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.