Tuesday, January 20, 2009

President Obama

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.

1 comment:

Carmen Ferreiro said...

I agree with you in a way of sorts. Today is special because it shows what a magnificent system of government we have. The transfer of leadership from one leader to the next demonstrates that America is more important that any one man. You may dislike the previous president and love the next, but we all believe in the America and what it represents because it is more than any one man, it with its imperfections and shortcomings still the fairest and best system of government today and dare I say as a quasi-historian, in any previous epoch. Trust me I know from the experience of my parents and the work I do with those who live in a totalitarian system and have not had a change in presidency for 49 years and the only change was lateral from big brother to little brother. To be able to disagree with our leaders and not face imprisonment, torture or banishment, that is what makes America unique. That is can learn from the mistakes of the past and heal the wounds of time. That Obama is president today demonstrates that the nation we live in offers every person the possibility to dream and be. What a glorious feeling it must be for Blacks to see at last the first Black president. I purposely did not watch today’s ceremony, because all the hoopla over its historical impact and the fervor of the masses was reason enough for me to distance myself from the event. I prefer to take it in a few days from now when I can appreciate the speeches and moments that may indeed one day become historical relevance. Not to spoil the moment, but as you well know not every moment of an event makes into the annals of history. I actually feel somewhat bad for President Obama because the expectation for him to change everything is a bit overwhelming and extremely outrageous. One man alone cannot bring about prosperity after recession, resolve all the domestic woes and foreign policy issues that our nation is criticized for, and certainly cannot please all those he represents. He as any President is faced with a burden and responsibility beyond anything we can imagine. Today we are moved by his eloquence, but what makes a man memorable are not his words but his deeds. Democracy and Freedom are more important than we can appreciate at times; the light keeper of those beacons has a tough role of protecting these ideals for future generations. He is expected to triumph and likely to fail at times, but our hopes and support will always be with him.