America’s greatest national resource is not oil, or crops, or arable land.
America’s greatest national resource is hope. And today we have renewed that resource.
And we will remember, I hope we will remember, that our hope is not predicated upon the successes or failures of one man or one party or one government. America is not her president or her government. America is not her territories or her economy.
America is a belief, held at first by only a few people, that we can pull ourselves out of the muck of history — of predetermination and of the inevitability of tyranny and failure. The people who believed that were flawed people, but their idea was good. And over the past two centuries, their idea has become shared by the whole world. It has not only become popular, but essential to the survival of any nation — the understanding that the power to do good or ill rests ultimately in the hands of the citizens.
I believe that Barack Obama will be a good president. I hope that he will be a great president. But my hope is not entirely in his hands. My hope comes from the simple fact that he was elected…because it tells me that America’s people recognize our mistakes and missteps and want to find a better way.
I am confident, for the first time in a long time, that we will find that way. It is good to have a good president, but it is better to have a citizenry who are willing to accept the responsibility for running their own country. And Obama’s election, I believe, is a sign that we are ready to do that.
And me? I’m off to the coffee shop to work on my novel.
Because some things never change.