A Word of Explanation

Welcome to my political commentary blog. I figured I’d use this introduction to explain how I arrived at writing this blog. I grew up as a Conservative Republican and went through college and law school essentially holding to those beliefs. Being an Evangelical Christian as well, I would have been considered a member of the Religious Right. However, over the last few years, I became increasingly disillusioned by the Republican party. For instance, I believe in conservative fiscal policy, so I could not agree with continuing massive tax cuts aimed at the wealthiest Americans while the country had a serious budget deficit which was only increasing due to fighting two wars. I am also a firm believer in the rule of law, so I took issue with the Bush administration using the cloak of national security to deny habeas corpus rights. Finally, the politics of fear & division used by the Bush political team, turned me off. Especially, their use of the War in Iraq, which I now believe was a major mistake.

In 2008, this caused me to do what 5 years before, I would have thought to be the unthinkable – I voted for a Democrat for President. In supporting Barack Obama and since I am an advocate by trade, I decided to write a political essay setting forth my rationale. I enjoyed the process so much, I was looking for an outlet to continue my political thoughts. When my cousin started a personal blog, it gave me the idea to start a political commentary blog.

Like the name suggests, I still consider my self a conservative as many of my political stands are conservative, but I definitely have a more progressive line of thinking. You should see both sides come out as I post. Some of the posts will be more analysis while others will be more editorial and take a position. I look forward to any feedback. Let me know if there is a topic you would like me to discuss (see my contact info at the bottom of this page).


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Reflections on Obama’s Inauguration

Well it certainly has been an historic day. You all know that I supported & voted for Barack Obama, but regardless of who you voted for, I trust we can all agree that there is an amazing historical significance to seeing an African American sworn in as President of the United States. Our nation was founded on the belief that “all men are created equal,” but it took almost 100 years until black slaves were freed and another 100 years until segregation was eliminated. While Barack Obama’s election will not rid us of all racism, hopefully, it is a sign that our nation is moving to a place where we will all be able to look at one another as God does – without color.

As for the Inaugural address itself, what struck me the most was the focus President Obama placed on the responsibility of us as citizens. So many times, our politicians tell us what they will do for us, but never what is required of us. I found it curious that the Biblical passage he referenced was I Corinthians 13:11, which says “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.”

Was he calling America childish? I think so. Consider he went on to say, “[W]e understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted — for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things — some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.” It sounded to me like he was telling America that the reality TV culture of 15 minute fame had to end and we all had to get serious if we wanted to correct our troubles.

Another passage from his speech: “What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task. This is the price and the promise of citizenship.”

When he was running for President, Obama said that he would have an honest dialogue with us as Americans about what is required. It seems as though he started with his inaugural address. Our nation has become one where people have become too comfortable and not willing to make sacrifice. In order to truly fix the problems we have as a nation, sacrifice will be necessary. With the good will he has, I hope that President Obama follows up with specifics of what we will need to do. He has already called us to increased public service, but we will need to do more. Since today was about celebrating equality in America, let us all look for how we can all sacrifice so that we can better our country.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, reading this entry brought back memories of that (inauguration) day ... & too, of election night & the days shortly thereafter. I was brought to tears to think about how truly amazing Obama's victory was (& is) --- this huge piece of history I was fortunate enough to witness & now to be a part of. It was fabulous to me to see how, even as I rode the bus to work the next few days, my fellow African-American commuters had a glow about them -- they seemed to walk a little more upright & with more confidence -- I would even say that they seemed to walk on air, & their smiles seemed to spread across their entire face. How sad it was to me that, even sadly to say most of my family members & in-laws included, many conservatives weren't even willing to look at the events from simply a historical perspective. And still today, so many feel stronger than ever that the man is a Communist, that he's quite possibly not even an American citizen, that he just wants to take away all our freedoms & lead us straight into hell --- because after all, he is the anti-Christ, right?!
    I first began to notice and then to keep my eye on Senator Obama about 3 years ago. I remember seeing him appear on Oprah one day when I was visiting my Mom ... I casually but confidently said to my sister, "That man will be our next President." I read his book, not The Audacity of Hope, but Dreams of My Father or something like that. I saw the man's humility, his desire to do the right thing ... to help people ... to stand up for people's rights ... to treat all people with the respect they deserve. In short, I saw that this man was (& is!) REAL. And that's what drew me to him most. And come to think about it, that's what still causes me to want to believe in him now.