November 7, 2008
For 232 years, it’s meant something to be an American.
It’s meant something to be from a nation that was founded on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and that at least spoke of the recognition that all of us are created equal. It’s meant something to live in a place where prosperity flows from ingenuity, imagination and hard work – from our people even more than our bounteous natural resources. And it means something to be part of a country that’s long been a beacon for people in every part of the planet – inviting them to join with us, or offering an example that they might choose to follow.
So it’s not that Tuesday night made it any more special to be an American. But it did, clearly and dramatically, demonstrate once again why it’s special. It didn’t necessarily establish anything new, but it reaffirmed nearly everything about us that we cherish.
In a little over two months, a man who two generations ago wouldn’t have been able to vote in some American states will become President of them all. He’ll do so behind a powerful message of hope and unity that overwhelmed the fearful politics of the past.
No matter who we voted for, and perhaps at the risk of some self-indulgence, we all really should give ourselves a minute to bask in the values of a country where this moment should always have been possible, a moment that’s now reality. This is an “Only in America” event – nothing quite like this has happened anywhere else in the world. No matter what happens next, we have a lot to be proud of.
In two short months, the 81st Texas Legislature will convene – we’ll start pre-filing bills on Monday, if you can believe it.
I think this legislature will face some big challenges, possibly bigger than many folks realize.
But I also think we’ll have chances to create the sort of opportunity for future generations that we have so taken advantage of here in Texas. I’ll be talking a lot about that in the coming days, and I’ll have more to say about it next week.
For now, though, enjoy your weekend, and enjoy this moment. As I said, we have a lot to be proud of, but we have even more to look forward to.