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The New Hope Administration

WFAE commentator Gus Succop hspace=5
File photo
WFAE commentator Gus Succop hspace=5

Now that our president-elect is about to be president, I am noticing more and more people becoming hopeful that maybe, just maybe Barack Obama will lead us into a new day. After eight turbulent years, who isn't ready for a new beginning? I suspect that the so-called honeymoon of our new president may last a lot longer than some have in the past. Mr. Obama will get some things right, and when he does we will give thanks and remember why he was elected. He will also get some things totally wrong, and we will be quick to voice our displeasure. But, I suspect there may be a larger graciousness emerging towards our new president. I suspect in time he may come to enjoy the support of even those Americans who did not vote for him. The past eight years have not been a very hopeful time for America or for the world. Since Election Day, the stock market has taken more of a tumble and recent conflicts around the world remind us that "peace on earth" is more illusive than ever. Nonetheless, I've observed that a new degree of hope is filling the spaces where disagreement and disunity and disbelief once reigned supreme. I recall reading somewhere that in the hearts and minds of many Europeans, America has always represented hope: hope for today and hope for tomorrow. No wonder so many have immigrated to our shores. Maybe we have done something right, despite our sick economy. Maybe there are still more reasons to be hopeful than we could ever imagine. Our Constitution gives the president specific responsibilities, but nowhere in the Constitution is the president required to be a "herald of hope." That's too bad because what we need now is hope - hope that America will always remain a land of freedom and honesty; hope that America will always be a people of possibility and creativity; and, hope that in times of uncertainty Americans will not panic but will unite. Some administrations have been characterized as New Deal or the New Frontier. Perhaps Bararck Obama's Presidency will be remembered not for the ways he stared down our enemies but rather for the hope he inspired us to reclaim, at least for the next four years.