I've never been a fan of Charles Dickens but that book title and the memorable opening line from "A Tale of Two Cities" keep good through my head as we approach the day that W departs and Obama arrives, at last.
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way."Toss in the birthday remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and confluence of history of almost overwhelming.
It's not too hyperbolic to suggest that Barack Obama carries the hopes, dreams and aspirations of a world that desperately wants to close the books on eight horrible years; years of war without cause and torture; years where desecrating the Constitution was standard operating procedure; years of total indifference to the plight and suffering of those less fortunate; years of staggering economic inequality that are now devastating rich and poor alike -- the poor a lot more so.
That is the legacy George Walker Bush is attempting to walk away from and which Barack Hussein Obama is being called upon to fix.
People standing for hours in the cold waiting to wave to a train -- or bundling up to hear a concert of hope where liberals sing "this land was made for you and me" -- are signs of pent up demand. Demand for hope, decency and a return to a way of life where fingers are no longer pointed in blame but become hands joined together in common purpose.
It always makes you fear it is too much to place on the shoulders of one skinny African-American kid from Hawaii, Indonesia and Chicago.
But I, like countless millions do have Great Expectations as the Bush Countdown Clock ticks its final seconds. And a fervent hope that the next four -- and hopefully eight -- years can restore luster to an America tarnished by the incompetence and ineptitude of George Bush.