The title of this post is taken from one of my favorite features in the newspaper ('member newspapers?) when I was a teenager. I loved to see what was happening throughout history on the given date. (Of course, today we have the same feature in Wikipedia. Amped up on about 18 espressos.)
Years ago, Cincinnati Enquirer cartoonist Jim Borgman did a piece titled"You can't be elected president if." John Kennedy is shown standing under the word "Catholic" crossed out, Jimmy Carter under the word "Southern", and Ronald Reagan under the word "Divorced," holding the paint and brush, waiting to hand it off down the line of un-crossed words -- black, female, etc.
Today, of course, is history. Today, the next step of that cartoon is accomplished as Barack Obama becomes President of the United States. A black man will take the oath of office with his hand on a Bible used by President Lincoln. A black man becomes not just our leader but the leader of the western industrialized world. In 15 years or so, the Beloit College "Mindset List" for incoming freshmen will say that the incoming college class can't remember when a black man had never been president.
This changes so many factors in our country, our world, that it's difficult to absorb it all. My family, all three of us, worked for the campaign, including last minute door-to-door canvassing on Election Day. At times during this amazing journey, my breath has been taken away by the reality of what's happening, and this week more than once I've found myself near tears.
I am proud of the choice we have made, hopeful for the future we are building, and watchful for the naysayers who will do anything to stop the true change this country so desperately needs.
Two historic figures understand, I think, what's happening today. Lincoln himself said, "The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise -- with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country."
St. Paul is on the same page. "Now is a very acceptable time. Now is the day of salvation."
So here's to Barack Obama, Michelle, Malia, Sasha -- God bless you. Our hearts are with you.