I happily talk politics, or religion, or any other sensitive topic. I will listen, rebut, pose questions or offer counter-examples, but I rarely give a direct opinion, even in this blog. I find that generally people have opinions of their own, and I am more comfortable offering challenges and exploring fuzzy lines than embarking on direct confrontations. If I’m asked, I’ll openly give my opinion, but people do not generally think to ask. But since you’re here, I’ll just assume you’ve asked. Because I have something I want to say.
Barack Hussein Obama, perhaps the most improbable candidate in recent memory, was elected our 44th president. His election is powerful and symbolic and gives me profound joy. An energetic, articulate, deeply thoughtful person, Obama has created a movement of the dispossessed. So many Americans, young and old, rich and poor, of all ethnicities and backgrounds, have felt for a long time that America has faltered in its great mission. The America I speak of is not the gritty reality, but the dream, the vision, the beacon of hope that has in the past shined out across our vast world and touched its far corners. I would never call America perfect: our country is deeply flawed. We have time and again throughout history demonstrated remarkably poor judgement. But we have also had moments of astounding greatness.
The promise of America, the prestige of America, the image of America, and the reality of America, all were tarnished under President George W. Bush. Barack Obama offers a new message of hope and possibility. His generic mantra of change is easy to disparage, but his oratorical style, his abiding faith in America, his ability to bring people together in common purpose, these things should not be underestimated. Read the profiles and character studies: Obama can never stop analyzing his own flaws, is ever driven to do better. He is not a messianic leader, but a pragmatist. I believe his message of change is real, and is exactly what America needs at this time and this place.
More than that, Obama is an amazing organizer and manager. He may have little experience in government, but the way he handled his campaign speak volumes about what he can achieve in Washington. From broad strokes to small details like the beautiful logo, the Obama campaign is a case study in doing everything right.
How can one predict the success or failure of a president, two months before he even enters office? I know I can’t. But I am filled with hope for a brighter future. For the first time in eight years, optimism has taken hold. It is an outlook that has been absent from my life for too long, and I am happy to have it close by again.
America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves — if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?
This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment.
This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.
How can you listen to this speech and not be inspired?