Sunday, January 20, 2013


I had a pretty great day four years ago today, seeing (on TV) Barack Obama getting sworn in as the 44th President of the United States, even if Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts, working from memory, managed to flub his prompts on the Oath of Office.  And even if we had to suffer through the gasbag prayer of Rick Warren in the name of inclusiveness.

It was like reaching the summit of a high and dangerous mountain, to see a black man becoming the most powerful leader in the world.

But just as the goal of the mountaineer isn't just to get to the top of the mountain, but to get back to the bottom safely, we're on the home stretch of the descent.  Barack Obama wasn't just elected. He was re-elected, too.  And that's remarkable.

In a way, I think that breaking that big taboo, and not seeing the world end as a result, has helped us move forward and challenge other taboos.  It's now clear to me that same-sex marriage will be the law of the land everywhere in my lifetime.  We'll elect a woman President, too.  And a whole host of other ways that America can fulfill its promise of freedom and prosperity will come to fruition.

Barack Obama is not always the President I wish he would be.  And my country is not always the country I wish we would be.  But he and we are trying, and in the end that's what counts.  As Bill Clinton once said, there is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what's right with America.  We can do this.

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