"We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. All this we will do."
"And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account--to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day--because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government."
"For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus--and non-believers."
"To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist."
These words, coming out of the mouth of the new president of the United States today, are refreshing. But they shouldn't be. These things - the importance of science and technology, government transparency, acknowledgment of atheism, and willingness to make peace with former enemies - their value should be self evident to any good person with half a brain. I suppose when half a brain is all the head of state has contained for the last eight years, even the most trite ideas seem like revelations. But that doesn't diminish their value, and let's hope that Obama is as good at carrying out these ideas as he is at talking about them.
I leave you with this: