On this day that we as a nation will not soon forget, we have — resoundingly — placed our hope for the country in Barack Obama, a man whose idealism has transcended political affiliation, socioeconomics, gender, and race. His ability to inspire us to action has been built, not on fear, but rather on the determination that we can make tomorrow better than today. Even if the worst of the claims were true, that Obama had done nothing in his entire political career, then his rhetoric to motivate Americans to claim personal responsibility for the condition of the world in which we live is far more important.
The notion that words are meaningless is simply false; I believe in ideas, and words are their vehicles. Obama has continually inspired us to dream. He has demonstrated that he is serious about the future. He has begun to bridge the divide of labels that somehow pits human against human. He has made perhaps the most honest proclamation of all, that the greatness of our nation is not in his hands but all of ours. Lest we not forget that it was, in part, his words that have reminded us of this.
I repeat again that his presidency will be battled and disagreed upon. He and his administration will make mistakes. But I believe that his strength of character really is such that he has been and will be honest with us. He will listen thoughtfully, as he has demonstrated. He asks the same of us, that we are honest with one another and listen to one another. It’s a peaceful ideal that we absolutely must strive to achieve. I believe that this should be the cornerstone of any policy, foreign or domestic.
It’s a great time to be an American, because the hope for a better country and better world hasn’t recently been more clear than it is tonight.