Wow, what a day. Today was the big inauguration ceremony of the 44th President of the United States. And boy, was it a grand occasion! It’s a moment in history that we have just gone through, folks. The first black president is nothing to shake a stick at (whatever that means). I skipped class today in order to watch the ceremony. I figured, what’s more interesting, graphs of normal distributions – something I learned in high school anyway – or watching a timeless moment of history in the making? I think the choice is obvious.
Today was a tremendous day, not just for Democrats that had their moment of success today, but for everyone. It wasn’t just for the Democrats, nor for the African-Americans, nor for even just the Americans. The whole world is affected by this moment, and the whole world, I think, should be proud of it, no matter where your political persuasions lie. Today is the day that the last nail is driven into the coffin of racial discrimination. Certainly the problem isn’t completely over, but it shows that Americans have gotten past it. Today is a day when America as a whole shifts direction – whether you see that as a good or a bad thing, you must at least agree that it’s a significant one. And of course, today is the day that marks the beginning of change.
Now, I’m not all sold out on Obama’s platform of “change” and “hope” and all that. I’m much too cynical when it comes to politics to believe that Obama will solve all the world’s problems. But I certainly see potential for something greater there. Although his speech was less than grandiose, I felt it was inspirational. He fully acknowledged the problems faced by Americans, and then discussed how he plans on solving them – not with the same brute-force methods that the last eight years have used, but with a return to the timeless values and the ideals of Americans (and I would add, of people as a whole) that founded the country. What his speech lacked in grandeur, it made up for with depth and passion. I have no doubt that Obama will make his own mistakes, but I think that if he truly meant what he said, then he is on a firm foundation for instituting real, positive change.
All in all, the ceremony reminded me a lot of a hockey or football game. As the past presidents and other dignitaries were being announced and coming in, it just felt very much like the announcement of the starting lineup of a sports team. All they were missing were numbers on their backs, and it would have been perfect. But talk about a crowd coming out! Apparently, the Lincoln Memorial is two miles away from Capitol Hill, and yet there was a crowd of people packing out the whole area. Now that’s what I call a huge crowd.
At any rate, on a somewhat shallower note, I’m glad that the celebrations went off without incident. Part of me was actually expecting a gunman to snipe off Obama during his speech. I mean, there are some crazy, racist people out there, some of which I’m sure would do it if given the chance. I’m just glad that they apparently weren’t given such a chance. It was good to know that such a momentous occasion – the swearing-in of the first African-American president – could go off without a hitch. So here’s to America today. Sure we don’t always agree with you all the time, and sure sometimes you bully us a bit too much, but hey – we’re like family. And in the end, we always need to celebrate the happy occasions of our family members. Here’s to hoping that the next four years are filled with optimism and confidence in the face of difficult moments, and real, positive change in the face of difficulty. Because you know, we’re all planning on trading with China instead if Obama doesn’t do something quick…