A sensible person will tell you that far too much is being expected of President-elect Obama, that no human being can possibly do all that his supporters seem to expect, much less all that has been apparently promised.

I know that. He is not the Messiah. But he is my President.

A conservative person (say, a patrician farmer schooled in the classics) will tell you that a 'stimulus' package is just a short-term panacea, and unlikely on its own to bring about economic recovery, and at worst just more wasteful government spending.

I know that. But real leaders don't sit on their hands and describe inaction as action, or the mere absence of taxation as policy. I voted for a real leader, and I know that he will lead. He is my President.

A person focused on the politics of race (and this is still depressingly common) might attempt to dilute the significance of his election by parsing his blood-lines. You know the type! They are the ones who, in an off-hand way, remarks that Obama really isn't black, but 'half-white', or that, in the words of one demagogue, "Just because you are our color doesn't make you our kind."

Well, I know that Mr. Obama is not, say, charcoal-colored. But I didn't vote for Mr. Obama to end the deferment of dreams for one part of the electorate, out of a 'white guilt' or a misplaced liberal sense of entitlement. He was my candidate, and now my President, because he is a uniter, not a divider like the pitiful folk who fret over his ancestry.

When I contemplate Obama's election, the implicit rejection by so many Americans of that aspect of our nation's past gives me great satisfaction. When I consider the future, I know that this moment fills me with great hope. And, for today, a sober, even grim determination to tackle a present that still is to some degree defined by cowardice, division and problems of awesome complexity: a landscape that defies any one man's ability to change things in a month, a year, an election cycle.

But the thing that those who downplay Mr. Obama, a mere man, do not understand is this: that it is not Obama alone who will triumphally assume power tomorrow in the nation's Capital, but in fact it is a nation of people like me. We have been empowered to reject the sinful politics of the last two decades, the politics of finger-pointing and character assasination, of foot-dragging and victimhood. We reject that cowardly and divisive way of doing business, and so our President represents a victory for all Americans, and indeed for all hearts that love freedom and their fellow man.

O Captain! My Captain!

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