I'm ready to say that this speech was better than any I can remember hearing from a mainstream politician in my lifetime, and contained a more nuanced, bold, accurate discussion of race than I ever expected to hear from a politician in my lifetime. One of the main criticisms I've heard voiced about it so far is that perhaps it's too nuanced, too brave for many voters to take, and too complicated to be digested in our crass, soundbite-and-spin oriented media-industrial complex. I don't want to believe that that's the case. I'd like to think that a politician this thoughtful, nuanced, and principled is exactly the sort of candidate who ought to do well in a country that is surely hungry for a change from the last eight terrible years. All I can say is: I supported Obama before today, but this was the moment when I started to truly believe that he had it in him to be a historically momentous president. And not because of the color of his skin, (and I can't really speak to the true content of his character) but because he's ready to talk about real, divisive, historic problems like race with a depth and seriousness that no other major politician seems to be able or willing to do. He's not pandering to anybody, and he's not ready to throw his longtime friend and pastor under the train for political expedience (the way I have to imagine the Clintons would do in a second), but instead tries to give us a real explanation of his relationship to his pastor, even if that explanation is possibly too complicated to play well on the 24-hour news stations.
If the Clintons somehow manage to wring the nomination out of the next few primaries, we'll be fools for electing them over this guy. If the Clintons manage to get the nomination through back-room shenanigans even after losing the popular vote, then the Democratic party is very possibly going to lose me forever, and it may indeed risk losing a whole generation of younger voters.