when i was rooting for john kerry four years ago, i remember being blown away by a young senator from illinois, so much so that i actually prayed he would one day run for president. i did so never believing america would actually elect a black man who’s last name rhymed with the most infamous in american history. as i read earlier — today, barack obama is the first son of africa to ever lead a nation-state outside of africa. i couldn’t help but feel really happy for a teary-eyed jesse jackson, as he watched a man achieve what he fought his whole life to make possible. while i’m normally too skeptical to get emotional watching a political figure give a speech, i was moved by the moment, and moved by what barack obama could represent. i may be a total sucker, but i must confess: obama inspires me, my heart is full of hope, and i’m truly proud to be american.
it has been a terrible last eight years. we endured the worst president in american history. our country has been thrown into an unpopular war and an economic depression, and we lost the respect of the world. so the euphoria i feel tonight is tempered by reality: obama has set unrealistic expectations for himself and he will inevitably let us down; he will at some point make an unpopular decision, and his supporters will second-guess him. he has an enormous challenge ahead of him; still, i am nevertheless confident that there is no one in the world better for the job. rather than painting a fairy tale about how much easier life will be if he becomes president, he asks for all americans to give their best. the solemnity with which he spoke tonight, his humble posture toward those he disagrees with, and his unflappable demeanor all give me hope that we have indeed turned the page on a dark period of our history.
in my cgroup, we reflected on the idea that the kingdom of god is a subversive society here on earth, where small, insignificant people conspire with god to transform the world. and so while i choose to fully participate in the political process, i must take the time to affirm that my allegiance is always with god’s kingdom, the only true hope of the world; so i will follow through with what i resolved to do before this election was decided: no matter who is president, no matter how upset or euphoric i may feel, i will continue to conspire with god, know my calling, and be faithful to it.