This morning at 11:30, I sat in my car and cried as I listened to President Obama's inaugural speech. I'd left our central office to drive across campus just as he finished taking the oath of office.
I arrived at my destination about midway through the speech and, unwilling to leave my car, sat there for another twenty minutes to listen. I began to cry at this point:
On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.The past eight years have been painful for me as a Texan, as a Republican, and as an American. I did not vote for GWB for governor of Texas and did not vote for him for president of the United States. Repeatedly during his presidency, I was reminded of the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, who used the letter of the law to justify what they did or did not do. As we learned of Abu Ghraib, of Guantanemo, of the wiretapping of U.S. citizens and of the rendition--outsourcing--of non-citizens to torture overseas, I found myself--for the first time in my life--ashamed to be an American.
On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.
This past November, my pride in my fellow citizen for renouncing the policies of the past eight years knew no bounds.
And today--listening to our new president--I cried. In the words of Gerald Ford following another scandal, I thought "our long national nightmare is over."
Listen again to President Obama's words:
Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less . . . As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our founding fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake.May it ever be so.