My smile, my tears, and my hope:
"The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term. But, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there.
I promise you, we as a people will get there.
There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as president. And we know the government can't solve every problem.
But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And, above all, I will ask you to join in the work of remaking this nation, the only way it's been done in America for 221 years -- block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.
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."+
I don't think Barack Obama is anything more or less than a man. I don't think he's going to save the world or make this country into something shiny and new. I don't agree with all his policies and beliefs.
But I do believe he's smart and sensible, kind and compassionate, and genuinely interested in serving his country and his world. We need a steady hand, and I believe he has that. I'm tired of America being seen as the mean, ill-tempered bully of the globe. No country can afford to conduct itself that way; we've done so at our -- and the world's -- peril. Being president of the United States of America isn't a joke or a chance to run roughshod over peoples' rights; I believe he knows that and will remember that as he governs in this extremely difficult time.
This IS history in the making. He is of mixed race. He is the son of an immigrant. In his own words, he "...was never the likeliest candidate for this office." He has inspired millions. I didn't vote for him for any of those reasons, but they are nonetheless significant. The pride and joy that filled my heart yesterday and continue to fill it today are nearly indescribable. Cliched though it may be, I will remember this moment for the rest of my life and tell my future children about the day millions of Americans braved bad weather, long lines, broken voting machines, and their own cynicism and mistrust in order to perform this sacred civic duty. I'm thrilled we elected Obama, but what makes me happiest is just that people went out and voted. People fight, kill, and die for that privilege; it's hard to overstate its importance.
Now the real work begins...for all of us.
If you'd like to do so, please tell me something that made you smile this week, no matter how small. Could be the snuggle your dog gave you on Monday, the song you discovered on Tuesday, or the way your significant other smiled at you today. I've been posting these since December. If you feel up to it, please respond—here, in your own journal, or elsewhere. Feel free to post more than one thing and/or respond to other comments.
Why am I doing this? Because I think it is far too easy to get caught up in the stresses, big and small, that we all experience. Being able to focus on one positive thing, however small, can give one a valuable sense of perspective.
Why Wednesday? I figure a little mid-week cheer can't hurt. :)