One hell of a speech by one hell of lady

I found Michelle Obama’s convention speech inspiring and astonishingly well delivered, and this Guardian article does it justice. However — as so often happens — I was bitterly disappointed by many of the comments posted to the discussion thread.

They range from the illiterate and virtually incomprehensible:

It is Sanders that wouldnt be a nightmare. Now you have very little of an option_ Or Trump, or warcrazy Killary that will burn the world, as she already did.

… and the pointless amalgam:

The mideast in turmoil? More poor Americans than ever? Barack’s buddies more rich than ever? The summer of killings? Iran laughing all the way to the bank? The Chinese saying don’t get up, we’ll just help ourselves to the South China Sea? The illegal influx? Blacks angrier than ever?

…to the needlessly cynical:

Like the Clintons before them these two will now cash in big time.

…and the totally meaningless:

Yes her life is great, all is fine. All surface no feeling, this woman could of done so much more in her 8 years as first lady. Nevermind though hey, she spoke some nice words.

The whole point is that, in this case at least, context is everything.

The Democrats have gone through their selection process, a hard fought contest between two genuinely different candidates, and Clinton won. But Sanders didn’t lose. On the contrary his campaign has succeeded in reintroducing the word “socialism” into American politics, and that will not have been in vain. His supporters carried the fight onto the Convention floor where they were organised and vociferous and rightly so. I can’t help comparing that with the Labour party conference in 2005 when Jacob Wolfgang, 82 and an activist since 1948, was thrown out and arrested under the Terrorism Act because he’d dared to heckle Jack Straw. Where was the vibrant democracy that Blair claimed to champion?

So Clinton won. Sure, she has blots on her CV (name me one major politician who doesn’t); and, sure, the American political system that got her where she is is rotten to the core; but she is now the Democrats’ candidate in the race against Trump. And it ought to be obvious to anyone with even a handful of flickering neurons between their ears that her first priority is to inflict a crushing defeat on that dangerous idiot Trump who wouldn’t know the difference between a fact and a bombastic, lying assertion if it slapped him in the face. To that end, the Democrats must now unite and back her to the hilt.

Speaker after speaker took the stage and tried to explain that, but they were shouted down. Then came Michelle Obama, and with a 15-minute speech replete with elegant, passionate, transparently honest and hard-hitting rhetoric she managed the two things that needed doing: she reset the party’s moral compass and she focused the delegates’ attention on the immediate, imperative, strategic goal – beating Trump.

That was one hell of a speech and Michelle Obama is one hell of a lady.

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