20 January 2009

A note upon Inauguration 2009

I needn't point out that today is a special day. We all know my preference for president, so I won't go on about that.

I just want to state for the record how disappointed I am that this inauguration is taking place in the middle of the week, and that I am not able to be there. I know that as time goes on, life will leave me even less flexible to accommodate last-minute schedule changes for opportunities like this, so I had really hoped to make it happen somehow.

Alas, J- will be left watching with all the students in her school, I'll be watching with the kids until we have to take D- to preschool, but I'll do everything I can to make sure the kids remember this day even if only in some small way (such as vague memories that I wouldn't stop yammering on about it during Duplo time).

I won't do this because we've elected "a black president" but rather because we've broken the centuries-old mold of what a president must look like, and we've started chipping away at least a bit at who he or she has to know and be indebted to.

And possibly even more important than that is the fact that even though we elected yet another candidate from our democracy-choking Two Parties, it feels like we all cast aside the many safe, easy choices this time and went with someone whose fresh ideas (at least for our current age) we listened to and specifically responded to, one way or another.

How many people were genuinely inspired by John Kerry, Bob Dole, Michael Dukakis, or either of the Bushes? These are people, among others, who benefitted from either "seeming presidential", having the right connections in a shallow pool, or just not screwing up enough to lose their party's nomination.

So for better or worse, we'll turn our back (at least for a little while) on the willfully irresponsible and damaging Bush years, and try our hand at shaping our own future. Even if Mr. Obama does nothing but speechify and Propose Big Things for four years, as long as he helps keep this momentum going, I think we can help ourselves just fine.

We can all tear down the duct tape and plastic wrap (for longer than it takes to hit the mall for the latest Thing We Don't Really Need), slide our Terror Alert Level down from Orange - Convenient Generalized Fear and Pliability to the never-before-seen Green - Commonsense Vigilance with Personal Freedom, let the sun shine on us and all our affairs, and then really start digging ourselves out of the many messes we're in.

It may make for a long few decades, but at least we can get through it with a smile and a lighter load on our shoulders. So here's to that!


LiteralDan said...

Congratulations to the Obamas, and, at the risk of summoning dangerous amounts of bile in some of my usually silent conservative readers, congratulations to all of us.

Now back to living our lives with renewed vigor and posting time-wasting jokes about our children and this highly mockable world in which we live.

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Russ said...

There is no bile. I'm happy for the nation as a whole, I would have preferred my black candidate to have won (Alan Keyes), but he never even got out of the primaries.

I don't envy the situations he has inherited and the best of luck to him and all of us.

Anonymous said...

This is a good day and I'm actually looking forward to seeing the inauguration and hearing the speech. Hope is cheering.

Anonymous said...

Watching the coverage and excited to see how things pan out. I am hopeful as ever!

Mrs. B. Roth said...

Thank you so much for your post, it made me gather my kids together and witness this beautiful moment together at almost the last moment. Even if they don't remember, I will. Thank you.

Natalie said...

i found the paragraph where you talked about what the people can accomplish on just the momentum of an obama presidency really interesting. makes me wonder how many people just gave up and stopped trying because bush was in office. and then i wonder if they had continued to try even though they were tired of him would things look different in the country as a whole. interesting thoughts.

Brittany said...

Excited! Not for our first black president, which is historial and amazing, but for a president who truly represents the hope and direction our country is dying for. Black, white, hispanic, asian, I don't care about the package, i care about the man...and I love this man*

*or woman, whatever.

Goldfish said...

The sun is shining on some who have never before felt its warmth. It is a beautiful day.

Kori said...

Loved this post because it so clearly echoes my own feelings and beliefs; it is a great time to be an american.

Andrea said...

It is an exciting day, indeed. I agree with him that people need to start taking responsibility for themselves. If even that idea spreads across the US, even the world...think of the implications.

I am only leery of the pro-life/pro-choice issues. Deep stuff ----where nobody wins.