This Inauguration Day is the closest thing to an international holiday I’ve ever seen. Once again the world cheers with us instead of against us.
It is difficult not to feel hopeful today. I have said I distrust the Democrats as much as I despise the Republicans, so it’s a relief for me to return to my former skeptical self.
The fear and loathing have once again subsided to a tolerable level because...
At long last Bush is gone from the White House. His iron fist will no longer clench the levers of power in our government. If only we could see the ruinous effects of his misrule disappear like his last helicopter flight over the Washington DC horizon. I admit to feeling the urge to sing along with the massive crowd as they sent the arrogant decider off with rousing choruses of “Na Na Na Hey Hey Hey Goodbye”.
Yes he’s gone, but as Shakespeare wrote, “the evil that men do lives after them.” If, and I’ve seen no bigger if, he is a good man, then his good intentions did more to pave our nation’s road to hell than a million enemies could have done in a hundred years.
We have entered the final American era of hope. If we can’t get it right this time, I fear it will be too late to ever shackle the inner beast of extremism in American government. The radical right wingers and their Neocon cabal have had their chance to prove themselves as the utter failures we predicted they would be.
I hope the corporate media will finally stop giving them the credibility to further pontificate their failed ideology.
We all hope Obama can stop the destruction that continues from the Bush Doctrine. We hope Obama can reverse the cruel policies of Bush/Cheney.
I hope I live to see justice return to the Department of Justice. I hope to never again hear how only Right Thinking Americans can get a job there.
I hope perpetrators of war crimes like torture, rendition, and violations of Habeas Corpus are punished.
I hope that those who committed treasonous acts of deception to provoke war are brought to justice.
I hope to never again hear the corporate media give voice to the Reich Wing ideologues spouting their hateful crap about “real Americans”.
I hope the gutless Democratic Party has a new leader who will do the right thing, instead of their usual capitulation to the radical right’s agenda.
I hope to see truly patriotic Republicans respect the Constitution enough to cooperate with the new administration’s efforts at investigating past crimes by the Bush Administration.
I hope Americans can unite for truth and justice.
I hope the Bill of Rights will be taught in every school.
I hope Fox News goes bankrupt.
I hope Obama has the sense to not escalate the war in Afghanistan.
I hope Obama keeps his oath to protect and defend the Constitution.I hope he really means what he said in today’s Inaugural Address:
“The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works, whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified.
Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's knowledge will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.”
And I hope these words are not as empty as those about someone being a “compassionate conservative”:
“Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched.
But this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control. The nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous.
The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on the ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart -- not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.”
Wow! When’s the last time you heard a president even mention the common good? Next came the other words I have been longing to hear from a president:
“As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.
Our founding fathers faced with perils that we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations.
Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake.
And above all I hope Mr. Obama’s efforts will match his rhetoric in these lofty words:
“And so, to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and we are ready to lead once more.
Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with the sturdy alliances and enduring convictions.
They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use. Our security emanates from the justness of our cause; the force of our example; the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.
We are the keepers of this legacy, guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort, even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We'll begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people and forge a hard- earned peace in Afghanistan.
With old friends and former foes, we'll work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat and roll back the specter of a warming planet.
We will not apologize for our way of life nor will we waver in its defense.”
And finally, I couldn’t help thinking this message could have been appropriate for both the Islamist terrorist extremists and the authoritarian extremists here in the US:
“And for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that, ‘Our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken. You cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you’.”
The bottom line for me is I thought this was a great day for the United States of America. And with it being a Tuesday and all, I did what the country finally figuratively got around to.
I took out the garbage.