My Favorite Version of the Star Spangled Banner

Is this one, sung by a bunch of Americans outside the White House on the night Obama won the election in 2008:

It’s such a fierce sound. And I know it’s tempting to focus on all the failures of the past six years, on all the ways we haven’t lived up to that moment. Those failures are real, and some of them are on issues that are very important to me.

But in that time, DOMA’s been ditched, we have at least the beginnings of a national health care system, the Republican party on the national level at least has become the kind of joke that just grosses out everybody at the barbecue, and we’re not involving ourselves in any more ground wars for the sake of sucking on it. We’ve seen demonstrations of unions’ and women’s strength I didn’t think we were capable of anymore, and we’ve fought some fights that need fighting, even if we lost.

I’d prefer to focus, today, on that sound in the video above, because it reminds me how much power there is in what we were promised on this day so long ago (and not so long ago), that the only thing standing between us and what we want is us.

A.

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