The United States has endured eight years under the regime of a president who despised intellectual thinking and surrounded himself with yes men and women. Virtually, every account about the inner world of George Bush reports the same thing– he did not like people who disagreed with his views. Barack Obama is an intellectual, he has been a constitutional lawyer and enjoys the company of men and women who read books and enjoy the life of the mind. Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld equated the life of the mind to mean plotting and planning to get rid of enemies or how to destroy the reputation of those who opposed their ideas. Barack Obama will reach out to opponents and there is every indication he will follow the Lincoln-FDR model of placing people in the Cabinet who have strong views that might disagree with your own. Good ideas emerge from conflict between opposing ideas.
For the first time in eight years we will have a president who believes in modern science and will listen to the views of scientists. For the first time in eight years we will have a president who is concerned about global warming and will do something about it. For the first time in eight years we will have a president who does not check with religious right fundamentalist leaders in order to make a decision.
There is no guarantee that Barack Obama will not make mistakes, but he will never pander to ignorance and bigotry in his decision making. That is a welcome relief from what the American people have endured these past eight years.