It was an extraordinary day. And the election shaped up fairly well from where I’m sitting, given the possible outcomes. True, advocates of liberty and individual rights will have plenty of work to do over the coming years. But the cultural climate will, I think, be particularly receptive to a debate over fundamental issues. And that is good, for when given a fair and rational hearing liberty tends to emerge triumphant.
President Barack Obama
Never has the nation so rejoiced to sing the blues. I am very proud of our nation. Just a century and a half ago our nation continued its evil practice of racial slavery, the great sin of the nation’s founding. Until about a half century ago the nation continued the viciously unjust legal discrimination against blacks.
And today the United States has elected the first black man (of “melting pot” heritage) as president. This proves that ideas matter, that good can win out over evil. Today in America, for the most part, one is not judged by the color of one’s skin but by one’s character.
And so we have completed the circle:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” … I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer. … Ann Nixon Cooper… was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that ‘We Shall Overcome’. Yes we can.
True, Obama does not consistently live up to the ideals of liberty. His stated goal is to expand government force over various aspects of the economy. Yet we owe ourselves a time of magnanimity, for Obama’s election finally lifts a great burden from the heart of America. It is the spirit of liberty that made his election possible, and the same spirit will, I believe, ultimately overcome Obama’s own shortcomings. Yes, we can.
My election coverage will continue in Part II, “Religious Right Loses.”