Some Thoughts on Inauguration Day and Beyond

Italy2011 448As we all know today is the public inauguration for President Barack Obama for his second term. He was actually sworn in yesterday because the Constitution dictates swearing in is always January 20th, today is the public event. Of course much of the news today is about the events of today; looking back at other inaugural speeches, ceremonies, designer gowns. A few thoughts come to mind:

  • Today should be a new day in America, a day where we can turn the page and start anew. A day where we can all come together and have optimism and enthusiasm for the next four years. The thought of what can be accomplished should excite us all. The possibilities could be endless. What if we could finally create more jobs; have affordable healthcare for all; be energy independent; make renewable energy common place; rebuild our crumbling infrastructure; invest in the future of our country with education, immigration, equality for all; grow the economy; figure out a Grand Bargain for longterm American prosperity. Today is the day we need to be thinking about making all of that a reality. 
  • The United States of America is a shining example of democracy; our history has shown that no matter how ugly the election cycle was we always have a peaceful transition of power. The outgoing and incoming presidents ride together to the inauguration. Peaceful transition of power is not what takes place in other parts of the world, not by a long shot. Many have military coups or the mass slaughterings we see in the Middle East. Today is a day to be proud to be an American and proud of the way our democracy works.
  • I would like to take this one step further, the entire country should realize that we had a vote, the outcome has consequences but everyone needs to stand behind President Obama. His successes are our successes. I would like to not only see all Americans stand behind the president, I would like to see all members of Congress, all previous presidents attending the inauguration as well. George W. Bush released a statement saying he would be helping his father and neither would be able to attend. I respect that W. wants to stay out of politics and not pipe in on every decision that is made. However, I find it unacceptable that he is not coming today. He should be there, with his head held high. He was the last sitting president and his presence would show the Country and the World the solidarity of the United States. Mr. Bush’s appearance could have shown his party that no matter what your differences are you always stand behind the President of the United States. Mr. Bush could have made such a statement, especially to the bitterly divided GOP party, just by coming and sitting in the front row. His choosing to sit this out was wrong for the him personally and wrong for the Country.
  • The GOP should look at today as a fresh start for their party as well. But all signs are signaling it won’t. Paul Ryan told a crowd that he was going to the inauguration because it was an obligation of his office. He got booed when he said that. What a horrible thing to say. The chance to witness history, as any presidential inauguration is, as most Americans would love to go and witness it; and to tell a crowd he is going because of obligation. Not only is that something a sore loser says its also shows an un-united front to the public and world. It seems that any GOP member of Congress that isnt required wont be going. That is also unacceptable. We elect and pay these people they should be there to stand up for their Country, their President, and our traditions.
  • I am hopeful of the next four years; I have some advice for our politicians. First is a general one to everyone: Get Along; stop bickering and do the people’s business! Mr. Obama: Reach out more, make more relationships, invite GOP over weekly. Do whatever it takes to try to make a better relationship with both your party and the GOP. I believe your not having done this in your first term added to the gridlock. You have a job to do, the hardest job in the world actually, being friends with John Boehner and Mitch McConnell will only make your life easier. To the GOP: open your mother-fucking eyes, look around to see what the country wants and stop being ruled by the extremest part of your party. Stop pushing women, hispanics, gays, unemployed away from you. Stop being a road block, start helping with solutions. Putting more people back to work will lower the deficit. We need a balanced plan for longterm financial stability; that means you need to compromise.

It’s too early to have a toast but later on we should all raise a glass to President Obama and The United States of America and the possibilities of what we can all do together!