Did anyone else watch an eloquent, intelligent young man humbly accept the gift of the presidency of the United States from the hands of the American people—a people burdened and burned by eight dark, oppressive years of an administration devoid of hope, empty of compassion, bankrupt of honor—with tears welling up and spilling into your lap?

I couldn’t help it. There stood a man, a bright articulate man, speaking of change and hard work, healing and unification… instead of mouthing platitudes, whipping up blind nationalism, reminding us of our fears and encouraging our craven trembling in the face of all manner of threats and dangers. And this man…this well-spoken, inspirational man… was designated our next president. Representing the absolute antithesis of the buffoon we have borne in that capacity for way …too…long.

It hardly bears believing.

As I watched Barack Obama address his people, I literally felt as if a great heavy cloud was lifting from our nation. A cloud that no matter how hard we’d struggled or how loudly we’d shouted at it, would not budge, but rather settled more and more heavily upon us until we were utterly immobilized by its weight, a weight more analagous to the granite of a tombstone than the insubstantial mist of cloud.

Oh my god, it’s been a long time coming. I can believe in this country again. I can hope for this country again. I can look forward to seeing her regain her proud place among the nations of the world.

I emphatically wish we hadn’t had to endure the past eight hideous years in order to see this day. And I suppose it is likely that if the past eight years had been any less hideous, we would not be seeing this day. We have seen the worst. Dare we hope that, now, we may see the best?

All I know is..for the first time in a really long time, I can say with some conviction…

I’m proud to be an American.

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