Brilliantly stated - except for that last claim. No one outside the Obama Administration would swallow the notion that America's "spirit" has been restored these past 7 years. We got a breather alright, and Obama deserves great credit there (then again, that's why we elected him twice - to give us a breather from Bush's exhausting presidency), but America has also taken a sort of strategic vacation from managing the world, a situation that's invited other great powers (Russia, China, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia - to name the most prominent) to step in and try their own hands - a development that America instinctively mistrusts - with some good reason - no matter how much we implicitly beg the Rest to rid us of this infernal global policeman burden!
President Obama ended his speech with four questions, which, if answered, presumably end our nation's growing fears about the future:
First, how do we give everyone a fair shot at opportunity and security in this new economy?
Second, how do we make technology work for us, and not against us, especially when it comes to solving urgent challenges like climate change?
Third, how do we keep America safe and lead the world without becoming its policeman?
And finally, how can we make our politics reflect what's best in us, and not what's worst?
Not a bad list, but they can all be better summed up with: How do we make America the most resilient country in the world? Less brittle, less reactive, and more flexible in our adaptations to this brave new world?
Yes, that is a looking-out-for-numero-uno approach at first glance, but can you name a better country to pioneer a redefinition of national resilience moving ahead? One more likely to share that learning curve with others?