Thoughts On The Inauguration

As I write this post, our country prepares to celebrate tomorrow what comparatively few countries in this world can celebrate: another peaceful transition from one leader to another. The fact that, for the most part, this process has happened peaceably for over two hundred years is in itself an achievement. However, I am apparently not as excited by it as the projected millions that are to be in Washington, D.C., or the vast majority of the mainstream media in this country.

If you have subjected yourself to any of the coverage of the inauguration at this point, then you may have experienced the same thing I did. The level of fawning and pontificating over Obama, and what he is going to do to “heal” America has reached a fever pitch.  I thought the media was largely against torture – I guess I was wrong.

So forgive me for not participating in the Obama-gasm. Yes, I fully realize the historical nature of Obama’s election. I do find it ironic that his inauguration is being celebrated using the very language that Dr. King (whose birthday we celebrate today) sought to get rid of (i.e, he is the first black President). However, it certainly does reflect how far our country has come from its racist and prejudicial past. But, the problem is that I can’t separate the man from his ideas.

It is hard to get excited about a President that promised things on the campaign trail like:

“I will cut tens of billions of dollars in wasteful spending . . . slow our development of future combat systems . . . not develop new nuclear weapons.”

“So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.” (FYI, 50% of our electricity in this country is generated by coal-fired power plants, according to Pew Research.)

“The first thing I’d do as President is sign the Freedom Of Choice Act.”

Of course, this is just a sampling of the kinds of choices Obama says he will make once he is President (in this case, less than twenty-four hours). So, again, forgive me if I am not doing cartwheels down the street over the fact that he gets to set a large part of the public policy tone for the next four years. Then again, he is a politician, and politicians promise all kinds of things while campaigning to get elected, then follow through on very few of them…so maybe I have nothing to worry about.

My advice? Shut off the TV…maybe even the radio. Set your internet home page to blank (or better yet, this blog), and wait for this feeding frenzy of self-congratulations to subside. Let’s face it, the mainstream media would not be nearly so excited if a conservative African-American had won the election. They are excited because, (a) Bush is leaving, and (b) their guy won.

I could probably go on, but decency forces me to stop there. So appreciate tomorrow for what it’s worth: another peaceful transition of power, and maybe we can finally get over this albatross of “America is racist” hanging around our collective necks. Beyond that, it means that our country has elected the most left-leaning President since FDR – and that is no cause for celebration.

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