To all those who have rhetorically asked supporters of Barack Obama to name his accomplishments, I can name one. Fortunately, it is the only one that matters: He has inspired the American people.

Some may not consider this an accomplishment. They want to see accomplishments in economics, foreign policy, education, immigration reform or national security. Those are all important; however, they are not job responsibilities of the president.

The president has an entire cabinet of secretaries and directors to create policies, implement strategies, and manage every other facet of the executive branch, but he himself is not a manager. He is a leader.

Managers work with projects. Leaders work with people. Managers worry about the mission of an organization. Leaders provide the vision. Managers must plan, organize and control. Leaders must communicate the vision clearly, inspire others to embrace it and motivate them to work together to make it real.

The civilization cycle teaches us that a nation develops when people find common goals and collapses when apathy abounds. We are on the bad end of that cycle, and we must find a shared vision to survive. Only one candidate has shattered apathy and imbued citizens with a new sense of national identity, an identity that reaches across international borders and party lines and grants respect to all people.

Barack Obama has inspired vastly diverse people to put aside their differences and share a common goal. That goal is to end our Civil Cold War and open a dialogue of cooperation and mutual respect in an effort to find ways that we the people, with our own competencies and resources, can help ourselves.

We don’t need some accomplished manager to micromanage our lives. We are the change we have been waiting for. That is his message. Millions have been inspired by Obama to ask again not what their country can do for them, but what they can do for their country.

We needn’t look at his accomplishments but at our own, because we will be doing the work; we will be working together; we are one nation; we are one people; we are millions of voices calling for change.

He alone has inspired us when all others have failed. He alone has shared with us the vision of our future that gives us real hope. That is his accomplishment. In Washington, it isn’t much; but in America, it’s everything.

J. Carlson