Today, a friend of mine sent me a reference to a CNN report that the unbridled enthusiasm for our new president has not reached Wyoming. He then said the following, which succintly reflects my feelings as well:

"Just like the people interviewed for this article, I think Barack Obama is a good man and I wish him success, but I certainly hope that some of the things he is proposing will not be allowed.

"Everybody keeps repeating how they just can't believe that a black man could become President of the United States, but to me it's not surprising at all. For decades, we have been ready for this kind of situation and have had plenty of respected black men and women voted into all kinds of offices. I do not believe that this particular election is the fulfillment of Martin Luther King's dream that children can grow up to be judged by their character rather than by the color of their skin (or otherwise by their ethnicity). I think we as a society have been there for some time now. That's not to say that there aren't still some prejudiced people who would have problems looking to someone of a particular race or religion as their leader, but those people are a small minority in today's America. I believe the biggest problem we still have in this area is the way that children in many black and other minority families in the ghettos of many big cities are being brought up to believe that they are disadvantaged and that they can't make it without government help. I'm sorry that many of those children are being told that they "finally" have a hero to look up to, when indeed they have had many great examples of all races and backgrounds to
emulate their entire lives.

"Every new beginning can bring some excitement with it, and Barack Obama is a new kind of President in various ways, so I can have some hope for new possibilities in politics in coming years. But I'm not forgetting that there are some real concerns about some of the directions this man and the people supporting him want to take our country, especially with regard to certain moral issues and government intervention in commerce, and I am grateful for the limitations on any president's power. Ultimately, I am always conscious of the fact that the election of a new President of my country does not really change my life that much and that there are a lot of other things that are more important.

"I want to see this President continue efforts to reach out to people of all persuasions, although I have to remind people that politicians who get elected to high office generally remain within their political philosophies and are not as open-minded as we might wish they would be. (To every politician who claims to work in bipartisan ways, I say they should be working in NON-partisan ways!) I wish Pres. Obama well, and I hope he will concentrate on the ways he can use his leadership to bring the people of our country together.

"Now we all need to remember that we can make a huge difference in the lives of many people who make up our society and most importantly for ourselves by living righteous principles in our personal lives. That is where the real hope is to be found."

--Steve Swapp

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