Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama's Inauguration Day

I try not to pummel people with my views on current events. When asked or in a discussion, I make them known; I don't hide them. It's something I discuss only with people I know very well the majority of the time. I believe in respecting everyone's views and right to be heard, agreeing to disagree on all the big ones: religion, choice, politics, et. al. Hurray for freedom of speech! In that vein, one of the beautiful things about having a blog is being able to babble freely about what I'm thinking. There are many thousands of people who are much more articulate and knowledgeable about politics than myself, many of them with their own blogs. :o)

I watched the inauguration ceremony today until they went to lunch. Truthfully, I've never cared enough to watch an entire inauguration ceremony before. I was on the CNN/Facebook live feed, but watching it on TV. Being unemployed at the moment, I had the luxury.

Reading the live feed comments was a lot of fun, both from people I've actually met and know and people I will never meet. A lot of people were excited and moved, and some were not, but were watching nonetheless. Of course, there was chattered about what people were wearing, the trite along with the important. I loved seeing the footage of the crowds and the feeds from different parts of the country. As on Election Night, their reactions were every bit as gratifying to see as the event itself.

I loved seeing and hearing Aretha Franklin (and her awesome hat!), I loved the poet, and the benediction was great, especially at the end when we got to laugh a bit. I thought Obama's speech was extremely moving, articulate, and appropriate; I have always found him a wonderful speaker, maybe the best I have heard in my lifetime. (My husband and I were joking last night that he's almost too reasonable to be a politician.) I am glad that he reminded us of our own responsibility as citizens, that he acknowledged what many people have sacrificed for this day to arrive, and that there is a lot of work to be done.

I voted for Obama and was excited when he won. I would have been happy to see Hillary Clinton win as well, but Obama seems to be the shot in the arm American politics needed. I'm inspired to see people caring what happens politically and that there is at least an underlying climate of hope for so many of them. One of the CNN commentators said that, in a way, this was the world's inauguration; Bono said yesterday that it fulfilled not just an American dream but an Irish dream, a European dream, a Palestinian dream, etc.

The country is in a huge, frightening mess, and we all know it isn't going to be fixed in four years. A lot of voters my age (40) and younger don't feel they have had a President that was a true leader in their lifetime. I don't envy Obama his job, but I truly hope he can be the catalyst for positive change. If I didn't believe this was at least possible, I wouldn't have voted for him.

And that's just it. Many folks, including myself, are excited about possibility, at least for today, and why shouldn't we be? While possibility runs the risk of becoming a drug that prevents reason or focus, it can also become fuel to keep each individual person chugging along with our eyes on the prize--whatever that may mean for each of us.

Edit: on a lighter note, I had to Photoshop a picture of myself wearing Aretha Franklin's inauguration hat, which has its own fan page on Facebook....

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This blog focuses largely on a personal journey to and through weight-loss surgery. It's also about reading, writing, animals, photography, love, humor, music, thinking out loud, and memes. In other words...life.
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