Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that the inauguration of Barack Obama will take place next week. Hip-hip-hooray! Obamania is sweeping the nation. Images of Obama and the word “hope” have become as ubiquitous as Starbucks. Lawn signs and T-shirts and bumper stickers, oh my! New artists have become famous for their renditions of the President-Elect, and these pictures have been proudly hung in many homes across the country. I bet if I tried hard enough, I could find someone with an Obama tattoo. If that’s not enough, there are about a dozen different collector coins available emblazoned with Obama’s image. (Better hurry if you want one — supplies are limited, don’t ya know?) To all of this, I just have to say…huh?

Now don’t get me wrong. As you know if you are a regular reader of this blog, I voted for Obama. I’m as excited as the next guy about Inauguration Day (unless of course, the next guy happens to be Bill O’Reilley or Sean Hannity, or the complete craziness that is Ann Coulter). But the guy hasn’t even taken office yet, and we’ve already elevated him to sainthood.

I have hope. Truly, I do. I think he will do great things for our nation. I, too, am singing and dancing with glee to the “Ding Dong, Bush is Gone” song. And I even think it’s pretty damn cool that a black president elect has reached celebrity status. As a society, it’s about time we started lauding virtues like intellect and poise and determination, all of the great qualities that Obama seems to personify. But shouldn’t we wait just a bit before we hire someone to add his carved image to Mount Rushmore? Or start printing new currency with his picture on it. Or start rewriting history books that already declare him our country’s savior?

Much as I hate to admit it, I have to agree when those aforementioned Fox News folks talk of how the “mainstream liberal media” have a bias when it comes to Obama. In their defense, I think the bias comes from a place of hope and almost desperation in their wish for someone capable enough to to save the country from the mess we’re in thanks to the last eight years. And Obama, well, he certainly shows promise.

But what happens if Obama takes office and does not turn out to be the rock star we want him to be — the rock star we need him to be? I don’t think he will fail (hell, even Colonel Sanders would be an improvement over the last guy), but what if it turns out he’s, well, just average as far as presidents go? Will we as a country be ready to accept that? Or will we demonize him and knock him from the very very very high pedestal we’ve perched him on and let those Fox folks get away with telling us “I told you so”?

Obama has so many obstacles to face. So many problems to overcome. Obama has inspired us and filled us with hope. But at the same time, he has been somewhat solemn, pragmatic, deliberate, and steadfast. He has told us it will take time and warned us it won’t be easy to fix the many messes we’re in. I just hope that we as a society can hold on for this very bumpy ride and give him the time and thought he needs. I hope that we prepare ourselves for the possibility that we might not agree with every decision he makes. That he may even make mistakes or bad choices. I hope we don’t just give up and attempt to throw him under the bus if, come January 21st, he doesn’t make our country great again with the simple wave of a magic wand fashioned from nothing but hope and good will.

Maybe I’m just not giving those zealously waving the Obama flag enough credit. Maybe we deserve to ride this wave of hope and enthusiasm for a little bit before the hard work begins. Maybe we deserve to momentarily bask in the promise of better days to come. I’ll be with the hopefuls grinning my biggest grin on Inauguration Day, and I’ll be all warm and fuzzy and red, white, an blue on the inside. Just please forgive me if I don’t order those collector coins just yet.

Categories : journeys in life


  1. Lisa Kelly says:

    Okay I will take your plea for comments seriously and try and do better! I must comment on this entry because as you know I have been an Obama supporter since well before he stepped up nearly two years ago February to declare his intention to run for the Presidency.

    The fears that dampened my enthusiasm were big ones… will he take his shot too early in his career and not be able to rebound later and can this country I love truly push beyond racial bias and elect a black man President.

    I think his grace, eloquence, calm and honest demeanor stayed the course during the election and truly brought it home. I have never been so proud to be an American as I was on election day and I dare to say that moment will be surpassed tomorrow as I watch him take the oath of office.

    I agree we, and by me I mean liberal democratic, Anne Coulter hating (don’t get me started on her most recent appearance on the Today show – I swear Matt Lauer had steam coming out of his ears), and unwilling to deal with more of the same for another eight years, have put Obama on a potentially wobbly pedestal.

    I think we will see great things in next four years but I think nothing will be quick and easy, there is no magic bullet and we have to stand together behind our new President and not, to your point, wonder why the world isn’t a miraculously better place come January 21st.

  2. trogdor says:

    I disagree about the liberal media bias, and I did watch the inauguration coverage on PBS and CBS (because I am old). It seemed people were really concentrating on the historicity of electing a black man President, and particularly the day after MLK, Jr. Day and on basically where the Freedom March speeches took place.

  3. Ruth says:

    Sad to say there are those who will use ANY issue or occurance to sell tee shirts or coins