2009/01/20

Let the Circus End and Let’s Get Down to Business

DaGoddess @ 05:02

As we say goodbye to one president and welcome in another, could we possibly do it without making it a three-ring circus? Let’s face facts, ANYONE who’d been elected would have been making history. The hue of the skin of the victor does not make this any more remarkable than any other time. What is of value is that we are now swearing in the 44th leader of the United States of America. Only 43 others have held this position. It is likely the most difficult job in the world. And each and every person elected to this job makes history. Let’s be clear on that, shall we?

We don’t need 24/7 coverage on every bit of the inauguration. Nor do we need to act as if this is THE GREATEST MOMENT in the history of the world. It’s one man. One inauguration. The exorbitant amount of money spent on this celebration could be better put to use in feeding those who have no food, putting shoes on the feet of those without, providing a warm bed for those who haven’t even a roof over their heads, and providing health care for those who go without. The television coverage planned is equally ridiculous. Why not use that same energy to expose the plight of the ill, the poor, the malnourished? Yes, by all means, let’s welcome the new president with a party, but we don’t need to go so over the top as what is planned.

I wish our new president a successful term in office. I wish for him to surround himself with very smart people. I wish for him to represent all of us, not just those who elected him. I wish for him to maintain a safe, secure nation. I wish for him to continue supporting our military, without whom we’d be at great risk of losing the Freedom we have worked so hard to maintain for 233 years. (Freedom is like a child — it must be tended, nourished, and protected twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.) I wish for him to act with great diplomacy toward our allies and enemies alike. I wish for him to find the strength to stand up to our allies and our enemies when they are wrong and when there are injustices being committed. I wish for him to treat the office he holds with the utmost respect and to remember that he is not a movie star or competing for homecoming king. He is the President of the United States of America and I want very much for him to conduct himself with dignity and grace.

We also need to thank the outgoing president. You don’t have to like him or have voted for him. What I do think we should do, though, is thank him for enduring intense public scrutiny at a very difficult time in American history. He stayed tough and saw his vision through, which is exactly what we ask of our leaders. If he was right or wrong cannot be decided now, but will become much clearer in the future. So for now, we need to say, “Thank you, President Bush.” I did not always agree with him, nor will I ever agree with any president on everything. I don’t need to. I just need my president to be strong and vigilant, which I believe Bush was. So, again, Thank you, President Bush. May you walk off into the sunset, hand-in-hand with the woman you love and enjoy your retirement together. You answered the nation’s call and served us to the best of your ability. Now we make room for #44.

And we need to say, “Welcome President Obama.”

It’s not about politics, it’s about being respectful citizens who choose to believe in and support our leaders — whether or not they were the ones we personally chose. If we don’t agree with them, we can write them, vote them out of office, and/or quietly, with dignity, work to make the world better. We cannot rely upon them entirely to create the change we seek. It begins with us. And if we are diligent in our efforts, it will be reflected in those who hold one of the most powerful positions in the world.

Again, you do not have to be a supporter of President Obama or any other president to give them the respect they are due. They deserve this for taking on a very difficult job, putting up with millions of differing opinions, have to remain strong even when faced with adversity, and still appear to actually want to continue as our president. The very least we can do, to anyone duly elected, is to welcome them as they take office and thank them as they leave. Each has tried to do their best, will continue to do so, and we should respect that.

Now, let’s dispense with the big hullabaloo (we could use that money for a good many other more vital services), say “howdy”, and get down to the business at hand.

13 Comments

  1. Wow…as we say in Cuban, te la comistes!! :worship: (translation: you ate it. obviously the literal translation makes no sense. LOL)
    :flag:

    Comment by Amanda — 2009/01/20 @ 07:26

  2. I understand why you don’t blog politics much, but when you do you hit it out of the park! Beautifully said, Joanie.

    Now… you know that I’m a little verklempt about the entire thing… and though I realize that obama becomes President today and I wish nothing but the best for our country, I do not wish for his policies to work. I do not believe in socialism. I’m conservative. Why should I want his beliefs to succeed?

    I will respect the office of the President, as always, but it’s still my right and duty as an American to speak up when he’s doing something I don’t like. I did the same with Presidents Clinton and Bush and I’ll do it again with President Obama.

    As soon as I woke this morning I started praying for America. We need as much protection and blessings as we can get now…

    Comment by Pam — 2009/01/20 @ 08:48

  3. The office of the president means very little to me. We need someone who does a good job; it’s personal to each and everyone of us. We don’t need an office. We need a person.

    I can’t think of a single good thing to say about President Bush, and I don’t thank him for anything.

    I am in wait and see mode about Obama. I didn’t vote for him, rhetoric doesn’t do it for me when so much is on the line. Now, we’ll see what actions he delivers. And he has inherited a series of messes.

    Comment by Temple Stark — 2009/01/20 @ 12:42

  4. Addendum ::: It’s just that respect to me is a very important thing. It’s earned, it doesn’t just suddenly pop into being. There are a million and one perks to the job; people don’t run for president out of a sense of self-sacrifice.

    Comment by Temple Stark — 2009/01/20 @ 12:50

  5. I didn’t vote for him and I sure don’t agree with most of his beliefs or policies. I do, however, think it’s a big deal that a black man has been elected President. I strongly disagree with those who voted for him because he is black, but considering how blacks were treated as subhuman not so long ago in our nation’s history, it’s an important day to many Americans.

    I totally agree that it’s crazy for the money to be lavished like this on the inauguration…To declare a state of emergency in order to fund it with OUR money. Shoot…I wouldn’t spend this for anyone’s inauguration, especially when our economy is in such crisis. It’s hypocritical.

    Comment by GW — 2009/01/20 @ 14:38

  6. I think you’ve said very well what I have been feeling about the entire circus surrounding Mr Obama’s election. I suspect that the expectations placed on him to instantly change the face of America to something the Left/Liberal media and polticians here want to see will be disappointed and, frankly, to me, the fuss being made by white liberals about the election of someone they label “black” as President is simply racist. The President of the USA is a tough job, the Office is one that should be respected, but the individual occupying that position has, in my view, to earn my respect by showing through his integrity, decisiveness and ability to handle a crisis that he (or she) is worthy of that respect.

    So Mr Obama is “black”. Does this give him some magical ability to solve every problem? Does this give him some special dispensation to make mistakes or to behave in a manner that Mr McCain might not have been allowed to do? Does this mean that he is able to achieve things someone else couldn’t? If the hysterical acclaim from the left of the political spectrum here is anything to go by I suspect they think a new socialist dawn is about to break in the US that will sweep away capitalism, enterprise and self-sufficiency and reduce you all to the same welfare dependent apathy and mediocrity we suffer from. I hope not, but he’s your new “King” and he has a suitably psycophantic Congress and Senate to support him so I think you will have an interesting four years ahead.

    I wish you all luck, but being a cynic in politics I have no great expectations of anything other than tears before the end of his terms.

    Comment by The Gray Monk — 2009/01/20 @ 15:53

  7. I suppose before I get to arguin’ and all, I ought to thank you for the kind wishes, and the prayers you referred to at Foolery. But since it does involve a relative of mine, I must rise in objection.

    There have only been 42 who have held the position before. My dad’s 7th something-or-other, twice removed … ol’ Grover … was both the 22nd and the 24th Prezamidents.

    Comment by Bob Cleveland — 2009/01/20 @ 17:00

  8. Temple, respect for the office and the president is something most of us were taught in school. For me, it’s ingrained into my being. I will never agree completely with any elected official, but I will respect them for the simple fact that they had the balls to do what I could or would not.

    Pam, we should always speak up when bad things happen, but I believe there’s a quiet and dignified way of doing so. I don’t know exactly how to explain this to anyone, but in my head it all makes perfect sense.

    Kimberley, Obama is only half black. Oddly enough, he doesn’t talk much about that. That, to me, is one of the more interesting parts of his heritage. His father was a dark-skinned Kenyan, his mother was a light-skinned (white) American. He was born in 1961, a time when that couple would have been subjected to intense pressure and scrutiny — and yet they were together long enough create this child, separating when the child was two. That’s much more interesting a story to me than to just hear him proclaimed a black man with nothing else said.

    (Maybe it’s my meds or the weather, but I’m not feeling the fire today.)

    Comment by DaGoddess — 2009/01/20 @ 18:02

  9. Amanda, thank you.

    Bob, I won’t argue. When you’re right, you’re right.

    Comment by DaGoddess — 2009/01/20 @ 18:06

  10. Well said, DG! Can’t add much to what you and everyone else has said. I certainly don’t agree with a lot of what Obama believes, but I will pray for him and for our country.

    Comment by Mrs. Who — 2009/01/20 @ 20:00

  11. LD said he’s pissed off when he read that WE had to pay $15 million + for the inauguration and emergency services.

    As we discussed, that sort of money could have gone to putting food in hungry bellies and taking care of the sick and disabled.

    Among a couple other things, the basic premise of this entire post is that we need to stop treating the inauguration like it’s a big Hollywood party and running up exorbitant costs. It’s a waste of money that could be spent in a better manner. We need to start THINKING CAREFULLY about how we manage our resources and dispense with this unnecessary frivolity.

    Comment by DaGoddess — 2009/01/20 @ 22:24

  12. Great post that certainly brings out some interesting points, as does the discussion in the comments. I am a supporter of Obama and wish him success in his new position. He comes at a time of great challenges. If I ever considered the office of President I would never have done it now – all of those that ran were courageous, these are difficult times.

    I agree that the money spent on the inauguration could be spent on other things – but this one is no different (in terms of spending) than any in the past. There was a great article that discussed this if I find the link I will give it to you.

    I am also wary of this notion that President Obama is the saving grace of our country. We are a nation and each of us has some personal responsibility regarding getting things here back on the right foot. We have to hold all of our elected leaders accountable and be present in the political process – not act as bystanders hoping for the best, complaining about the worse and doing nothing to encourage change.

    The one thing that I believe all of us can agree on is that this election, this inauguration and this Presidency has sparked a new interest and commitment to the political process for many Americans. It is my hope that this continues and that together we can make a difference.

    Oh and by the way- I have never heard President Obama neglect the completeness of his heritage. He was raised by his mother and his family, took time off of the campaign trail to spend with his dying grandmother and has publicly (for better or worse) referred to himself as a mutt.

    The fact that he is seen as a black man is a construct that is based on the history of our nation. One drop and you are black. If he was not President Obama and was a regular joe walking down the street he would be characterized as black. That is our reality.

    As a person that has lived outside of our country, I know that most would not classify him (or most “black” people for that matter since the majority of us are mixed up with something) as such. I think that as a nation and a world we are moving away from such restricting definitions of race but we still have a long way to go.

    Nevertheless, I hope for the best during this Presidency, I also hope that others take personal responsibility and know that many will be disappointed because one man is not the change, we all are the change.

    Comment by Renee aka Mekhismom — 2009/01/25 @ 07:32

  13. Renee, I think all our inaugurations should be conducted in the Senate, televised for the rest of the nation, but without the pomp and circumstance that has become the norm over the last couple decades. It’s money wasted, in my humble opinion. I oppose the hoopla no matter who is being sworn in. Other countries manage to transition between administrations on a shoestring budget. We should, too.

    I suppose I was quick on the draw to say Obama didn’t declare all parts of his heritage. I know he has spoken at length about it in the past, but for the most part, the focus of the media and much of the nation was on the darker tone of his skin, not the lighter tones.

    Personally, I am one of those who often fail to see skin tones as a defining trait. I see people. Everyone bleeds the same, cries the same, dies the same. I believe we are one race: the human race. Yes, that’s probably a little magical thinking on my part, but I know I’m not alone in this. I just wish more people felt the same way. All that should matter to anyone when looking at another human being is whether or not we have enough in common to form a friendship. Sadly, that is not how the world operates.

    As for this presidency sparking a new or renewed interest or commitment in the political process, I don’t quite agree there. I think it fits special interests and a very specific agenda, particularly from Hollywood. Look at the latest “I Pledge” commercials — what? None of these people could lift a finger before Obama was elected? There weren’t any people in need before then? What prevented celebrities or anyone else for that matter from reaching out and helping? Nothing. But because they’ve hitched their collective wagon to this star, well, they’ll do whatever it takes to make that star shine.

    My frustration over the hoopla and circus that the election and inauguration became stems from the simple idea that no one was unable to “DO” anything before. No one was stopped from volunteering, from donating money, from befriending someone of a different heritage, sexual orientation, or faith. Those are just convenient excuses for everyone who simply didn’t give a crap before and only now give a crap because it’s the popular thing to do. Replace Obama with anyone else and suddenly interest would wane. I can almost guarantee that.

    Comment by DaGoddess — 2009/01/25 @ 07:52

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