Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Proud to be an American

Today, for the first time, I am proud to be an American.

Many gave Michelle Obama a difficult time when she made a statement to that effect, but I understood exactly what she meant. She and I are close in age. The devotion she has for her children reminds me of my very own sister’s dedication to her children. We are of the same generation and while we would not give up our citizenship, we have not always felt as if our country represents our view of the world.

I am so very emotionally proud that my country has elected Barack Obama as President of the United States of America. He represents change in a number of ways.

The fact that he’s a black man and not a white man is the most obvious change and what that means for my country’s growth as a social nation is awesome.

The fact that he’s a Democrat and not a Republican has political implications that will change my country’s agenda in terms of how we handle the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, how we approach global warming issues, the economy, and health care.

The fact that he’s an intelligent, articulate man is a welcome change from the last eight years of George Bush. But he’s also an inspirational man, a leader, and from what I have heard someone who can take in enormous amounts of information within a short period of time. He has an extraordinary mind and is using it for good, as superhero as that may sound.

The most important change for me, however, is that we will begin to interact with the world in a more respectful manner. Barack Obama is an inclusive man, as evidenced by his victory speech last night when he spoke to “young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled.” He also acknowledged those “beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world.”

Barack Obama is a man of the world. He understands we are a great nation but not the “greatest country in the world.” He knows we do not need to be aggressive in order to speak. We are a part of this world and we will not become weaker, we will indeed become stronger, when we begin to show respect for all cultures and all peoples within our nation and throughout the world.

Today, I am proud to be an American.

Yes, yes we can.


Anonymous said...

You said everything I am thinking! The unity and oneness. And I totally agree, for the first time not only am I proud to be an American but I am inspired by our new President. No politician, president, senator, whatever has EVER inspired me. And inspiration is what gets things moving.


Anonymous said...

Tommy in WPB...

I actually wept during Obama's speech as he recounted the dramatic life experiences of the 106 year-old voter from Georgia...each experience transitioning to the next by those inspiring and noticeably convicted words, "yes we can"!

The tears, I think, were drawn from a deep "well" inside created by thousands of days of cynicism, disgust and downright outrage at the self-serving decisions made by our government...all made under the cloak of the American flag for the whole world to see.

I vividly remember as a young boy standing in class with my hand on my heart naively citing a pledge of loyalty to my country in earnestness. I suppose the "well" I spoke of earlier began to be dug soon learning of the atrocities, all wrapped in hypocrisy, our government had created. By the time the Iraq invasion took place, the "well" was seemingly bottomless...I had utterly lost faith.

I couldn't help realizing while listening to Obama that this was a very special speech made by a very special man in a very special time in not only our countries' history, but in world history. For the first time since a small boy standing in that early morning classroom, I remembered what it was like to be proud to be an American...with hungry hope that we can represent ourselves to the world as we think we should.

My eyes "welled" up not only from the powerful refrain of a wonderfully written speech, because at it's basic root his speech was still just made up of incredibly choreographed words. It was rather a combination of the strength of his message coupled with a demeanor of seriousness from a man that cognitively understands the weight of all of his tasks at hand.

It was only then that I was reminded that, "yes...we truly can"!

Anonymous said...

I can't say it better than all of you. I cried too. Because now there is hope that we can be civilized again and be proud to be americans. Hurray!