Monday, January 19, 2009

What Obama's Inauguration Means to Me

In the United States of America, it is our fortunate birthright to vote for a Presidential candidate in whom we believe. Although I've always been a registered Republican, and every single person I love and care about is a Republican, I did not vote for McCain. Not casting my vote for someone who was so strongly supported by those in my life made me feel all sorts of things - not the least of which was blessed.

There was a time and there are today places in this world where I would not have had the choice. Isn't it beautiful that all I had to do was walk in a building, step behind a small curtain, and vote my heart? Isn't it absolutely the most beautiful thing?

So today, I want to tell you what this inauguration means to me. Of course I know it means all sorts of things to all sorts of people and so I would ask if you are so inclined, leave a link in the comments to a post about what it means to you - regardless of your political beliefs or party affiliation. So long as hate speech does not have a part in your thoughts, I'd be excited to read what you have to say.

Good or bad.


Throughout the course of this historic campaign and in fact all the campaigns I’ve known in my lifetime, the word “change” has been thrown around to the point that its meaning was diminished for me. Somewhere along the way I lost all hope in that word and to a large degree, in my country’s leadership.

On 9/11, I watched our world fall apart and like a scared child clamoring for her father, I snuggled up close to my government and trusted it knew what to do to keep the bad guys from my door. I believed my government unconditionally and it felt good and right to do so.

But as time went on I began to realize my trust may have been misplaced. Although I didn’t want to consider the possibility that perhaps my government didn’t care about me as much as I cared about it, that reality began to sink in.

When the waters rose in Louisiana, like so many ordinary people across the country, I began immediate action. Even before my government took care of those who were suffering in a way that still puts knots in my stomach, I organized a supplies drive for the citizens there.

“Good job, Brownie,” knocked the wind out of me. My hope was gone. I was lost. We were lost.

If I could act quickly - if my fellow Americans could act quickly - if people from around the world could act quickly and cared enough to get up and MOVE - why then couldn't my government? Why? Why?

I was skeptical when first I “met” Mr. Obama. He seemed too good to be true. While there was a time I might have taken in everything he said as fact, my skepticism had been born of lies and heart break. He said “change” and I just couldn’t believe, no matter how much I wanted to.

I watched. I learned. I read. I researched. I would not be imprudent this time. I would not be sold a bill of goods.

Over time, I began to believe change was possible. I began to trust. And more importantly than these, I began to hope.

In fact I'd have to say that today I feel as though I’m bursting at the seams with a hope so big, it surprises me sometimes. I see our future President and his family and I feel good in a way I find hard to explain. I’m proud of him, as odd as that may sound.

I’m proud of us.

For the world, this inauguration will be historic as the first African American takes over the Presidency. As for me, it will be a very personal moment in history. I’ll thank God, I’ll cry and I’ll hope - because for the first time in many years, I believe change is coming. I believe it’s here.

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Flutterby said...

Thing is... good or bad... he's going to have to outperform every president we've ever had and then some. Because if he doesn't live up to the hype... sigh. I didn't vote for him. But I do have the hope that it means good things. I got, and still am, sick to death of the *change* thing. They need to cut the lip-service and just get down to business and show us it meant something.

Sher said...

I'm anxious for the down to business aspect of it as well. I'm hopeful.

Elizabeth said...

I didn't like the man two months ago so now that he's the president I'm not going to change my mind. I hope he does well, I hope he keeps his promises, I really do. But if he doesn't, we will make excuses for him like we did during the election. Good or bad, everyone will fall all over him. What he does just doesn't really matter - its the persona and people will love him regardless of performance.

Sher said...

Of course I don't agree with you, and that's the foundation of what makes this country so great. We can disagree and yet come together.

My hope is that in 6 months or a year, he will have proven to some who feel as you do what the rest of us already know - it's his substance we voted for, not his persona.

Jami said...

I voted for Obama but he's got about 2 years to clean out an 8-year accumulation of shit. If he hasn't made real progress by then, we'll start hearing about it, and if it's not all fixed in 4 years, we'll have another President. People overlook how long it took to get here and expect too much too quickly. Flutterby got it right: he's going to have to do more in a shorter period of time than any other President. I wish him luck and smarts and support - he's going to need it all.

Sher said...

Jami - I know you're right. So much garbage at his door. I hope America is smart enough to understand this didn't happen over night and it won't be fixed ovenight.

Passionate Eater said...

What a meaningful, amazing day. It is symbolic of so much more than just the Presidency, but of hope, just as you said. Thank you for sharing.

Sher said...

Passionate - It was a wonderful day, wasn't it? Thank you.

Flutterby said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Flutterby said...

(ugh.. severe typos)

The thing that's bugged me the most is how it became a racial issue. Yes ok, he's our first BI-RACIAL president... now move on. If he (rather, the administration, because face it, for the most part the president is still just the fall guy in my opinion.) screws up badly, unfortunately, there will never be another. He could have been green with pink polkadots and still gotten elected. I don't feel any Republican had any kind of chance this time. And as I said before, I can deal with that. I just need to see it actually work out before I fully believe it.

Cher said...

For a guy that sported change, Obama sure has an awful lot of Clinton people appointed. Whatever, he's got the press on his side. The good he does will stick to him and be all over the front page. Any bad or non-performance will be Bush's fault (everything else is) and THAT will be all over the front page.

Whatever one thinks of Bush and his eight years (and I guess I have a different opinion because of a nephew that's been to this war. He's filled me in on a lot) you have to give Bush credit for one thing-he had the balls to forego public popularity to stay on the course as he saw it to keep our country safe. With his personality he could have been a very popular president but events of the world (with help from the press) went against taking a safe course of action like Clinton did several times. A leader that puts himself last is my kind of president.

Where'd it get him? Boos from the crowd Tuesday. That was embarrasing for America!

The Texas Woman