Obama’s speech yesterday was the first truly historic speech of my generation. It was the type of speech that’ll get printed in books, broken up into clips for kids to watch in class and will get talked about for years, no matter whether or not Obama wins the nomination.
But the first thing that hit me was that the title, “A More Perfect Union,” is the same as Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.’s book. (D-Ill.)
I interned in Rep. Jackson’s office. My first day, I walked in and the Congressman (as he’s called in the office to distinguish him from the Reverend) was on the phone with Obama. It was the day after the 2004 congressional class was sworn in. I don’t know what they were talking about, but I was excited.
And then as I sat down to learn about my job, I was introduced to the Big Theme of the office–Jackson’s book A More Perfect Union, which he wrote with his press secretary Frank Watkins.
It’s a playbook about how a handful of new Constitutional Amendments would improve the American condition–a voters’ rights amendment, stuff about education, employment health care and all that other fun Democratic stuff–not only for African-Americans, but for working class and middle class whites as well.
Mostly, it’s a book about how Republican policies (stemming from the post-Civil War South) have hurt the country … and how to get over it.