Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Notes on the Inaugaration

This is a political post
On January 20, 2009 at Noon, Barack Hussein Obama became the 44th president of the United States in America. Who knew that the country was ready to be lead by a black man with a Muslim name? Nine months ago, the idea that we as a people were ready to judge someone by "the content of their character, and not by the color of their skin" was something I wasn't quite sure was going to happen.

Photo courtesy of AP

On the day of that which is more American than anything else, the quiet and peaceful change in direction of it's leadership at the behest of it's citizens, a few thoughts spring to mind.

During the election, his opponents took great issue with his status of "celebrity." Which strikes me as odd. In a right thinking society, the people who control our lives...the real role models... shouldn't they be the one's idolized? Should they not be celebrities? In a day and age when people confer celebrity status on people who play games, toss a football, dribble a basketball, appear in a film, why would it be wrong to confer such status on those with high mental skill, with the ability to lead us against real problems, and not just fourth and inches or needing a three to get it into overtime? Would his detractors rather us NOT pay attention to those who can, and lately have, toss billions upon billions of OUR dollars about recklessly?

I wonder.

We have a new president. Who for a lot of the wrong reasons and for more than a few of the right reasons will be watched with a scrutiny normally reserved for sterile rooms at the CDC or fish frying. The Onion lead with the headline on Nov 5th, "Black Man given America's Worst Job" and they weren't that far from the truth. He has in my opinion, a hard row to hoe. As he alluded to in his speech, his to do list is long. The economy, the war in Iraq, our global prestige, fiscal irresponsibility, Israel and Gaza, and it just goes on. One can only hope a well thought thru management style with professional people can cut through the dross. Please don't let me their be a Brownie (FEMA) anywhere.

And I like that Obama is touting this as the age of responsiblity. Our former leadership seemed to believed that the status quo had to be maintained. The very idea that the rich could be held accountable - why is Bernie Madoff still free on bail? - for gross mismanagement seemed to anathema. The idea of failing upward seemed to be the norm if you knew the right people. I'm sorry, but some people need to go to jail. Seriously. Millions of people suffer due to the greed of the few. And not a country club jail, Maximum security. And I hope that he starts holding some people responsible. In little rooms. Hey, I think I just figured out what we can do with Guantanamo.

So we're on a new path. It's a not a pretty route, but it's the one we have to travel. So let's get it right and get it moving.

And next time, somebody tell Aretha not to wear that hat.

Barkeep, a round of drinks for everybody on me...and big glass of red koolaid for me.

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