"It's morning in America." That was a Ronald Reagan campaign slogan but it feels truer now than it did then. It is morning. The sun is up. I am proud of my country again, a feeling I've often missed these past few years.
There have been lots of proud moments over the years--we were on the right side in World War Two; we were for the United Nations; we passed the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act and we heard Lyndon Johnson, a Southern president, quote the civil rights anthem, "We shall overcome." Good moments.
But lately? We've actually had an administration announcing which kinds of torture it endorsed. Torture? In America? Yes indeed. We've had tax policies designed to help the rich; the poor, our leaders figured, could help themselves. We've neglected housing, neglected education and left me, quite often, with the unfamiliar feeling of being ashamed of my country.
That's over, for now at least. We don't know how well Barack Obama will do as president, but we do know, I think, that he will try to make us better again, to make us see a new sunrise with a bright future ahead. Ronald Reagan, aside from proclaiming morning, used to speak of America as a "shining city on a hill."
For the first time in several years, I think I can see the city again. It's a ways off, but if we start moving, and I think we can now, we might get there one day after all. Another proud moment.
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