I have hope…. that we’re not all let down.

Today marks the transition of power from our 43rd president,   President George W. Bush,  to our 44th president,    President Barack Obama.  Millions of people are crowding into Washington D.C. to see the inauguration.  People are making mention of Obama and Martin Luther King Jr. and their respective roles in the civil rights movement.  In the past few weeks leading up to this day people have likened President Obama with former President Lincoln.   Everyone seems to have one word on their mind as this man takes office: Hope.

President Obama has a very tough job ahead of him.  He’s inheriting a country with a very bad economic crisis and two wars (one of which our commanding generals say we’re losing).   Millions of Americans have lost their jobs and millions more might still.  Unemployment is on the verge of being in the double digits percentage wise and our economy is slowly grinding to a halt.   Large corporations who have never had layoffs in their existence have just announced their first ever layoffs…  it’s a very bleak picture.   Somehow though, through all of this, one man has managed to stir up hope in millions.    One man has gone from an unlikely candidate for president to actually getting elected and eliciting the one thing that seemed to have been lost:  Hope.

I don’t care much about the color of his skin.  Is it historic that he’s our nation’s first black president?  Sure.  Is it all that shocking that it happened?   Not really.    There was a black man portraying the president in Fox’s hit series “24”, a few seasons ago.   There have been other instances in Hollywood of black presidents.   There was no major outcry by this.  It did not seem outrageous or preposterous – it simply was.   It was 100% completely plausible.  

What I do care about are his policies, just like everybody else should.   I’m not paying attention to the fact that he’s the first black president – I’m paying attention to his proposed tax stimulus.   I’m paying attention to his plans for Iraq and Afghanistan.  I’m paying attention to how he plans on fixing our economic plight.      I’m paying attention to how well he will work with congress and live up to his call for bipartisan politics.   I’m paying attention to his actions as a president, because, y’know,  that’s what’s really important here.

It’s great that he’s inspired hope in a lot of people.  I just hope that, through careful execution and a clear vision that will lead to success,   he won’t let everyone down.   Only time will tell.

Preposterous

I know what many Americans are hoping for come January 20th:  Instant change.   The hope is that this president-elect, who America voted for overwhelmingly, will somehow be able to succeed where every single other president in our history has failed*:   putting their money where their mouth is.

I fear that many are expecting to see headlines proclaiming ridiculous things like “Obama fixes economy single handedly!”     or “Israel ,Hamas throw down arms and sing Kumbaya”, or even “ Quick action by U.S. President saves world!”, and are going to be sorely disappointed.  

Obama is very charismatic, idealistic and young.  He certainly knows how to generate a large following of loyal supporters, and that certainly *is* something we need right now.   We need someone who can unite the country, and I feel that he could potentially DO that, as much as can be done these days.  Beyond that, though, I don’t expect any miracles out of him.  

It’s pretty amazing, really, how downright enamored we are with this guy.  I just wonder how long it will be before we start hearing people moaning and groaning about the latest thing President Obama did,   shows like SNL start parodying him and the late night talk shows start adding scathing jokes about him to their monologues.  He *is* human, and he *will* disappoint some, if not all, of us at some point in his presidency.  

I simply don’t expect very much from the incoming administration.  He is, after all, a politician. 

Seriously? Why is THIS an issue?

Like many Americans,   I’m tired of politics.  This presidential campaign has been going on for too many months, and while important, I’m growing tired of hearing about it.   You could ask yourself “then why is he writing about it now?”  Yes, you COULD ask that – but you won’t, because you’re a loyal reader.  

There is one thing in particular about this election that has annoyed me from the start.  That is – people who make the claim that Obama is Muslim, and/or Arab.  This is usually used as a negative attack against Obama.  It’s used in such a way as to suggest that, were he either, he would be unfit for the job of being president.    They’re used as slurs.    

I say: who gives a shit what religion he is?   I don’t know about you but, I prefer to focus on things such as economic policy, foreign policy, health care policy and reform, tax plans, etc.   I care about the real issues, the ones that actually matter.   The rest of America should too, however for some reason this has become a SERIOUS issue for some people.  For some, the very notion of someone being Muslim makes them an enemy of the state, a terrorist.  This is fundamentally flawed thinking in a country founded on the tenant of freedom of religion and separation of church and state.  When did being Christian become a prerequisite for being POTUS?

 It seems like many people have a hard time differentiating between the radical jihadist Muslims who are waging a “Holy War” against us, and your everyday Muslim-Americans who just want to lead normal lives and practice their religion in peace (you know, one of those basic rights we have in this country…)

It’s a lot like the difference between the right wing, radical Christians and the normal Christians – some take it to extremes while others just want to follow their faith and lead a normal life.

Seriously though, people, let’s stop making religion an issue – it’s time we all grow up and respect not only ourselves and our countrymen, but people everywhere – from all walks of life and belief.