Tuesday, January 20, 2009
I purposely avoid talking about politics on this blog because there are plenty of other blogs that do it better than I, and (quite frankly) politics gives me a headache. The negative energy that politics generates is something I try to avoid because its antagonism literally hurts me at times. But I cannot let today go by without talking about what is, undoubtedly, one of the most monumentally historic moments I will ever experience in my life. To see Barack Obama take the oath of office and be sworn in as our 44th President made me feel a sense of pride in America that I have not had for a very long time. I have witnessed a few inaugurations already, but this time was without a doubt the first time I ever have thrilled to see the beauty that is America. The idea that our nation has elected its first African-American President sets a standard for excellence in cultural relations not just here in the US, but everywhere in the world. Obama represents a type of America that is today's America, a melting pot of races, cultures, ethnicities, and orientations trying to work side by side in harmony. During his inaugural address, as I wiped the tears of joy from my eyes, I could sense that a black cloud which has been hovering over us for the past 8 years finally was dissipating. I know for some that sounds ridiculously poetic, but that's how I felt. I'm not so naive as to think that Obama is a magician whose going to make all our problems go away, nor do I think he's a miracle worker who will heal all our woes. But I do believe that Obama brings a sense of education and righteousness and charisma that makes me believe in the possibility that our problems will dissipate and our ills go away. That belief is what we need right now, more than ever. With the difficulties of our economy, the war, our fractured global relations, and our own impoverished education and arts communities, we need to feel a sense of hope--yes, hope!--that he will lead us to a place where we can be whole again. The past 8 years have emanated fear and arrogance. I feel as if I have been bullied and threatened by an ignorant regime. It's time to learn from these mistakes and move forward. It's time for us to heal and reconnect with the world. It's time for us to change the impression we have given off as to what America is. For the greatest part of today that I will carry forth with me forever is how President Obama reminded me that America is more than a country, a land, or a people. America is an idea, one that sheds love and life and help and makes every effort to solve problems with diplomacy and not weapons. I am so tired of America being a bully, to other nations and to its own people. America needs to shine with the liberty and equality that this country strove for in its origins more than 230 years. The dark clouds are dissipating. A new day has begun.