I have never been so proud of my country as I was last night.
This is an enormous thing for me to say, because I haven’t always been proud of my country. For decades, I’ve been embarrassed by many of our leaders and our policies. I’ve been saddened by the betrayal of our ideals that seemed to be an entrenched part of presidential politics. During the times I’ve lived in, I’ve seen the promise of our founding ideals fading, not growing stronger.
When I was the age of my youngest son, assassins’ bullets took the lives of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy.
When I was the age of my older son, the schools in my southern neighborhood were all-white, and African American children were not welcome there.
When I was the age of my stepdaughter, the presidency was tainted by Nixon’s lies and cover-ups, and he left that office in disgrace.
And when I was the age of my stepson, the conservative revolution swept into power, and people changed. I began to lose faith in my fellow Americans, as I watched those who proclaimed themselves to be good Christians support politicians who punished the poor and rewarded the rich.
I watched our nation split into two. The haves and the have-nots. The Right and the Left. Them and Us.
What happened to “We the People”? What happened to our core American ideals? Were those nothing more than relics of a bygone age, something to be studied in history books?
Last night proved to me that those ideals are alive and well and beating in the hearts of Americans in every walk of life in this nation. I saw it with my own eyes. I saw the massive voter turnout, where once there was apathy. I saw the light in people’s faces as they began to realize that dreams really can come true. I watched the world applaud as America finally came to its senses and elected a real statesman as our leader. I was part of that historic moment, when America voted for change in so many different ways. To be part of all of this has been a transformational experience for me.
Now I believe.
Yes we can.