I wrote a comment on Debby's blog today and vented a bit. I realize now I should not have chosen that forum but, rather, should have made it a post on my own turf. Sorry, Debby, I did not mean to hijack your comment board for my own personal feelings. I should do that here.
Today President Obama was inaugurated. I awoke this morning and prayed for him and his family. I really do wish him the best and am hoping against hope that he can guide this country into better times.
Anyone who has read my stuff here knows I did not vote for the man. And I wish today that John McCain had been inaugurated instead of Barack Obama. But I have to live with the election results.
What is frustrating me is all this talk about "uniting the country" as if Barack Obama had thought this up on his own. Please. It's a wonderful thought and I am in favor of it, but this concept is not original with Barack Obama.
At 51 years old, I have lived through a few presidential elections and a few inaugurations. I do not remember one that did not include something about "coming together," "putting aside our differences" and "uniting." Every new President includes those sentiments in his inaugural address and, depending on his oratorical skills (think Kennedy, Reagan and Clinton; not so much Nixon, Carter or either of the Bushes), many of us believe for a while that it might actually happen.
A lot of the "uniting" happens due to circumstances. When Richard Nixon finally left office disgracefully in 1974, the country seemed to heave a collective sigh of relief.
Under the President who left office today, we became united on Sept. 11, 2001 after we were attacked on our own soil. That unification lasted for a while but it did not last. And most of his detractors won't even admit that he had a hand in not only uniting us (for a time) but also in helping to keep us safe -- beyond what most of us can even fathom.
Did we become united after Clinton disgraced the office of President by his little extracurricular relationship just outside the Oval Office? I don't think so. He was so angry about the whole thing that he, with his extraordinary persuasive skills, managed to marshall his forces and finish his second term with some amount of dignity still intact. But those who were sickened by his antics still remained and that, I believe, is what helped George W. Bush defeat Al Gore (at least in the electoral college) in 2000.
So today Barack Obama takes office and, cheered on by the adoring media and many celebrities, the perception is that we are coming together. I do not object to that, but I do not think Barack Obama should get credit for a concept that did not originate with him or for rhetoric as old as elections themselves.