I’ve been amazed and inspired by so many scenes of hope and joy as our forty-fourth President was sworn into office today. Barack Obama has been given an awesome responsibility and a daunting task, that much is certain. However, the American people have been equally tasked with the same burden. As our President goes, the nation goes – and we can choose to wait and see how the new Administration addresses the challenges before us or we can make changes in our own lives that are both meaningful and measurable. Clearly, the new man in the White House cannot lead us out of our current troubles alone. For us to write the new chapter in our American saga, it will take the collective will and sacrifices of all of us. We want our narrative to have a happy ending . . . a story arc that’s on the upswing after so much time spent in the depths of frustration and anger.
How you can help is up to you. You know what needs to be done in your own lives, in your own communities. Don’t disconnect from the political process or the operations of our local, state and federal governments’ affairs. We are blessed with a powerful tool for communicating with each other and drawing all of us together. Use the Internet to spread the message of strength and service. Call upon your elected officials to do the right thing, not the expedient thing or the politically tolerable thing. Be a full-fledged citizen and not just a casual observer. Our collective strength is in our unified voice and spirit.
Welcome to your new and improved country, America.
I admit, I was on the fence about Barack Obama prior to the Democratic National Convention. Besides the fact that I’m an independent, I find myself in middle age socially liberal and fiscally conservative, so the Democratic platform dissuaded me from fully being on board just from the “tax and spend” ways of their liberal agenda. I had been a “fan” of John McCain when he ran for office last time, but I was disturbed by his cozying up to a man I knew he despised, George W. Bush. It was when Sarah Palin got on the Republican ticket that I took a closer look at what Obama was all about and started seeing the man and his mission for what they were: a genuine desire to right this country after eight years of mismanagement.
Now that the neocons are finally leaving the White House, I look around to see if my fellow Americans are doing the right thing and getting behind our new president. By and large, Obama has a huge number of our citizens in solid support of him and wish him well and Godspeed. What I find amazing is there is any portion of the country that actually wishes he would fail, as evidenced by so many bloggers’ vociferous condemnation of virtually everything the man has proposed – from his cabinet choices to his plan to fix the economy to his desire to burnish America’s reputation among our longest held allies.
Here’s what I have to say to all those that wish Obama ill will – if you want our new president to fail, you want our country to fail. And if you want our country to fail, you should find another one that will tolerate your displaced hatred. Put aside your blind idealogical loyalties, set aside your petty bigotry and dismissive attitude and unite behind our country’s next leader. If you insist on remaining stuck in your neocon mire, then the collective “we” have no need for you. Really.
I can’t help but wonder what’s going on in the mind of the President-Elect today. The pride I’m sure he’ll feel will be overwhelmed by the sense of the depth of the challenges he faces. So much hope is riding on his success, including the hope that all Americans will put aside (or bury all together) partisan and racial rancor and stand behind our next leader and his team.