I may sound more cliche (and use more of them) today than any other day in my life, but after yesterday's inauguration, I just can't help it.
My father thought Richard Nixon walked on water, and I...well I have been a Republican as far as I can remember--a moderate Republican, that is. If you want to know what lonely feels like, try putting that tag on yourself. Hard-line conservatives say we don't exist, that we're liberals in sheep's clothing, that we're RINOs--Republicans-In-Name-Only.
That's from the wing of the party that won't cotton dissent; from people who are so afraid of having their ideology questioned, who are so afraid of perhaps having to change their minds on the immutable truths of conservatism (naturally passed down on high from the big "G"), that they quash any uncertainty with the unequivocal sneer of damnable judgement.
Then there are Democrats of the same ilk who believe if you voted for Reagan or cheer on the Israeli's as they unashamedly kick ass and take names in the Gaza, you are a minion of The Great Satan--the United States of America.
But yesterday there was a sea change. The ground shifted beneath our feet. Our new leader stepped up to the podium and challenged us to come together as a nation. I intend to answer that challenge. I'm shedding my political labels, whatever they were.
I am not a Republican, a Libertarian, or a Democrat. I'm an American and my President is Barak Obama.
I didn't vote for him. I didn't campaign for him. But I will follow him. As I listened to his inaugural speech, something stirred in me yesterday as I'm sure it did for many people.
I have a renewed sense of hope and a willingness to make whatever sacrifices my President asks of me to make our country strong again.
To my conservative friends I say this: an army cannot advance if half its soldiers remain stubbornly rooted in place. A football team cannot score if the half back runs the ball in the opposite direction of his goal. Similarly, our nation cannot move forward if we are paralyzed in fear by the thought of new ideas, new approaches, and radical change.
The beauty of our republic is that it is self-correcting. In four years, if this President fails to lead us to a better place, we can transfer his power to another. But for now, my brother and sisters, I'm all in.
Lead on Obama. Lead on.