...because today marks the beginning of HOPE and CHANGE. I, for one, have never hid my liberal and prgoressive leanings, and neither, for that matter, has Trevor. I do admit that we both have at times been quite vocal about our feelings of disenchantment during the last eight years, and I admit that at times, I do not look at politics through a very objective lense. With that said, it comes as no surprise to those who know both of us that by simply being Democrat, Barack Obama won major points in our household. The thing is, I have voted for other Democrats to be president, and even when he (i.e. my friend Bill Clinton) won the election, I didn't feel THIS. I didn't feel like buying an American flag and hanging it in my front window. I didn't feel like stopping eveything I was doing to watch the inauguration. I didn't feel like, well, like THIS. Today I am reminded of why my grandparents left everything behind in Cuba over 40 years ago. Today I am reminded of what my dad meant when he said, "We left everything in order to be able to think FREELY," and of what my mom means when she says, "We left because we wanted more for YOU" (even though none of her children were even a glimmer in her eye when she left). Let me make it clear that by no means do I think Obama is perfect or without flaws. What I do believe in is the ideals this country was founded on - that anybody from anywhere can be anything he or she wants to be if others - like you and me - offer doors of opportunity, and I believe that Obama represents those ideals better than any other president in history. Today, I am proud to be an American, and today is the first time I have said THAT in years.