I wish Inauguration Day was a national holiday. Regardless of your political gender, Inauguration Day is full of optimism and carries the sense of a fresh start – it is captivating. That’s not to mention that it is the culmination of an important part of our political process: the peaceful transition of power.
Today, regardless of who you voted for, we all have a new president.
It’s hard to say how President Obama’s term will go. He may have a Congress of the same political persuasion, but I’d hardly bet that everyone there is on his side. He inherits tough times, just like our former President inherited a nation in crisis mid-day on September 11, 2001.
My hope today, on this hope-filled Inaugural Day, is that our president finds himself able to deliver even half of what he’s promised.
The one thing I know for certain about President Obama is that he is one heck of a speaker. I think one of my favorite parts of today’s speech came near the end, when he said:
But those values upon which our success depends — hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism — these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.
This is the price and the promise of citizenship.
So true. Yet, somewhat incomplete.
If you don’t mind, Mr. President, I would like to remind your detractors and your admirers of one thing: responsibility begins with you. It doesn’t come in the form of a handout, bailout, or entitlement. Hard work, sacrifice and thinking of something greater than one’s self are the only way to truly prosper and succeed. (And when I say “prosper,” I don’t necessarily mean riches.)
Mr. President, you aren’t the savior of our country. Men and women of Congress, you’re not going to bail us out of this mess – you never have and you never will.
Men and women of America, take responsibility for your greed and your sloth, your dreams and your desires and do what it takes to make a great country.
Now that is change I want to believe in.