Well, it's been a long eight years. I remember vividly when Bush won the first time. I was so sad, not just because the person I didn't vote for won, but because he won by depriving our country of its choice. He won in a dishonest way, cheating the people of Florida out of their vote. No one can say it was his fault that the ballots were messed up in the '00 election, but he took advantage of it, and the system failed us spectacularly. It was incredibly tragic, and from that moment on, I never had any faith in this presidency. I'll grant that he did a good job, in my opinion, with 9/11, but he managed to erase all my good will toward him when he, again, used something tragic to his advantage, and used it as an excuse to police the world, to go to Iraq and impose our government on a country that didn't want it.
Eight years we've lived with this. In the span of this time, we've become a country that the world looks down on. A country that I lost faith in.
But I have hope again. On November 4th, my country became a place I'm proud of again. I'm regaining the faith that I let myself lose.
I don't think Obama is going to be a perfect president. I don't think he'll do everything right, and I don't think our country is going to be fixed in a matter of days, or months. It's going to be a long road to healing, and I know that. But I'm looking forward to the days when I can say without shame, "I'm from America." I used to be able to do that, and I want it back.
Today, in the last few hours of Bush's presidency, I'm going to try to forgive him. I don't think he's an evil man, I think he's an incredibly flawed one who listened to the wrong people and went with his need for a legacy rather than the needs of his people. I don't want to hate him anymore. The only person that's hurting is me.
And now, even though we've probably all seen it a million times, I'm going to watch it again, because I don't think you can ever have too much hope.
Today is going to be a good day.