Whatever changes will be achieved in this nation of ours, they must come from the same source from whence they sprung in the beginning of this country:  of the people, by the people.

It is up to us to continue to push, to fight for the changes we wish to see. To realize the dream of a more perfect union left to us by the Founders, toward which we must strive every single day. During last night’s speech, Barack Obama said the following:

There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won’t agree with every decision or policy I make as President, and we know that government can’t solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way it’s been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years – block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

What began twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek – it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers – in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.

Let us resolve to hold him to that promise of listening — because we will almost certainly have points of disagreement along the way.

But the fact that this may be a president who reaches out to opposing views, who considers criticisms and questions, is such a refreshing change from the current WH resident that I needed to pause for a moment and savor the potential of having a grown-up in the White House for a change.

Whatever changes we see, it will be up to all of us — every single one of us — to push them forward.

This is not a time to be silent, or to shrink from the challenges yet to come. For they will come, the ones we already face and the ones as yet unseen.  Let us resolve today that we will not rest until the better angels of our American nature have all become reality.

A change is gonna come…and we’ve all got a lot of work to do in the days ahead to make that happen.

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com