I am speaking for my own generation. Those of us who remember the 60s and 70s. We who grew up with television and saw the Vietnam War televised. We remember the '68 Democratic convention in Chicago. Some of us also were lured to the right by Reagan and his promises. "Vote for the Democrats if you want welfare. Vote for the Republicans if you want to work." Well we believed it all. But 8 years of George W. Bush proved this fallacy. Unlike many of my counterparts, I never really liked Bill Clinton. I saw him a s poser. He talked the talk but was he really a true progressive? He was the governor of a right-to-work state and hardly a friend of working people. He supported the death penalty and even executed a man who was mentally challenged. His appointment of Janet Reno was possibly the worst offense he committed. Reno was a right winger who led some of the worst assaults on civil liberties ever. Her heavy handed massacre of US civilians at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco was just one of many crimes committed by this wolf in sheep's clothing. The eight years of Dubya were hard for many Americans. The economy was decent at first. For a short while it actually seemed like we could live with this guy. Then came the 9/11 disaster. It took all of us by shock. Like most Americans I felt a sense of shock. Things like this occur in other countries. It could happen in Lebanon or Bosnia perhaps. But in the United States, in the largest US City? America was soon at war. We trusted our leader because, like the guy or not he was still the commander and chief. But there were whispers from some people. Some said that a cautious approach was in order. "Lets not get so gung ho for war until the facts are in." But caution was not in order here. The national security of the US was at risk and something had to be done. The US led war in Afghanistan was supported by and large. But then came an invasion of Iraq. Why was it necessary? Well, so we were told, there were links to Al Quida and Saddam Hussein. Could this be proven? Of course it could, we were told. Would our leaders lie to us? If you cannot trust the President than who can you trust. Some of us, including me began to start questioning the administration. I remembered Vietnam, after all. Did that not seem like a good idea? The 2000 election, we learned was stolen from us. It was engineered by Fox News and Karl Rove. Now we faced the 2004. Bush appealed to all fringe elements in the US, the gun rights/second amendment crowd, the gung-ho militarists, religious zealots and, of course the 20% of Americans who would actually benefit his presidency: the corporate executives and CEOs and others making six figure incomes. We saw more manipulations in 2004. We saw people turned away at the poles. We saw long lines. Even cases of fraud. Bush won. But at what cost was his victory? Soon he faced a hostile congress. More and more people began questioning the war in Iraq. Would there ever be an end? Then came financial chaises. Bush deregulated all sectors of the economy. Freddy Mac and Fannie Mae, once established as government agencies to loan to people in need had become privatized. Banks did as they pleased. They lent money to people who could not afford it. Mortgage brokers hustled and made millions. Sometimes committing fraud in the process. In some cases brokers would entice borrowers to sign contracts which would force the signers to pay thousands for not doing anything other than apply for a mortgage and nothing else. The wicked prospered and the suckers paid. 2008 saw the beginning of a new era in America. The Republicans found their champion in John McCain. McCain had a reputation for independence, He often went against his own party. Yet he was still a conservative. He did not want a social revolution but simply reform. And by wearing the armor of his party he was forced to accept the party platform which included a lukewarm, almost non-existent health care program and more tax cuts. It was really George W Bush with a human face. He also brought on board Sarah Palin. Palin, he thought would enlist the support of women who were betrayed at the Democratic Party's rejection of Hillary Clinton. She was also a diehard social conservative with a folksy populist persona. Barak Obama, meanwhile emerged as the leader of the Democratic party. Being from the state of Illinois I was long familiar with Obama. I once supported him when he ran for US Senate. I was somewhat disappointed with his lukewarm opposition to the war in Iraq. He also supported many issues which I fundamentally opposed. Yet after my candidate, Dennis Kucinich dropped out there was only one place a progressive like me could go to. We now have our candidate Obama elected. What will happen next? Where do we go from here? I honestly do not know how the next four years will play out. I pray that Obama gets busy and gets some desperately needed reforms in place right away. I want to see health care reform so that all Americans can get their most basic needs met. Sarah Palin once accused Obama as being a socialist. But in my opinion he is not enough of a socialist. He really is not anti-free market. On the contrary, he wants to support the interests of businesses. He wants to enforce anti-trust laws which were neglected under Bush. I do know one thing, Obama's job for the next four years will be difficult. There is still a war going on. The economy is in shambles. The deficit is out of control and people are in pain. It will take years to repair this mess. Can he really pull this off? Can we have a strong economy and also provide for the most basic needs of our citizenry? Can we get off this dependence on foreign oil like an alcoholic can rid himself of his addiction? I do not know the answer to any of these questions. But I can tell you that when I heard Obama speak I did feel something I had not felt in many years. I did feel a certain pride in being an American. I felt like the eyes of the world were on this man and all were nodding approvingly. The US will persevere and be a great nation once again.