Millions of people in DC today. I’ll watch on TV. The kids' school is making a big event out of it, and all the kids will watch. I don’t recall the country ever being in such a buzz about a political event in my lifetime.
I wonder about the undercurrents of today that are more than just the overt joy at something going right for us racially, socially—after all, who would have ever thought that a black man would be elected president in my lifetime? Not me. I like being pleasantly surprised by America. And I'm grateful that my children will see this day while they're still children.
However, is there also an electric tingle at this peaceful surrender of power--the Left has been so mortified by the Bush administration and its grasping for power for so many years now. Today feels like a reminder that, even with the economy in the tank and two wars underway and corruption and confusion rampant, maybe things aren’t quite as bad as we thought. Maybe the fundamentals of the American system are sound, and we really are all pulling oars in the same boat. We feel the great tidal pull of history sucking the feet out from under American hegemony, and as we teeter in the waves of uncertainty, we’ll watch the inauguration of this man who has vowed to bring people together (knowing full well that his predecessor made the same promise) with a kernel of hope in our hearts. Maybe he can really help pull it off.
Beyond inspiring hope, though, Obama has showed an ability to motivate people to take action. Now is an opportunity for a leader to emerge who can inspire positive action forward. In the end, of course, it’s really all up to us. But maybe he can remind us of this fact and help guide us in a positive way through the tough changes we face ahead. We’ll see.