested in a really good narrative of The American Dream delivered by a lady who almost made this cynic believe anything is possible, I recommend it. I mean, to be clear, I don’t buy any of the rhetoric that anyone is serving us. I think we’re really screwed. But this feels good to listen to. Full text available here.
When a Democrat is at the lectern, there are abstract calls for more economic fairness: a higher minimum wage; higher taxes on the 1%. When Republicans respond, there are abstract accusations of class warfare and being unfair to job creators. It's easy to get into the rhythm, to assume nothing will change: everyone will bluster for a while and then settle down and we'll go on as we were, as untouched in our everyday lives by politics as we are by the music of the spheres.
The Times Magazine blog posted the convocation speech author George Saunders gave to Syracuse University graduates, which touches upon, as they put it "...the need for kindness and all the things working against our actually achieving it, the risk in focusing too much on "success..."