The peaceful transfer of power. It amazed the world when George Washington gave up the Presidency and to some extent I think it continue to amaze many that we, as Americans, believe that it is simply the way things should be.
Though many were expecting an historic speech from President Obama, and none were disappointed I think, there were some interesting aspects to note. The most of which was the President’s direct statement to the Muslim world and the leaders of those who plot our destruction with the fervor of a Steeler’s fan planning a tailgate.
To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West — know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. 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.
I think it is a very telling statement regarding his attitude toward conflict. It seemed to be a topic where he toed the party line during the campaign (that of get out now, any way, any how), but it seems that the gravitas of reality regarding the threats to the country have caused him to re-examine his stance. Like so many promises, the reality of execution will change the tone of the message as the months roll on.
I look forward to the future and wish the President, and all of us, all the best.
Read the full text of the speech here.