President-Elect Obama said there is hard work to be done, and many problems and differences. He said we can't expect the government to solve everything. He said he would have false starts, false moves, mistakes, and we probably wouldn't fix any issues within months, a year, or even a term. But we should have hope, and work hard on it. All of us.
It echoed what I heard from JFK's speech: ask not what the country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. And that's strongly my belief. I think Americans have become complacent, bitter, angry, and disheartened and selfish in the last few years, especially after 9/11 and Iraq when it seemed like the whole world was against us.
And I see in his face a man who is determined to work hard, and accept criticism and advice. A man who really wants to do good work for the American people -- who is not only here to win for self-interest. A man who knows difficult times ahead, but also the hope that we can do it.
And I see a man who wants to reach across party lines and work together, to fix the partisan bickering and the fracture in our government and society. When George W. Bush said he was the "uniter" -- I didn't believe him. When Obama said he wanted to bring everyone together -- I did.
His own campaign is a great testament. Here he is, a man whom we barely knew just 4 years ago, starting on his first term as Senator. But he managed to inspire a whole new generation who have been apathetic; he managed to bring people of all colors and backgrounds together. Nobody thought he could defeat Hillary Clinton, let alone winning the Presidency. And yet here he is, breaking the barrier and achieving the unachievable, making history along the way.
Like him or not, we have to agree: this IS the American dream.
But I think good will is contagious. When the whole world cheers for Obama's win and regain it's hope for a brighter future, something will turn. It's not some hokey new age speak here. I firmly believe in the power of the will, and multiply that by millions, billions maybe, you have one powerful thing going on.
I know there are naysayers out there, and those who can't let themselves believe something good will happen. It's a shame because here is our opportunities and chance to do something good, to make the world see what Americans are really made of.
Never underestimate the power of hope over fear, no matter how dire and cynical we feel. Americans have gone through some really dark times, among the good. I've gone through some dark times myself, and every time -- every single time -- hope triumphed over fear and I prevailed and I became strong and better than I ever was. I think America will rise again.