Like many others, I was up at around 5.20am this morning Auckland time to watch the inauguration of my generation.
We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.
[T]hose values on which our success depends, honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism - these things are old.
These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history.
What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility - a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character than giving our all to a difficult task.
This is a wonderful statement of the idea at the core of progressive left politics: that there is more to life than the self, and that what happens to all of us together matters as well.