The pendulum of history has swung. The Democratic Party now has one of the largest governing majorities ever. But with this victory comes great responsibility -- to govern fairly and openly and competently. But we should also recognize that this election is a mandate for change.
It is a rejection of the narrow, ideological conservatism that has come to define today's Republican Party.
Trickle down economics didn't work. It made us all poorer.
Today, this country's wealth is concentrated at the very top to a more extreme degree than at any time since the Great Depression, ¾ of a century ago. The wealthiest 10% of Americans now own more than 80% of our nation's wealth.
The simplistic notion that they are entitled to keep as much wealth as possible without paying a fair share of the cost of the military that protects it, the roads and rails that transport it, or the education of the work force that produces it, is simply un-American.
The notion that having the world's largest military (it's 29 times larger than the militaries of all seven of our principal enemies) entitles us to declare war unilaterally and preemptively is simply wrong. When Dick Cheney said "We don't negotiate, we dominate," he weakened our security around the world. The fiasco in Iraq has served for seven years as al Qaeda's principal recruiting tool and rallying cry.
And the notion that we should drill here, drill now, maximizing the natural resources we can extract for our own convenience today without regard for their environmental consequences or the needs of future generations, is also wrong and counterproductive. It takes us down the same dead end dependency on fossil fuels that has strengthened our enemies and bankrupted our consumers. With 4 1/2% of the world's population, we simply can't continue to use up 25% of the world's energy supply.
Never before has any administration used up so much of its children's financial future and natural resources in such a short period of time. Yes it is time for a change.
And if we do what is right, if we repair our economy, restore our international reputation, end the war in Iraq, and invest in, rather than borrow from, our future, then we will fulfill the destiny that should be our legacy.
We have repudiated the politics of fear and smear; we have turned our back finally on the injustice of prejudice.
We have elected a man on the content of his character, the clarity of his intellect and the courage of his commitment to make America great again, in the words of our forefathers, "to make this nation a moral guidepost to the world". This happened because each of you and all of you said to yourselves "I will make this happen." And now it is up to you again to make this nation we love so much all that we know it can be and determine that it will be!