I’ve been trying to figure out what to say about the inauguration, with no success at all. I will only say: it feels like waking up from a horrible dream. — I have travelled outside the US a lot. All my life, when people have criticized the US, I have tried to stick up for it where possible, and where it wasn’t possible, to explain. I couldn’t do either with Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, or Iraq, or, since about 2002, really much of anything. For the first time in eight years, I feel as though I can be proud not just of the ideals to which my country aspires, but of how it is working towards them: not just of its aspirations, but of its reality. And that means so much to me.