For a long time it's been hard to remember who we are, who we can be, as the thugs and schemers who stole our government have lied to us and frightened us and pitted us against one another. It's been hard to remember the nation of contentious immigrants who despite all our disagreements maintained a sense of common identity and purpose. Hard to remember a country where practicality and basic decency usually trumped ideology, where we usually encouraged each other to look beyond the superficial differences of background and opinion toward our common humanity, rather than inflaming them into "culture wars." It's been hard to remember in the past few months, as the political conversation has been driven by a spiteful old man who substitutes mockery for discussion and knee-jerks for thought.
But tonight Barack Obama reminded me of who we are, and who can be, with humor and toughness and simplicity and faith. And I remember America again.