What the cynics fail to understand is that
the ground has shifted beneath them
In that one line, Barack Obama today rebuked, denounced, rejected and consigned to the trash the ideology spawned by Ronald Reagan that grew, under Bush/Cheney, to very nearly choke to death American democracy itself.
When I heard Obama state those words I said to myself "it's about time" before wondering if, indeed, the ground hasn't finally shifted beneath all of us.
I hope and believe that the Obama presidency will usher in a new era restoring America's progressive legacy. That Obama is a progressive is beyond doubt.
But what of Canada's rich, progressive tradition? It's been taking a beating the past couple of years but, surely, there is no better time to restore progressive democracy to Canada than now. Has the ground shifted beneath us too?
I don't expect to hear anything progressive from Stephen Harper. He's too tightly invested in the failed ideology of those who were helicoptered out of Washington today.
What of the Liberal Party of Canada? Liberals past would have been very comfortable hearing Obama's inaugural address. They would have heard in it many of their own, core beliefs.
Wouldn't it be great if today's Liberal leadership revealed a real understanding and appreciation of our great progressive tradition? How encouraging it would be if, instead of drawing itself closer to Harper on the right, the Liberal leadership broke from that and declared that the ground has shifted beneath us too, that we were taking Canada back to the centre where this nation belongs.
Those who might dismiss this as so much leftwing sentimentality weren't listening to what Obama was saying. He embraces progressive democracy because he knows that, with the enormous challenges that are already here and the even greater challenges that are coming, it is the only way for his nation, any nation, to meet them.