To those of us still reeling from Trump’s improbable victory, President Obama’s farewell speech last night was the tonic we needed.
He did not give in to bitterness and despair. He was upbeat and optimistic, expecting us to listen to our better angels after all. And he served notice that he would not abandon us, that he would be fighting by our side after leaving the White House.
It was an uplifting and inspiring speech. And it touchingly paid tribute to the contributions of others – Michelle, Joe and Jill, and the Obama girls, for example. But there was much more for those who listened carefully.
This was not mere oratory, not just an inspiring call to keep fighting for what’s good and decent in human nature.
This was a declaration of his personal commitment to rebuilding the Democratic Party, a promise that he would be applying his great talents to that job after his term as President ends next week.
And you know he means it.
Thank you, Mr. President, for shaking me out of my miasma. I was defeated and despairing. I had lost my faith in humanity. I could see no hope for the triumph of decency in a tawdry world.
I was blind but now I see.