2009 – What's next?

In the immortal words of who was, until today, my favorite president …

“What’s next?”

I noted the tones and the promises in President Obama’s speech and I’m optimistic about the future.

It’s no time to rest, though. There is a lot of work to be done.

“What’s next?”

Repairing America. Resuming our course as the great experiment. Repairing our National honor by restoration of the Rule of Law and ending torture, warrantless wiretaps, extraordinary rendition; opening government and a guarantee of transparency; an end to cronyism; operating our government and living our lives by the examples of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America.

As a Democrat, I have the responsibility to monitor and report, to raise my voice, just as I have in the years past, when I disagree. Dissent, and the voice I have to use it, are the greatest tools granted to a citizen of the United States. To leave them dormant, due to Party allegiance, fear or ignorance is unpatriotic, un-American and, ultimately, intellectually dishonest.

If the American Government is to operate properly, it must react to the voice of the people. If the voice is silent, so too is the conscience of our elected leaders.

I’m optimistic today.

“What’s next?”

Internationally, America’s responsibilities are wide and ranging. From the poverty and mass killings in Darfur, the Congo, Liberia and so many other countries to the growing threat of Russian aggression; from China’s ownership of our basic industry to the trade treaties that exploit the workers of other countries and impoverish the workers in ours; from the bloody conflict in the Middle East to the learned hate of the U.S. by their citizens – America must lend a hand, lead by example, and act in the interests of the peoples of the world.

I’m optimistic today.

“What’s next?”

The human rights impacts of global climate change must also be taken into account. Aside from the hundreds of thousands that will lose their homes and lives – and the millions that will be displaced, the old ways are stagnant and the old models are failing.

Green means jobs. Green means American prosperity. Green is the future and the future belongs to my children. They deserve a better world than the one that I found when I arrived.My parents tried to give it to me, it’s my duty to work at giving it to my kids.

I’m optimistic today.

“What’s next?”

A mighty danger has been pushed aside and the country can now set about the work of healing and repair, with the example and history of our country as a guide.

I’m optimistic today.

“What’s Next?”

What’s next is showing up and doing the work. What’s next is every minute from now, stretching out in front of us, an infinite spread of possibilities – making a difference, taking a stand, standing up for those things that make America grand, and denouncing those things that are unjust, and fighting to uphold the traditions that make us unique in the history of the world.

I’m optimistic today.

“What’s next?”

As our nation is reborn today, it’s time to turn our sight to those things both closer and far from home and work, work, work on fixing what is broken, cleaning up what’s corrupt and holding those in power to the promises that their oaths of office demand of them.

“What’s next?”

Utah.

That’s what’s next.

I’m optimistic today.

– J.M. Bell

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