I voted for Sen. John McCain, but I support President Obama now. We have a new leader of the greatest country in the world, and, if we keep fighting along partisan lines, we will fall deeper and deeper into an economic mess. I might not agree with everything he wants to do, but I will stand by him for now.
MARK SHERWOOD, MOUND
Now that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday and the presidential inauguration have come and gone, it's time for America to meet the challenge. This challenge is for Americans of all colors and creeds -- to white American businessmen to young black Americans who embrace "Gangsta" ethic and all the other Americans in between. The challenge comes from King's "I have a dream" speech. He dreamt that Americans "will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
With this in mind, we must all reflect upon the "content of our character" and how we wish to be judged.
THOMAS E. CANNON SR., EDEN PRAIRIE
While watching the inauguration ceremony this morning, I was again filled with hope for our country. The peaceful exchange of power, hope that all people -- regardless of color, religion or nationality -- can experience the all inclusiveness of hope.
NANCY THOMAS, NEW HOPE
At 11 a.m. Tuesday, the dark clouds of the last eight years have lifted and the sun is shining. Let it shine, let it shine.
STEPHEN LEARNED, MINNEAPOLIS
The Jan. 20 Steve Sack editorial cartoon, on a day of reconciliation and bipartisanship, was in very poor taste, sent a very poor message and provided a very poor service to the country, the people and humanity.
THOMAS M. GRENDZINSKI, BURNSVILLE
It cannot be overstated, the magnitude of this moment.
It is as though this nation marches towards the warmth of the spring sun, arms linked.
For now, we do not look back.
Except to immerse ourselves in this -- hope, that lies just ahead.
This day we do this together. The nation watches. Together.
The world watches, too. But we do not notice. Because we are too deep in our watch.
We are one nation today.
Grandchildren of slaves.
The optimistic; the jaded.
More, less; all hues; all parts of the circle; all of us.
We all hold our collective breath and watch.
SYBIL AXNER, MINNEAPOLIS
The words of President Gerald R. Ford upon taking office in 1974 ring true today: "Our long national nightmare is over!"
MIKE WENZEL, ROSEVILLE
The most exciting thing about this inauguration is that an African-American is being sworn in as president. The most disappointing thing is, that as a nation, it's taken us so long.
RON HAGBERG, ANOKA
I hope no one in the media got any repetitive stress injuries because of all the excessive genuflection at the inauguration.
GARY FISCHBACH, ST. PAUL
The amount of money wasted on this inauguration was obscene. It could easily have been done in a room broadcast on television, costing next to nothing, with the same result -- a new president.
This is just yet another example of waste, not only at the taxpayers' expense.
This was Barack Obama's second chance to bring some change to Washington. The first was his tired and rehashed appointments. Four years from now when nothing has changed and we are much worse off, maybe we will scale down the inauguration and realize our folly. But we probably won't.
Every great society, empire, or culture has failed. As a society, we haven't learned a thing.
DAN CUNNINGHAM, EDEN PRAIRIE
One thing I am looking forward to is having the true progressive world view on display during the Obama presidency. The propaganda from the right has been absolutely relentless -- many people now believe things that are simply untrue about liberals/progressives.
Now that conservatives will not dominate the public discussion, I think people will like what they see.
GEORGE F. GREENE, BROOKLYN PARK
As an indigenous person from occupied territory in Minnesota, Obama fever has eluded me. In fact, I find little in Obama's rhetoric or proposed policies that indicate his presidency will be substantially different from the long list of white guys who have occupied the office before him.
My hope for the future, then, does not stem from my belief that President Obama will address the ongoing denial of freedom to indigenous peoples within our own homelands. Indeed, while many Americans are celebrating what they perceive as a victory over racism in the election of a black man to the White House, my only hope concerning his election is that it will clearly elucidate the difference between racism and colonialism in America.
As he invokes the memory of America's founding fathers and refers to Americans as the "heirs of those early patriots," he reminds indigenous peoples that America was built at our expense. We paid the price of America's nationhood with our blood, our lands, and our resources. America lives because indigenous populations were exterminated and dispossessed of much that was dear to us.
WAZIYATAWIN, GRANITE FALLS, MINN.;
RESEARCH CHAIR, INDIGENOUS GOVERNANCE PROGRAM, UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA
As the new president of the United States of America, Barack Obama must be familiar with the phrase in the Declaration of Independence stating that "All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
In his next four years as president, may he remember that the right to life applies to everyone -- born or unborn.
SARAH CAMPBELL, MINNETONKA