Four More Years

8th November 2004

We attended Senator Kerry’s concession speech inside Faneuil Hall. It’s a relatively small space, so there were masses of people outside pushing to get in. Everyone was upset and eager. It was incongruous, like a very aggressive funeral.

The election left me feeling blindsided and bewildered. I was angry at more than half the nation. But the senator said something that day that I’ve always believed, and that I’ve thought about a lot since. He said:

“America is not only great, but it is good.”

Bryan and I flew home separately, and as my plane flew over all the states between Massachusetts and California, I spent a lot of time looking out at the lights below me. I felt a great tenderness for each family behind each light, and–despite my frustration–I know all of us are doing our best.

I keep hearing that we are a nation divided, and I’ve certainly experienced that in the past few days. What I hope is that we can begin to talk about what we share: a flag, an anthem, a land, and the good fortune that is ours by right of citizenship.

All of us want our children to be safe, and we hope each generation will have a happier future than the last. All of us want peace, and security, and time to spend with the people we love.

When we have the freedom to say whatever we want, it is no surprise that we disagree with one another. What is remarkable is that we agree on so much. What we have agreed, as a people, is that our union is more important than our opinion.

May our opinions shift, and our nation remain steadfast.