Today a fulcrum has tilted. A fulcrum which has been frozen in place for so long that it seemed it would never shift.
Since George Washington took office in April of 1789 until today, the forty-three men who have sat behind the desk of the President of the United States have been a variation on one theme - "old white guy." To be sure, a few have not been quite so old. Their politics and policies have been different, but the faces have all been of a kind.
Just after noon today, 20 January 2009, a new face joined the group. A face many thought would never find a spot in the mighty assemblage of Chief Executives. With a grinding of long-unused gears, the fulcrum of the American political landscape finally tilted away from the point where it had rested for centuries and found a new balance. Barack Hussein Obama II took the oath of office to become the forty-fourth President and the first black man to hold the post. Regardless of his political leanings, or what the future may hold for his administration, Obama's election to and assumption of the Presidency is one of those inflection points in history when everything changes. A long and unpleasant chapter of American history is now closed as a representative of a once-oppressed minority rises to the highest position an American can attain.
Well done, sir. Tho I disagree with some of your politics, I hope with all my being that you will prove my apprehensions wrong. The country needs a giant at her helm right now. You, sir, must grow beyond the limitations of party, of race, of politics and of expectations. You must guide our nation away from the decline and irrelevancy towards which the last several small men to hold your new office have turned her. You must be more than a steward. More than an executive. More than a Commander-in-Chief. More than a President.
You must be a leader.