02/23/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The Difference Between Hope and Change

Tune in tonight to Bill Moyers Journal on PBS, where I expand on this post and the underlying newspaper column it is based on.

It has been an emotional week for the country, as we've inaugurated our first African American president. Lots of folks I talked to this week were both euphoric about the inauguration and a tad apprehensive about the imminent future. And as my newspaper column this week says, that's totally natural.

In broad terms, I think we're excited at the prospect of change, but fear being fooled by mere hope. After all, those two concepts -- hope and change -- are not the same thing.

You aren't disloyal to Obama, overly negative or nitpicky if you had somewhat mixed emotions this week. We are standing before some of the biggest challenges our country has ever faced, and we are still scarred by an era of at best incremental progress (the Clinton era), and more often full-on regression (Reagan, Bush I and Bush II). It's normal to be both psyched and nervous.

I'll let the column speak for itself rather than go on. As someone who fundamentally likes Obama, I wrote the piece from the heart (and I admit something in the very first paragraph that I usually try not to).

Read the whole column here.

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