However, I've just watched the acceptance speech of our new President, Barack Obama, and both Katrabbit and I agreed: we are two cynical people, who put little faith in any elected official, but both of us are filled with hope for the future of America when we listen to this man. His speech was fantastic in all the ways that the great speeches of American history have been: topical and yet timeless, poetically encapsulating the past while looking towards the future. He managed to include a great many people in his address, as well: various races, gay and straight, disabled and not disabled, as well as directly reaching out to those people who did not vote for him, and to people listening to the results all over the world. Interestingly, he praised the Republican party and its origins as a party directed towards protecting the rights of the American people, an ideal that he considers just as valid now as it was then. And he spoke of a woman in Atlanta, Georgia, who voted today by touch-screen, despite being 106 years old. He spoke of the changes she had seen during her lifetime, through women's suffrage and the civil rights movement, the Great Depression and World War II, the advent of the internet and the explosion of technology. He spoke of the changes the upcoming generations will witness in this country over the next hundred years.
I'm not easily moved by the focus-group-tested words of professional liars. But even I can't help getting misty-eyed when I hear Obama humbly and graciously reach out to the people of the United States and ask them to help him work to repair the wounds our nation has suffered and work towards a brighter future.
Today, the United States has turned a page in its history, electing the first non-Caucasian President ever. Tomorrow we begin a new era of possibility in a country that for too long has seemed incapable of moving forward.
As an American, I barely feel capable of maintaining a sense of hopefulness. But I'm ready to believe that Barack Obama is the president who can finally change that.
We can't begin to guess what is going to happen next. For the first time in a long time, I'm looking forward to tomorrow.