Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, America was reborn today, when Barack Obama was sworn in as our 44th president.
After eight years of disgrace and shame, Obama’s election and inauguration rings in a new era for the United States. An era of hope, and of pride in our country.
Those qualities have been absent from our vocabularies for quite some time.
Since its inception in 1776, the ideals of America have shone forth like a beacon all across the world: freedom and equality; Liberty and justice for all; the land of the free and the home of the brave. Lofty ideals, those.
But these ideals were buried in a shameful, disgraceful, degrading time, where under George Bush, America became the world’s bully – invading a sovereign nation – Iraq – for no just reason or provocation; they were buried by George Bush manufacturing his phony “War On Terror” which was designed solely to expand and solidify his power base; they were buried when George Bush moved America closer and closer to becoming a police state, where we were tricked into giving up freedoms in the name of security; they were buried when George Bush tried and nearly succeeded in setting up an imperial presidency, where the president and his cronies were above the law of the land; they were buried when under George Bush, big business was turned loose to rape the environment and pillage the citizenry – all but destroying the US and world economies.
George Bush trashed it all.
But finally, the tide is turning.
Today on TV, watching the inauguration coverage, I heard one phrase repeated over and over: that people once again, were feeling pride in their country. They were proud to be Americans. Because if a black man could actually become president, then the system really did work. We are all equal. Obama becoming president proves it.
The country really has come a long way. The days of segregation and slavery are not that long past. But the fact that Obama was elected proves they are now past – and that is extremely heartening. Our country is growing up. We’re living up to our original billing – finally.
It’s an important message that comes out of this: Race is extraneous. A person’s color doesn’t mean anything at all – any more than what religion he practices or what language he speaks, or what country he comes from. We’re all people, living here on this earth. We have to live together and get along – we have no choice in that matter. So the sooner we forget all the extraneous differences and remember we’re all just people, the sooner we can start living in harmony.
By electing Obama, we have all moved closer to that goal.
Yes, today I feel proud to be an American. I’d forgotten what that’s like.