Tuesday will be an important earmark in American history as Obama will take office and put a new face on the American body politic. We have come a very long way since Bush was first inaugurated in what seems like a lifetime ago. I wish very badly I could have been in Washington for this historic day but just living here in Denver during the DNC was special enough. I am thankful for having been here in that special place in time.
As much as I want to just drown myself in the excitement and hype of the inauguration, I still feel very troubled about where both America and the world are right now. It has become impossible to ignore the dire straights we are in and even more impossible to know what to do about it. We so desperately need real leadership right now to put America back to task. I cannot admit to having much faith in our political system or leaders at this point, but I do still believe in the American people. I do think we are good at heart and truly want to make the world better, but we have lost our way these last few years. The best thing for us now would be for Obama and his administration to help lead us back to collectively working to solve some of the issues we face.
I am in no way claiming that we are helpless sheep, but we elect our officials for a reason, and that reason is to provide a constructive leadership that improves both our national situation and global situation. However, we have let our officials get away with too much for too long and part of the reconstruction process of our government will have to include prosecuting the politicians who have been operating and continue to operate outside of the law. Corruption has become the norm and real effective change that benefits the working class cannot happen under the watch of greedy, corrupt and criminal politicians.
Obama will only be as good a leader as we push him to be. If we expect a savior who will work while we continue to drown ourselves in debt and excess then we will be sorely disappointed and continue to spiral into apathy. We cannot afford this any longer and we must both elect better representatives and force them to be responsible. The government should fear the people and not the other way around. It is easy to say this but it must also be backed by action. If this means protesting in the streets, then so be it. We control this country, not them, and it is time that we use the law to remind them of that. Corrupt politicians and white collar criminals in this country should suffer penalties that are equal to their crimes. As far as I am concerned some of the worst offenders deserve no less than life sentences in prison for the damage they have inflicted on the economy and in turn a massive amount of people, including people outside of our borders.
It has become much harder for the working class in this country over the last decade and it keeps getting harder. We have been living out of league with sustainability for too long, and I think now we are feeling the result of that lifestyle. Hopefully we can learn to fare with less from here on out. It is painful though to see so many people becoming so disproportionately rich that it is beginning to topple the middle class in America. The middle class is and always will be the solid backbone of this country, and without it America will fail. As exiting as it has been to see Obama’s inaugural celebrations, it does stick in the back of the middle class Americans’ throat to see the front rows of the events lined by the rich and famous, when it seems those rows should have been saved for the working class people who went out of their way to make sure Obama reached the highest office of the government. Those people did not have the luxury of donating large sums to Obama, but instead paid him with time away from families they were trying to support and jobs they need to survive. I am not so blind that I do not see how it is those very rich and liberal people that the conservatives feel are completely out of touch with average Americans, and how they are angered by their access to everything while that access is denied the rest of us. It will be up to Obama to balance out his relations with the rich and famous in a way that he can still remain the peoples’ president and not lose touch with the average American. I hope he can do this because if he cannot, I fear people will not follow his lead. I hope to live to see the day that celebrity will not be so celebrated. It would serve us better to start sincerely rewarding our teachers, thinkers and scientists instead of those who entertain and sometimes distract us. If we continue to refuse to do this then America will continue to fade into the background of the continually progressing outside world.
Through it all, I remain optimistic because there is only one alternative that is not worth consideration. I am ready to work to make this country better, and I know I am not alone. The world and America are in desperate need of healing, and I fear we are losing precious time. Lets lift this administration up and force it to hold it’s mantle while we work to put this country back into the hands of the people it belongs to and was created for. Congratulations to Mr. Obama, and while we behold this historical day, let us do so in productive spirit as now is the time to turn the page of history and stop talking about change and make it happen for real.