It's nearly impossible to grasp the sheer gravity of this moment. All watched with gaping mouths, transfixed by a numbing mixture of pride and disbelief as Barack Obama appeared in public for the first time as the next President. All newly elected presidents have a different demeanor once clearly elected, displaying a strong sense of confidence and authority. But for Barack it was different. He seemed in disbelief himself, a bit overwhelmed by both victory and grief. A bittersweet moment for him, indeed, but also one of keen awareness, for he knows as well as anyone, and more than some, how much the world changed last night.
This is the moment for whom so many have stood, hoped, dreamed and died. For the first time ever, America has judged a man not by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character. It was more than just the economy. It was the character he displayed in the face of it. It was the character that shown through in the face of the Rev. Wright episode, at his party's convention, in three presidential debates, in the wake of his grandmother's death, and finally in the throes of victory. There is no better way to describe the moment than simply beautiful.
America, and the world, are feeling beautiful today. The free world celebrates, but many others mourn. In Texas, for example, where 1 out of 4 still think Barack is a Muslim (and Iraq was linked to 9/11), millions are having a bad day.
Although every metropolitan county in Texas went blue, many fearful folk here have completely bought into the dogma of the opposition and believe that we have turned our country over to the enemy, and they're dumbfounded as to how such a travesty could have occurred. How could 52% of the electorate hate this great country so much that they've placed it in the hands of a terrorist communist who probably wasn't born here and wants to destroy our culture, take all our money, turn us all gay and get us all killed? They weren't just in Texas, they were in Arizona, too, booing and catcalling all the way through John McCain's concession speech while Obama supporters applauded McCain in Chicago.
But they've forgotten one important truth. America didn't become a great nation by being fearful. It became so because of what Americans do together fearlessly. In the eyes of the world, America lives and dies by the will of its people. When we lost so much of our credibility and goodwill in the years following 9/11, it was because we have responded largely as a fearful nation. They blamed Bush for Iraq, but they blamed us for enabling him for eight years. Today, they praise us for what we've had the courage, confidence, and common sense to do.
Many Americans voted yesterday thinking of how their vote would effect their pocketbook, their family or their community, but a lot of us looked beyond those values and considered what our vote would say to world and to the universe. We chose not merely to call ourselves the leaders, we chose to lead, and lead by example. We chose to evolve. We chose to appeal to the better angels of our nature, not just for ourselves, but for everyone. That can only be described as beautiful.