Mellencamp Reflects on the Election

A deeply moved John Mellencamp spoke this morning about the election of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States.

“This for me is something I never thought I would see in my life,” said Mellencamp, echoing a feeling common to millions of Americans black and white and all colors in-between—especially those who came of age in the 1960s.

“I remember the assassination of Martin Luther King and the marches in Selma, Alabama, and seeing Rosa Parks, demonstrators getting sprayed by fire hoses and attacked by police dogs and all the other horrible things that happened at that time in our country,” he continued. “Then I played at the 2004 Democratic Convention, which was my first introduction to Barack Obama, and after his keynote address I looked at my wife Elaine and said, ‘Man, what a poet! He could be president of the United States!’ And that’s absolutely verbatim.

“But even I, who have written countless songs about race, could not believe that a man of color could be president of the United States. But today I am so proud of America. I am so happy for all Americans, that we have finally started to fulfill our obligation to the immortal words of our Declaration of Independence, that all men are created equal. We cannot expect this man to immediately change the last eight years of fear and deception, but I think we can rejoice in the fact that there is someone speaking not just for his own interests, now, but hopefully as a voice for us all.”

"Peaceful World" Video (2001)