Free of President George W. Bush, that is. From now on, and forever, he is Ex-President George W. Bush. That is how I prefer to think of him, although it's probably more respectful to say "Former President Bush", but the "ex" makes such a stronger statement (also it would be a handy way to differentiate him from his father).
Oh, what a joyous day this is! Although I knew intellectually this day would come eventually, part of me was afraid that it would never come.
This would, of course, have been a joyous day no matter who was Ex-President Bush's successor, but the fact that it is Barack Obama, a man whom I truly respect and admire, makes this a day of unparalleled delight. Except that "delight" is a bit too capricious an adjective, because there is a tremendous solemnity to this joyous and wondrous occasion.
I recorded the proceedings from NBC, for no particular reason other than that's the channel I happened to be tuned to; all the networks carried it, so it didn't really matter. But because I picked NBC I was able to hear my fellow South Dakotan Tom Brokaw's commentary on the occasion (Tom Brokaw being another man I truly respect and admire). He and his fellow commentators were talking about the civil rights leaders that paved the way for Barack Obama to be the president, and Tom Brokaw said, "I don't think we can pay enough tribute to Dr. King," and I completely agree. Sometimes as I face the various personal struggles of my own life, in my moments of weakness I wonder if it's possible for Good to overcome Evil without compromising itself, and therefore if it's possible for Good to triumph at all, because if Good triumphs by compromising itself, then it's no longer Good. And in these moments of weakness I remember Martin Luther King Jr., and Mohandas Ghandi and all those who stood by them and worked with them and I remember that it's possible to fight without resorting to violence and that Good can overcome Evil without compromising its integrity.
At this moment, friends and strangers, anything seems possible; sometimes that is a terrifying thought, but at this moment it is exhilarating.