"Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, we are free at last!"
- Old Negro Spiritual, quoted by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. -
Today, all Americans are once again free. We have demonstrated this freedom through the civilized transfer of executive power from one man and party to another man and party, in the symbolic and very real empowerment of us all granted by our Constitution. We are now free at last from the ineptitude of one President George W. Bush (deservedly low approval rating of only 22% as he leaves office) and the arrogance and irresponsibility of another Vice President Dick Cheney (a VERY deservedly low approval rating of only 13% as he leaves office). We are free of the snide and press-hating press secretary Dana Perrino, the very mistaken and compliant Attorney General Michael Mukasey, and all the other devious characters who have wrought great harm on our rights and freedoms these past 8 years, like John Yoo, Paul Wolfowitz, and a long list of other political and philosophical deviants who have plagued us under the Bush-Cheney umbrella. We are free, hopefully forever, from the politics of fear, division, deception, darkness, and exclusion. We can all now breathe a huge sigh of relief.
Barack Obama takes office today representing the dawn of a very hopeful new era of progress and possibility. He enters office with a deservedly and astoundingly high approval rating of 83%. He has demonstrated broad vision and an obvious grasp of our need for a new style of inclusive practical politics, most notably in his choices for cabinet posts and in the way he has conducted his transition to power. Unlike his predecessor, he is no rigid ideologue who wishes to surround himself only with yes-men. He recognizes that no party or political persuasion holds a monopoly on good ideas, and he is willing to incorporate all. THIS is a REAL President!
President Obama (how nice THAT sounds!) also represents our country's triumph over more than 300 years of needless institutionalized racism, and our recognition, at long last, that ability, competency, decency, and character do not carry ethnic prerequisites. Yes, even though wildly popular, he still has detractors who mockingly and skeptically refer to him as "messiah." Alas, it is a sad fact that there will always be bitter, fearful, and ignorant people who will never "get it", thus the 22% still approving of Bush. But the rest of us correctly see competence, intelligence, and opportunity springing forth from our long-awaited new President. And we know how beneficial this will be for us and the entire world!
These are shaping up to be exciting and eventful new days, reminiscent of the earliest LBJ days and the ascendancy of the Beatles. Obama has a great deal of sorely-needed ambition, idealism, and drive. He will undoubtedly fail at times, as have all other Presidents. But by employing inclusiveness as he will, I dare say those failures will be far less frequent or severe than those of many before him. Ideologues left and right will be frustrated by his unorthodoxy at times, but it will prove healthy for us. I can't wait for this new era to ripen and come to bloom to see the many blessings it will bestow on us!
Before I go, I would encourage you to pay a visit, as I do daily, to http://www.fairandunbalanced.com/. The writer at that site, Burr Deming, has a real gift. He is always insightful and thought-provoking, and skillfully employs his talents in a folksy, common-sense manner. He writes with heart AND brain! His blog is one not to be missed, and he posts nearly every day. Thank you, everybody, and let us now look to our future with hope and great confidence!