So, we have a new President. Even though I didn’t vote for him, I still wish him God Bless and God Speed. He’s *our* President now. One of the great things about America is that even though the country has elected one person for this office, we still see him as human, and fallible (well, at least some of us do). I don’t expect him to have all the answers, and although there exist checks and balances that not only slow down the good that he could implement, they also would help contain any harm that he could cause.
I have to admit, I was getting a little choked up during portions of the ceremony. All I would have to think about is the fact of this calm, even cordial shift of power from, in this case, the Bushes to the Obamas, and all that that says about our democracy and rule of law, and I’d get that catch in my throat. Even a little as I write this. Yeah–okay, so I’m a weenie. But that’s how I feel. When I walk out of some building and the Flag is flying there, I look up, and I feel it.
I admit it, I’m proud of my country, with all of its goodness, and yes, it’s faults. And even though I didn’t vote for Obama, I certainly understand the multiple layers of importance of his being voted in. I do worry because of this cult of personality that has grown up around him. But as I said, I think there are checks and balances. I’m not one of those who want him to fail in leading the country.
There are attitudes that he brings to the table that I agree with, at least as far as has been reported. He’s given a back seat to the “just do it” mentality that Bush employed. I’m just hoping that he does it in a balanced way. One of the essences of being America is that there IS a time to “just shut up and do it.” But I AM happy to hear that he does listen, and is willing to consider other points of view. America sees that as a strong point at this time in our history.
History will tell how the Bush administrations fared, and what the outcomes will be. It’s too early to tell, of course. Partisan recriminations were off the scale against the Bush administration, and in part as a result of the campaigns that Karl Rove managed. Rove’s drives for the White House were aimed at causing fear and saying that Bush was the one to save you (from terrorism, from gays, from whatever ails you). If you actually watch President Bush as governor of Texas, you see that the man was indeed a uniter, not a divider. Over the last eight years, no matter what the Bush administration did, it was “wrong.” And what you will see in the coming years is a lot of the same actions, much as when Clinton was in office. But because it was done by President Clinton, or will be by President Obama, well, then it’s okay.
Understand, I’m not a Bush apologist. Remember the “Axis of Evil”? I watched that one live–and I cringed. I shouted, “No, no, nooooo!!!!” It’s hard to convince people to come to your side if you call them evil. Duhhhh. I know what he was thinking–Reagan called the Soviet Union the “Evil Empire,” and Bush wanted to stimulate the peoples of those countries to forsake their governments and come to freedom, and to help the US understand the threat, as Reagan did. But it was horrible, and a horrible mistake.
But mostly the Bush administration was torn down by critics because it was Republican, and many people just felt huge antipathy towards Bush himself–without even meeting him. I remember the same thing during President Clinton’s tenure. And it was bad. I thought Clinton was kind of slimy, myself, and there were a lot of weird things happening in the background (forgetting even about numerous affairs of Bill Clinton) that have been conveniently buried by the media.
I still think he was a pretty good Republican president though… 😀 Well, even though his ticket said “Democrat,” anybody that backs Free Trade gets a star in my book. I wasn’t too happy with him saying that we were going to go into Former Yugoslavia–for a year, max. Read my lips… 😉
And a lot of people feel the same way, but even more so toward Hillary Clinton. But I think she’ll be an interesting, dynamic Secretary of State. My problem with her has never been about her intelligence, or her competency, but rather her motivations and direction. I think she is the perfect example of a naked will to power, and will do or say anything to realize it. And you can see that she has always shifted her message, if you will, to reflect that. Iraq war? Vote yes! Not the popular thing to do–uhhh, well, uhhh… And I’m not cool with her visions of universal health care and other such things. But if I had her as my executive, BAM! Whatever it is that I needed done, I would have complete confidence that as it is written, so shall it be done.
So, I’m behind the new President in continuing to try to make our country, and our world, a better place. I think that his new face on the scene really shows that freedom and democracy, and all the civil rights that we as a country implemented can work. That we, as a country are who and what we say we are. And that’s not nothing.
As anyone who knows me, or if you’ve read my blogs in the past, you know that I am not a race-based person. From who my friends are, to who I’ve dated, to who I admire, ethnicity is the last thing on my mind. To me, ethnicity is something about a person I just find fascinating–what is your culture, where did your ancestors come from, what makes you, you? I love that stuff. I’ve got an Anthropology degree to prove it… 😀 (I’ve already posted my agreement with Dr. Joseph Graves in my non-belief in actual biological “race.” I’m not going to go into that argument here. I leave that as an exercise for the student… 🙂 ).
I don’t use “race” or even gender to choose who I vote for. I’ve had seniors, peers, and subordinates of varying ethnicities, male and female, and I have to say that most important thing is the individual and their beliefs and ethics and values, not that of the box they check when they fill out the application.
So, that’s one thing that really bothered me about the Obama victory. As I was watching the final result roll in, and Obama declared victory, Juan Williams of the Fox News Channel and NPR, declared–somewhat smug, but with the wherewithal to be a little abashed, “that the African-American vote was overwhelmingly for Obama, and in some districts it was 100%.” The show went on to catalog that “White” voters were much more evenly split, but with a definite majority for Obama (mostly along party lines). And as we know, many more of the older category of voters, especially “Older Whites” went for McCain, and younger voters (of all ethnicities) went for Obama.
It seems like at least *a portion* of the population is beyond politics of skin color. But now that we’ve had “color” in the White House, perhaps those of us “of color” will feel that they have been heard, and that the next era of voting and governing will be about competency and direction, rather than just “someone who looks like me.” I believe we’ll get there. Heck, this is America. Yes, we can…
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