Barack Obama makes me cry

barack_obamaDuring President Barack Obama’s inauguration speech, I sobbed. It wasn’t just a tear or two, rolling down my cheek. I positively bawled.

Listening to him speak, reading what he has said or written, or even just looking at photos of him, always makes me cry. It’s a little frustrating. I know he’s just a man, and he’s not perfect. I just wish I could listen to him speak without needing a tissue.

Mostly these are tears of joy. He’s a Democrat, he’s a good man, the election was uncontested. He makes sense when he speaks, and he doesn’t talk down to us. He’s inspiring, calm, and visionary.

They’re also tears of exultation, that the racial barrier has been broken in my lifetime.

And they are tears of simple relief, that we finally have a president who respects science, the environment, human rights, and other countries’ sovereignty. We have a long way to go, but finally, we have hope. That feels good, but somehow, it hurts, too.

Because partly, these are tears of grief. It’s been a long eight years, and a long time since I felt proud of my country and my president.

George W. Bush did a lot of damage, within this country and around the world. I don’t want to go into a litany of everything he’s done wrong. It would take too long, and better minds have done it. Bush himself believes history will exonerate him; I think history will damn him.

And I know there are people out there who want President Obama to fail, so they can be right. That makes me cry, too. I never wanted Bush to fail. To be arrested, maybe. But why would I want the leader of my country to fail? His failures hurt all of us, as we’ve seen these last eight years.

We have all suffered for so long. And now we have a president who is a true leader and a true uniter, and who believes in the Constitution, and in the ideals this country was founded on.

I don’t know what to call this emotion, but it’s bigger than I am. It makes me cry.

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