I know it’s only been one day, and I’m not one to have stars in my eyes, but it actually does feel like we may be entering an all-new era of politics and governance.
I don’t have the words to say how impressed I am with this new President. He’s obviously intelligent and competent, but at the same time he doesn’t seem full of himself, nor has he been trying to suggest that he has all the answers, or that he will be able to solve our problems for us. On the contrary, he has said many times that all of us will have to pull together to work our way out of the various messes we find ourselves in, and he says it in such a way that I actually want to do just that.
His natural political enemies, the ultraconservative hard core Christian right, seem to be a little scarce these days, and they are reduced to rolling their eyes, making fun of the concepts of “hope” and “change,” and predicting that President Obama will simply take everybody’s money and throw it down the nearest liberal rat hole. Rush Limbaugh chortles “This guy is in so far over his head…” but his words ring false, maybe even to Rush himself.
Anyone who reads this blog or knows me even a little knows that I am skeptical of public figures almost to the point of cynicism. They always have ulterior motives, and I don’t trust them. I’ve said here before that you have to have an inflated ego even to run for president. So by (my) definition, presidents must be a somewhat unsavory bunch.
During my life a few presidents have looked realistically into the face of daunting adversity and called the nation to service. Some, like Jimmy Carter, were kind of earnest bummers. Others, most notably JFK, spoke eloquently and inspired a generation. I find myself inspired by this president, and wanting to give him a little extra slack. I catch myself choking up at the unfolding of this particular bit of history. I’m open to the call for responsibility. I’m suspending my disbelief. The nation — the world — is in big trouble, yet I’m feeling hopeful. I’m thinking OK, what role can I play?
Who knows? Maybe we really can save the world.