Somewhere in time, Winston Smith, and all the Winston Smiths of the nation, begins another day under the watchful eye of Big Brother. But, there is something different about this morning. The voice still echoes forth from the large screen in his apartment. But, the voice is not as strong, not as stern. And the visage of Big Brother seems fainter, unclear, less powerful than other mornings of other days. Until, the face on the screen slowly fades to black, the face now invisible.

In the stairwell, the posters are now gone, the watchful eyes have been closed. Outside, Smith can feel the sun shining on his shoulders once again, a feeling that has been missing for as long as he can remember.

Looking up from his tattered shoes, he sees the light of the new day, taking that first step into tomorrow, knowing there is much work to be done…

Our nation, our world, changed last night. But, it cannot end there, we cannot become complacent. Over the last six years, our American nation has become an Orwellian nightmare, a waking dream of wire tapped phones and eroded rights, of doublespeak press conferences, of endless military actions against an ever shifting enemy. Yesterday, the nation quickly sat upright in its collective bed, sweat beading on its furrowed brow, and said “no more”.

And now, in the light of this new day, the balance of power has shifted from the neo-conservatives forwarding their machinations in the bright gray daylight, unfettered, uncontrolled, unaccountable.

And now, the light of this new day is shining on the scurrying rats of this White House, as they scramble for the last free nuggets of crumbling cheese, before the coming traps snap down on their fleshy tails, while they emit their dying wails, shrill and distraught, full of false bravado, false strength.

And now, the fight begins anew, the first battle won, with many left to follow.

In a few months, our newly elected leaders will enter the halls of Congress with a seemingly insurmountable task in front of them, reversing six years of damage done to our great nation.

We have chosen these men and women, from all parts of the land, tasked them with this responsibility, the responsibility to show the world that we DO NOT, in fact, believe torture is acceptable, the responsibility to end the seemingly endless occupation of a far away land, the responsibility to restore the rights of this nation’s peoples, those cornerstones of our representative democracy, that have been stolen in the shadow of night, in the bright light of day, the responsibility to restore the balances of power that have been eroded in our steady decline towards the White House’s goal of a unitary executive body.

We have the responsibility to guide our newly elected leaders, to remind them that they are there for us, that they are there because of us, the responsibility to stand by them when they take the right steps towards saving our nation, the responsibility to shout loud and even angrily when they falter in the face of the President. For this is something at which we cannot fail, we the citizens of this nation, we the voices in the houses of Congress, we the people working for change.

For this morning, like the fictional Mr. Smith, I stepped out onto the pavement, standing alone in a driving Northeast rain, and looked up from my well worn work shoes, feeling the sun shine on my shoulders in spite of the weather, and looked forward, taking a first step into tomorrow, knowing there is much work left to be done…

Also at Never in Our Names.

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