The day of Change has come. Not with a whisper but with the roar of thousands and thousands of loyal Americans who braved the DC cold this morning to witness history being made. Not the kind of the Giant-won-the-Super Bowl history, but the kind of history that will actually be written down in books and remembered by people other than those that call Long Island, “Strong” Island. Barack Hussein (yeah, I said it) Obama is the 44th President of the United States of America. Let freedom ring. But more importantly, let us rejoice in the fact that intelligence, humility, and wealth of other morally-based virtues (Bush always reminded me of Commodus in Gladiator: “But I have other virtues father!”) have returned to the White House. Spoiler alert, Commodus thought killing people was a virtue.
This is an important day for the world. It is an important day for democracy and it is an important day for humanity. Despite Obama’s stuttering attempt at an oath this Tuesday morn, it was clear from his speech that his election cries and platform of hope and change won’t be translating into warm milk before bed and mid-day naps after small cut hot dogs. In so many words, I believe the President evoked the words of JFK from the legendary 1961 Inaugural Event: “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” Change can only happen in the hands of the people, folks, which means YOU! and YOU! and YOU!
It’s true that there is a mountain of problems sitting on the White House front lawn. It’s also true that the mess of things from the last administration will only act to delay anyone from getting to the base of that mountain of problems, most importantly the economy. But let’s take a moment and consider all the positive things on this day of all days. Because Barack Obama is President, an African-American is President… [pause, re-read, let it sink in]. Because Barack Obama is Preisdent, someone with the intelligence, spirit, and (we hope) ability to lead this nation out of one of it’s darkest times is President. Because Barack Obama is President, it’s possible that the rest of the world may actually be interested in lending us a hand. These are not facts that should be cast aside so readily in the face of great struggle and pain.
A moment came for me, while watching our new President be sworn in, that I don’t think I’ll ever forget. As his words washed over me and I felt the kind of emotional stirring in the pit of my stomach (usually only incurred as a result of watching Forrest Gump), I realized that while Change has become a buzz word in the last year, a very real and important change has happened. For the first time in America, being racist makes you un-American. And while I’ve believed that to be true for a long time, now it will be written in history books around the world.