21 January 2008

The Dream

Martin Luther King, Jr. speaks in Washington in 1963.

Most Americans know bits and pieces from this speech, but only by hearing it in full like this can you really grasp how this man electrified millions and changed the course of history.

To the contemporary ear (to mine, at least), one of the striking things about the speech is the unabashed patriotism which undergirds it. There is nothing here of the willful wallowing in cynicism and alienation which debilitates too many on the left today. King was calling his nation to account, challenging it to better itself and live up to its own ideals -- which is what a true patriot does.

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