Sunday, January 18, 2009

Give the man a chance, please.

Tomorrow is inauguration day, and odds are you are view this event with either a) great joy or b) serious apprehension.
If you are in group b, I'll ask you one thing: give the man a chance, please.

We've all heard the reasons why people would be concerned about what's going to happen to the country under our next President (we heard them all summer during the campaign!):
  • It's the end of our capitalist system! The man's a Socialist!
  • He's a corrupt crony-ist! (What President hasn't surrounded himself with friends and allies?)
  • Taxes, taxes, taxes!
  • Inexperience: he's never been a player on the world stage.
  • He's not a born American citizen! He's a Muslim! He's a serial killer who will murder us in our sleep and eat our livers!
Ok, maybe I made up that last bit, but these political topics get kind of heavy sometimes, and I felt the need for some levity!
I'm not going to argue these points; time will tell. It wouldn't be the first time that the American people have put their faith into a political leader, only to be disappointed. (Polk, Hoover, Nixon, and Clinton come to mind as examples.)

But, no matter how you feel about President Obama, I defy you to prove to me that things should remain the same, that we are not desperately in need of changes. 8 years ago, after all, we had a similar event. Since then,
  • We've fought a (unnecessary) war resulting in thousands of deaths
  • We've seen a huge increase in the cost of living as a result of that war (Gas prices, people, impact the cost of everything, from postage to potatoes).
  • We are perhaps at the onset of next great depression
  • We are in the middle of a housing crisis brought on by both political parties, Liberals trying to allow more people to own homes, Conservatives failing to reign in run-away corporate greed.
  • Unemployment on the rise as a result of all of the above.
Not all of this is the fault of President Bush. The Constitution's authors were wise enough to create a system of government where it takes a whole bunch of people working together to really screw things up, after all. But when the ship sinks, it's generally the guy at the helm who gets the blame. I respect President Bush, and believe he's done what he's done with a genuine belief that he was doing the best for the nation, but I'm glad his time is over.

We are about to experience the peaceful transition of power from one chief executive to another for the 44th time in our nation's history. This is truly an amazing thing, and there are many places around the world where it simply doesn't happen. Sometimes the results have been good, others not-so-good, but we, as a nation, have survived them all. We have entered each presidents' administration with the same 2 outlooks, never knowing what is to come and either hoping for the best or fearing the worst. I don't know on which side you fall, dear reader, but realize one thing: we have never, in the history of this great country, made progress by working against one another. Never.

Let us keep our discourse civil, our minds open, and our focus on our common goal no matter the label we attach to ourselves, liberal or conservative, libertarian or socialist. We, all of us, want the same thing: a prosperous and secure country to call home, one we can point to with pride and say, out loud, "I am an American!" We may measure these things differently, and we may vehemently disagree on the path we take in pursuit of our goals, but it is our diversity that makes us great, and at the end of the day we are really less different than we are similar.

Give him a chance. He's got the job now, whether you like it our not. Give him a chance to prove you wrong. You may be surprised, or you may be right, but either way, he is the lawfully elected President of the United States, and deserves the opportunity.

I'd have given Senator Mc Cain the same.

6 comments:

Diane E. Main, GCT NorCal 2006 said...

I have a distant cousin in England who asked me if I was excited about the new President, because it's all they're getting on their news over there. Thought I'd share my response to her question:

I'll admit I've been a little busy to be "excited" about the new president, but it is a historic change for our country. It's all over the media here too, and it will be interesting to see how the big promised "CHANGE" takes place. That was his campaign slogan and promise. I think more people will feel a personal connection to what our government is doing, so that is a positive thing. Also, the country is ready for a major change in a lot of ways, so this could be what we need. But I also worry that people's hopes might be too high and that no one person could meet all the expectations. So we shall see how it goes.

I really do hope that more people feel included and make a point of knowing who's who in our government. It's always embarrassing to me that Jay Leno or Tom Bergeron (from AFV) can go talk to grown people, asking who holds various offices in our country, and no one seems to know. I also want people to know more about the political process in general. And then there's the hero worship that's going to inevitably end with people being disappointed. After all, Mr. Obama is a mere human like the rest of us. It's a lot of pressure to put on any one person.

More than anything, I think I want to see people showing respect and some kind of reverence to our President. The Office and the person. Regardless of one's politics, I think people should at least honor our president whether they agree with him or not. It's one thing to openly disagree with a person's choices or stated opinions. It's another thing entirely to disrespect a person who is a very tough position that can't make all people happy all the time.

That's how I feel.

Diane E. Main, GCT NorCal 2006 said...

That should say "who is IN a very tough position" up there.

Ken said...

Thank you for this posting. I agree that we must give elected or rather newly elected officials a chance. However, while I was adamantly supportive of Barack Obama, I am also forging ahead with guarded optimism. I do not doubt his intelligence and pragmatism will serve our collective better interest. What I seriously doubt, is the voters will hold ALL elected officials accountable for their choices and their votes. There is not nearly enough turn over in the House to warrant the interests of the voters being served properly. Therefore that is the catalyst for the type of corporate greed, corruption, and circumventing of our rights by many and that is not even counting the President. The framers of our constitution had enough foresight to include a section in it that states we must readdress, evaluate, and modify accordingly our constitution every 20 years. That has not happened and until it does many of our voices will simply be nothing more than an occasional ink dot or punch card. I would challenge you and your readers to make it a point to get informed about our laws and the bills that are destined to become laws. Make it a point to call your reps at least every other month and give your consent or dissent about a bill so your elected official knows how you feel. It can do wonders for your psyche and it is part of your civic duty.

betstuckween said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
betstuckween said...

The first thing they teach in an American Government class is that the US government is comprised of checks and balances, and not one branch has more power than the other. Unfortunately there is always a scapegoat. Thank you for being one of the few people to point this out; none of the crises right now can simply be blamed on one man!

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