Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Reflections on Obama's Inauguration

I was busy at work, so I missed most of the inauguration hoopla. It's not that I wasn't interested, but I was selfish and tried to finish a project before going on vacation. I did catch a bit of the happenings; glimpses here and there on HLN in the break room and from peoples' tweets. After all, the historical significance was not lost on me.

Still, I can't help but feel uneasy after all the praise and gushing. It seems to me people are setting themselves and Obama up for a big let down.

It's not that the man in incompetent. He seems a genuinely intelligent man who believes he has the right "formula" to take our great nation forward. I also don't think he'll sit around and use The Office of the President as a joy ride like Bill Clinton did.

What gave me idea of a let down was the way people talked about him: "Obama's going to save America," "Let's help Obama save us all," and comments like that. Those words prompted one British tweeter I follow to ask, "Do Americans think Obama is Jesus?"

Underneath it all, Obama is just a "regular guy" like the rest of us. Although he is in a very powerful position, The Constitution limits his power. Singlehandedly, he can't do very much. Yes, the American people can help him by getting involved in their communities and in dialog with their congresspeople and senators. The people must get behind him if he is going to much of anything. There is only so much one man can do, even if he is President of the United States.

This task may be harder than his more ardent supporters realize. Although he convincingly won the electoral vote, the popular vote showed almost a 50/50 split in most states. If he is going to be the great unifier he's being set up as, there is a lot of work ahead for him. He needs to convince the nearly 50% of Americans who didn't vote for him that he really is their president, too. But, a good leader will pull such a feat off. If Obama is a good leader he will succeed.

I wish The President well and I hope he will show me that he, indeed, does represent me in the Oval Office. Whether he does that or not, I also hope those who worked so hard to get him elected and look to him for change aren't disappointed when things don't happen right away or don't happen the way they think it should. It's going to take a lot of time and effort.

No comments:

Post a Comment