Doesn’t some part of you still believe that there are special moments in the world? Special people who catalyze and give a voice to a feeling that has been quietly building for years? When Kennedy pointed at the moon, when MLK stood on the steps of the Lincoln memorial, when Reagan talked about morning in America – didn’t these people shift the world around them just a little bit? Didn’t the right speech at the right time change you and how you saw the world? We all have our own: words, written and spoken that for some private reason moved us.
Today is the day where it could be made real. Today could be the day where we know this is really happening. Barack Obama did not grow up in the sixties. He was not shaped by Vietnam or Watergate. He did not come out of the same cohort of boomers that have run our country for so long. Those who scoff, who say that his difference is exaggerated do not understand how differently the world will see us if this man, this bi-racial man with an African father is the man we pick to be our president. How inherently different his perspective has to be. Louder than any policy this would say to the world that we have changed. We know we have made mistakes over the last 8 years (and longer) and there are more we will make but we have changed.
If you need evidence of his leadership, look to the way he has run his campaign – without turnover, without dirty laundry aired in public; just quiet competence. When did we become a nation that looked to time served? Inexperience did not stop Bill Gates or Steve Jobs or Marc Andreesen.
To those who say that this is all just foolishness, that this optimism is just naiveté, that this will all be dashed on the rocks of bitterness and hardball, that what we really need is someone adept with a switchblade and a bank of favors (and there are many I respect who think so) I say maybe you’re right. Maybe tomorrow I’ll know you’re right. But today – like Fox Mulder – I want to believe.