All I know is that in this second term, a lot of what President Obama has been saying plays on the themes of Stonewall, Selma and Seneca Falls. He returns to the essential idea that freedom and justice alike are woven into the multicolored tapestry of our history as a nation, forged in the steely ink of our founding documents, tested again and again whenever Americans have faced trials and struggles. He weaves once again this great notion of a strong nation, made more perfect by the work of many hands, in offering support to someone who can take up the banner and go forward with it.
It was an encouragement that the successes (which are very real) of his administration have a chance to continue under great, Democratic leadership. It's an exhortation to participate in our democracy to keep it strong. It was a paean to our diversity and the many ways it gives us strength, and should not be feared. It was uplifting, and a rebuke to people who don't grasp what the essential greatness of our country is--its potential, and the portability and timeless nature of our values and dreams, that are transmissible and easily the greatest export, the finest product we can ever peddle and which are free to any man, woman, being that wants to become a part.
It was about patriotism, and more--it transcended ideas about "left" and "right" labeling, explicitly revealing how individual freedom and progress was up to everyone as a part of our civic heritage.
I know I am going to miss the hell out of President Obama--although I am looking forward to seeing what a still-young man might do in his post-presidency. But he also made me look forward to what Hillary Clinton might accomplish in office. It was the highlight of the evening. A jewel.
(I know I skipped over mentioning VP Joe Biden and VP-to-be Tim Kaine's speeches--and it's a shame, because I think these are actually two of the most compassionate, sincerely nice and decent people in politics today and they both did excellent--it's just, seriously? Barack Obama's speech took my damn breath away.)