Ben Buchwalter


“Ready to Lead Once More”
January 20, 2009, 1:05 pm
Filed under: Barack Obama, Civil Rights, General Politics | Tags: , ,

I thought Barack Obama’s inaugural speech was perfect. I am so incredibly proud of this country that I could burst. Finally a president who sees our country and the world the way it actually is.

To me, the brilliance of the speech was the new President’s articulation of what has been on the back of everyone’s minds since the economy crashed months ago.

With public opinion turning against the United States because of our arrogant and irresponsible use of military power while shunning the rest of the international community, and with more and more Americans losing their jobs due to decades of reckless economic favoritism, the United States as lost its leadership credibility. For the first time since the United States earned the status as the world’s foremost superpower, we are in danger of losing that status. This is what Barack Obama poignantly expressed in the inaugural address.

What is more important, though, is that President Obama simply and clearly stated how we are going to bounce back. We will become a leader in new energy, we will embrace all people from all backgrounds, and we will treat other nations with the respect that they deserve. We will be the best nation among many great nations without operating as the all knowing leader with a divine right to control the international community.

The underlying current of President Obama’s speech was the incredible significance of electing the first African American President. As he said, Barack Obama’s father would not have been served at a restaurant sixty years ago. And his son is now the most powerful person in the world. And he was elected not by playing into the traditional schemes of professional politics. He was elected by inspiring hope and promising to change the system that has failed us for so long.

As Ezra Klein wrote yesterday,

People are proud of their politics again. They can sense that their country has done something that future generations will be proud of. They can sense that they have done something that future generations can be proud of. They were the generation that elected an African-American to the presidency! You can roll that sentence around on the tongue, imagine how it will read in tomorrow’s textbooks. Obama’s election feels like history. Reads like history. Is history.

As I said above, I am so proud and happy that I could burst. But I am most proud because Barack Obama will revive the incredible symbol of freedom that the United States has been to the world for more than two centuries, that incredible promise that we have so often failed to live up to.

As Pastor Rick Warren said in his powerful invocation, “We know today that Dr. King and a great crowd of witnesses are shouting in heaven.” Well, there are a lot of us shouting down here on earth too. And it feels great. 

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1 Comment so far
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I’m watching the service at the National Cathedral right now, and love the ecumenical ring to it and the benedictions of leaders of so many faiths. Although I did like most of Warren’s speech (after expecting not to) I still did not like the choice of this man who says I absolutely cannot be saved (well I, having been baptized, can, but hey the rest of youze? eh). The day was almost perfect, I couldn’t complain yesterday, it was all joy, but today I am loving this other service. More better.

Comment by lisabu




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