Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Is it a dream?

Okay, okay, I'm about to turn off the rest of the world and go watch the inauguration on TV, all by myself, because I'm pretty sure this is all a dream and when I wake up I don't want to share my tears of disappointment with the rest of the world.

There's a streak of fear in me about this whole thing. I find myself living with an ineradicable sense of unreality, a fear of being disappointed once again by the reality, and wishing I could share the utter joy of the faces I see as the TV cameras scan the crowds.

Let me be clear----I am not afraid that Obama will be a bad president. In him I see an integrity that I have rarely seen in a political figure, even those I have admired. Like me and you, he is human and therefore can't be pure to the bone. Even though we are hoping he will be perfect, we know he can't be. And that's not the disappointment I fear. I'm sure he will make his share of mistakes; how else can he learn? I'm okay with that.

What I wish I could do is set aside my fears for him and his family and join in the spectacular celebrations of his inauguration as our 44th President.

I'm not sure where this comes from, though I suspect it harks back to the dark day in 1963 when we watched re-runs incessantly of JFK's assassination and heard the hooting laughter of his enemies and their children in our classrooms and on the streets.

I hear echoes of that laughter around me. I read it in the neo-Nazi blogs and comments that I run across; I see it in the hateful words of those who would condemn him or anyone who differs from their conservative agenda, whether that be civil rights, reproductive rights, labor rights, or other of the many issues this country has been polarized around. I even see it in the hypersensitive reactions of those who read insult into every move he makes that doesn't fit their agenda.

I'm not so afraid he'll be assassinated as I once was, seeing the massive security efforts which protect him and his family. I'm not expecting to be disappointed by President Obama's efforts to reunite the country.

I am expecting---and wishing I weren't---to be disappointed by those who refuse to be reunited, who want to hang onto their grudges, their anger, their raison d'etre in life. Don't they see the joy of others at the thrill of having elected such a man to the highest office in the land? Doesn't this affect their dour outlook at all? I am appalled by it in them----and in myself.

And yet I know that this is just part of living. We all have the right to dissent and to state our opinion. It is one of the many things about democracy that is messy, that is inevitable, that we all must cope with, in others---and in ourselves.


Little Warrior's Mom said...

“Daughter, daughter, don’t you know. You’re not the first to feel just so. But let me say before I go, it’s worth it anyway. Some day we may all be surprised, we’ll awake and open up our eyes. And then we all will realize the whole world feels this way. We’ve all been living upside down, and turned around with love unfound until we turn and face the sun. Yes, all of us everyone.” -- Pete Seeger

Joel said...

I didn't vote for him, obviously, but I hope he does well in his new office. He's my president now.

I think the majority of people who voted against him would say the same. A president will always be subjected to criticism from the other side, but the level of vitriol that was leveled at his two predecessors was despicable, and I don't think we'll see much of it this time around. President Obama has many opponents but few actual enemies.

ms. kitty said...

Thanks to both of you for your truly uplifting comments.

Robin Edgar said...

Well, at least in one sense , it is a partial fulfillment of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King's Dream Rev. Ketchum.

I will be nice and refrain from virtually pinching you today. ;-)

Robin Edgar said...

I must say that I like this bit of President Barack Obama's Inaugural Address for some reason -

"To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand *if* you are willing to unclench your fist."

Everybody knows who I am thinking about here. . .

Robin Edgar said...

Looks like you managed to recover the original comment as per my suggestion Ms. Kitty. Why not post my follow-up comment that responded to your request too?

No pressure or anything but it might prove to be somewhat enlightening to some people.


Robin Edgar

ms. kitty said...

Robin, I don't know how it happened that the original comment got posted---I couldn't find it and thought it was lost. Your second effort is among the comments on the post right after the ceremony.

Robin Edgar said...

Been there. Seen that.

Ta from TEA

And have a great weekend.

ms. kitty said...

Thanks, Robin, you have a good one too.