The Meaning and the Meat of Barack Obama's Acceptance Speech
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Nothing in Barack Obama's speech was in the least bit surprising.
I'm writing this on Tuesday, so I haven't heard the speech yet, but I can assure you that there wasn't anything the least bit surprising about Obama's speech on Thursday night in Denver. (Unless there was some sort of tragedy. But if there was some sort of tragedy, you won't be reading this. You will be hunkered down, weathering the race riots that ensue in the wake of certain sorts of tragedies.)
He spoke about the state of the economy, the cost of the war, the "pain at the pump," the housing crisis, Katrina, the credit crunch, the Bush administration's energy policies. We are already familiar with Obama's message. We have heard it a thousand times already, and we will hear it a thousand times more before November. Obama is about the audacity of hope, about "Yes we can," about cool, about change, about a new direction in American politics. Voters interested in the same old, same old, are welcome to vote for John McCain, whose political program is practically indistinguishable from that of George W. Bush, our very unpopular president.
Obama is intelligent, young, handsome, optimistic; he is willing to talk to our enemies, to work with the international community, to institute something that approximates universal health care, to tax the superrich. We know that Obama finds strength in his beautiful wife and two daughters, we know that he has faith in the core values of our democracy, we know he believes in the fundamental goodness of all Americans.
Obama no doubt mentioned all of these unsurprising things in his speech on Thursday night, arguably the most important speech delivered by a black man in the history of this planet.
Barring some sort of tragedy.
No other black man, not even Martin Luther King Jr., has found himself at the very center of not just a powerful political system, but the most powerful political system known to humans. That is where Obama found himself on Thursday night. He had nothing less than the full attention of the entire planet. During his speech, Palestinians lent Obama their ears, as did Israelis, Europeans, Asians, South Americans, Africans. Not just Americans, but all of humanity was listening, thinking, dreaming. But what the world heard was not all that Obama had to say. Much about him, his color, and the real historical significance of the speech was kept in silence.
McCain and his handlers have worked hard to show us that white women—Britney Spears and Paris Hilton in one ad, a parade of attractive young women in another—are captivated by Barack Obama. And they have good reason for doing this. Yes, Scarlett Johansson cannot say enough good things about Obama; yes, Kirsten Dunst will do anything she can to help him to get elected; yes, white women love Obama. Even white women who don't like men love Obama. McCain and his people want to exploit this enthusiasm among these young women, they want to rub our noses in it, they want to scream it from the rooftops: These sexually ripe white women, these women that most white men could never hope to possess, they are helpless before this man. McCain seeks to translate Obama's hard-won political currency into the primal terms of unbridled, white-female lust for black cock.
They cannot run the country, these Republicans, but they know how to get primal with American politics. Recall the ad the Bush-Cheney reelection team used to show the deadly importance of national security: A pack of wolves look at the camera, rise, and attack. This ad draws inspiration from the darkest depths of medieval German folklore, a fact that I imagine someone had to explain to George W. Bush. But with Obama, the Republican Party has turned to a more recent source of myth and terror: The Birth of a Nation, with its plantations, burning crosses, and brave white men dressed in white.
All that matters to Republicans is victory, even at the heavy price of decency. When you place no value on decency, you don't regard its sacrifice as too high a price to pay. The Republican Party has no sense of shame. What is its ultimate message on Obama? He is not prepared to lead the world? No, that concern does not strike a nerve in the American imagination. That he is cosmopolitan and looks down on white people who "cling to guns and religion"? No, still not raw enough. We need to get cruder: If Obama is elected, white women will be thinking about nothing else but the cock of the handsome black man who sits in the Oval Office.
Now we have finally reached the reptilian swamp of the American brain.
During the most important speech delivered by a black American, nothing will be said about the obscene substance of the Republican Party's current message: Those who want to protect their daughters and control their wives better vote for John McCain. And who is this McCain? Just look at him! He is old, he is cold, he is dull; with him, no flames, no distraction, no heart palpitations—women will never think about his cock. And isn't this the kind of president the Republican Party always offers America? The old, the infirm, the cockless?
And yet the Republican Party is called the "Daddy Party," and it somehow succeeds in emasculating Democratic candidates in election after election.
As long as Bush is president, white virgins sleep soundly. When virgin white women go to bed at night, they do not dream of Bush's penis. The same will be the case if the septuagenarian McCain is elected—no nocturnal moaning will ever be attributed to his presidency or his appendage. But imagine an Obama night in America. It will be a night filled with a million leg-twisting dreams, a million pillows soaked with sweat, a million blankets turned and pulled. Even white women who are not virgins—white women who are married to hardworking white men—will dream of presidential black cock and not the penis of the white man lying next to them.
Recall for a moment Bill Clinton's sexual encounter with a White House intern. When it was exposed, everyone wanted to know when and how he pulled it off, how was that kind of privacy even possible in such a public place as the White House? Where were the security guards when this cocksucking was going on? Or did they see everything but were bound to an oath of secrecy? How did Clinton do it?
If it had been Obama, on the other hand, then only one question would have occupied the minds of white Americans: How big is it? He is, after all, an African. You know, with roots in Kenya. And the Masai people are very tall. So, tell us, what kind of equipment is our first black president packing down there?
Obama is the leader of the party once led by John F. Kennedy and later by Bill Clinton. Indeed, the cock thing has as much to do with the party as with color. For example, compare in your mind the black conservative Clarence Thomas to Obama. Thomas—the guy who was alarmed to find pubic hair on his Coke can—is, without a doubt, emasculated. Look at his face, then think about what's behind the zipper of his pants: Yes, it once was there but someone (done) cut it off with the same determination that the slave master cut off Toby's foot in the popular TV series Roots. That's Thomas. That's why he is a Republican.
As it is for black men, it is for black women. Just compare Michelle Obama and Dr. Condoleezza Rice. We can easily imagine that a night with Michelle will require several energy drinks, lots of B vitamins, and all of the strength you can pack in your body—this woman will not stop until she is satisfied. (Obama, you the man.) As for Rice, like Cindy McCain and Laura Bush, a night spent with her is no different than a night spent with a refrigerator. And this exposes the final contradiction of the Republican Party's war against sex: Though they are all about going forth and multiplying, they strive in every way to appear cold, frigid, infertile, and cockless.
What it comes down to is this: The Democratic Party is the party of life and the Republican Party is the party of death. If you want war and wolves, turn to the Republican Party; if you want to improve the health-care system, turn to the Democratic Party. The Republican Party despises life and sex. It only cares about you if are unborn or brain-dead. A person who is alive, a person with a body that experiences desire, a person with a body that lusts after other bodies—that is a person who the GOP wants nothing to do with. To borrow an example from an antiwar protester: If the U.S. Air Force drops bombs on enemies and innocent civilians, the GOP does not give a damn; but let those same planes drop condoms or morning-after pills on enemy territory, and the GOP will be out on the streets in a minute protesting and screaming about the killing of babies who are not yet born.
The GOP urges teens to focus on prayer and repress the natural drives of their supposedly God-made bodies. The GOP supports purity balls, where sexually mature young women pledge their virginity to their fathers (why not their mothers?). This is a party that loathes and fears sex. Hetero sex, teen sex, same sex, safe sex, oral sex, anal sex. Sex in books, sex in movies, sex on the internet, and, of course, sex in the White House. Especially sex in the White House.
Is it any wonder that this party put Bob Dole up against Bill Clinton in 1996?
Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, the first Bush, the second Bush—these are all men without cocks you can imagine. You can't run an attack ad that hints at these men violating some sexual taboo, because you can't imagine them with the equipment they would need to pull that off. Of all the recent Republican presidents, only Ronald Reagan may be the exception—he seemed virile, on his horse, chopping wood—but he was also old and we do not think of old men as having penises.
The GOP couldn't play on sexual fears, of course, if Americans weren't so terrified of sex and of life. Sex is a life force, be it straight sex or gay sex. To have sex is to be a living being (only the dead don't want to fuck).
Although Republicans do have sex (and by that I mean every kind of sex), they make every effort not to be sexy or desirable. The opposite is the case with Democrats. Indeed, during the first days of the Democratic National Convention in Denver, it was clear to the Christian protesters that sex was the dividing line between the parties. A protester carried a sign that connected gay sex with a weak national defense. One protester drove around in a truck that had an image of Obama making out with a man. A new GOP talking point/smear campaign: Obama will not only seduce your virgin daughters, but also your sons!
And now, for the first time, America must imagine black cock in the White House. What's it really like? How long can it last? Is it uncut? Thick? Veiny? Quick? Slow? Inquisitive? Considerate? Gentle? Indifferent? Bossy? Way out of control? All over the fucking place? Damn! What kind of cock can we expect from this black man?
Obama's cock is on all of our minds. And Obama's cock, my friends, was missing from Obama's speech. It will, however, loom large over McCain's acceptance speech next week in Minneapolis, just as it looms large in McCain's campaign commercials and, without a doubt, Cindy McCain's imagination.
With additional "reporting" by Dan Savage.