Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A New Day

The moment Barack Obama walked out on stage last night in front of 70,000 people at Grant Park in Chicago, my daughter Tess woke up crying. Amy & I looked at each other with the same dejected look on our faces:

"Which one of us was going to miss the victory speech?!?"

Amy hit the record button on the DVR, and I grabbed my headphones on the way upstairs. As I sat in the dark rocking my nine month-old back to sleep I listened to Obama's speech on the radio. I could not help thinking about my little girl and my boys and the challenges that their generation will face as they grow up. And I was truly grateful that our country had just elected a unifying, inspiring President in Barack Obama to lead us through the challenges ahead.

In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people. Let's resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.

Let's remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House, a party founded on the values of self-reliance and individual liberty and national unity.

Those are values that we all share. And while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress.

As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, we are not enemies but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.

And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too.

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces, to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world, our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand.

To those - to those who would tear the world down: We will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security: We support you. And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright: Tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope.

That's the true genius of America: that America can change. Our union can be perfected. What we've already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

1 comment:

Melrutl said...

"YES, WE DID!" Not only is he filled with hope, he also practices caution knowing that the hard part has just begun. I was so proud of our country last night. May we all show the strength of character that he does.