Friday, January 23, 2009

Change we can believe in or more of the same?

The blasted weather. In January, in my hometown of Boise, a lake of clouds settling over the valley can only mean one thing: a dreary inversion has parked over my house. They last for weeks upon weeks here. No snow, no rain, just clouds and darkness with nothing to account for it but a gloomy disposition. For someone who loves the sun on their face as much as I, this time of year can be suffocating, and of extremely long duration. I long for warmth. I long to plant my peas. I long to have a reason to wear my sunglasses. I long for Valentine's Day to hurry up and get here. I long....

I long for change.

Then one day finally, the clouds part and lift and low and behold, there it is. The sun, on the afternoon of Inauguration day believe it or not, peeked its shiny head out from behind the loveless clouds. I squealed and ran to my kitchen window, reveling in the warmth attaching to my face. I could almost feel the Vitamin D flow through my veins. My coffers of happiness re-filling. Oh, how I love the sun. And then, it left as quickly as it’d come. Gone again. Smothered in a blanket of gray mist. It has not returned since.

But its brief presence reminded me, all is not lost. Sunnier days are ahead. Eventually it will come out to stay. I must wait. I must be patient.

The parallels of the sun briefly shining last Tuesday did not escape my notice. A new president is a new beginning. A new hope. That day was a sliver of light in a graying time. Like the sun that did not linger, it only reminded me of what was to come.

Being the realist that I am, I know President Obama cannot possibly do all he has set out to, and I can’t help but wonder if there really will be much change or if it will just be politics as usual. Were the clouds moving back into place an ominous sign? Every new president has a sweeping optimistic agenda when they come into office, but as we were reminded with President Bush, sometimes outside circumstances cloud previous plans for success. The political theatre in Washington will probably continue as it always has.

We are living in a difficult, stressful time. So much so, that perhaps our generation will be defined by these years much like my grandparents were defined by the Great Depression. Will President Obama solve all of our problems as a nation? No, but he can offer a warm ray of hope in a troubled time. Much like many other popular world leaders have rallied their countries in times of crisis: Ronald Reagan, Nelson Mandella, Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt. I’m hoping Obama can do the same. He may succeed. He may fail.

But until we find out which, I refuse to drag him into the mire. Not yet. Not when he’s done nothing to merit such comparisons. He’s done nothing yet that hasn’t been done before. I will not dirty my feet by comparing his popularity to the most horrible regimes the world has ever known. I only have one word for that.

Hate.

They say positive change starts with each person. Obama and his administration can not solve my problems. Only I can. I must look ahead. I must wait, and be patient to wear my sunglasses again.

For that is really the only thing I know for sure. The sun will come up, and eventually it will shine through.



5 comments:

Bryce and Mandy said...

Were do I even begin with this? I have been so appalled by these so-called comparisons between Obama's presidency (which hasn't even been a week yet!) and Hitler's terror regime. Just mentioning any political figure (who isn't a mass murderer) in context with Hitler in any form is ridiculous and incredibly disrespectful to those who suffered because of Hitler.

Just because people are finally excited about a political figure doesn't mean they are blindly following along and I find that insulting. Apparently I am a sheep because I voted for Obama.
Weren't people just as excited when Reagan became president? I am too young to remember but that is what I keep hearing. Were they all blindly following him? Or is that different because he is a Republican?

And as for Germany blindly following Hitler, for many that just isn't true. I have seen documentaries and read articles where people fought back against Hilter through leaflets or by other subtle means and some of this was even before Hitler became Chancellor. Many were caught and executed because they fought back. Many knew the Nazi party was evil but they also knew if they showed dissent they would be killed or beaten or put in a concentration camp. If you were seen not raising your hand to Hitler you would receive a beating.

No wonder people didn't fight back. They were afraid to. I'm sure many did turn a blind eye and followed Hitler but many didn't or didn't feel they had a choice. To make a blatant statment saying Germany just blindy followed Hitler is untrue and saying so is an insult to many people's memory.

Lula O said...

I agree. I just finished The Book Thief, a story about just such Germans. Germans that hated Hitler and did many things to divert his plans. In the back Zusak talks about why he wrote the book - his parent's are German. He wanted people to know that not all in that country supported Hitler during that time.
It was an interesting book.

I'm trying to hope for the best with this presidency, because to not to would be too depressing. But, hey, the sun finally came out today!! Things are looking up!

Ben and Christina said...

I heard somebody say the other day that they hope Obama fails as president (that person's initials are RL and he is a so-called prominent talk show host, but I'm not giving any names), and I thought to myself, "that is one of the most rediculous things I have ever heard. If Obama fails, we all fail." Can you imagine if we get up to 25-30% unemployment? If we have more terror attacks in America? If health care gets worse instead of better? That doesn't just hurt Obama or liberals- that hurts EVERYONE!

I wish Bush had been the greatest president of all time. Just because he's rep. doesn't mean I wanted the economy to go bad, the twin towers to fall, or Hurricane Katrina to be so costly. Hindsight is, of course, 20/20, and obviously Bush can not be blamed for everything that has happened to our country the last 8 years, but I have to hope, I have to believe, that this country can get back on track- that the economy will stabilize sooner rather then later, that we will catch Bin Laden, that we will be able to help the poor and needy when asked upon. To wish otherwise is to wish ill-will on us all.

Will Obama solve all of our problems? Probably not. But, I hope he is successful and is able to help us all help ourselves to make this country what we all know it should be. (And, if McCain had won, I would wish the exact same thing for him!)

okbushmans said...

Ladies, are you sitting down? Good.

I AGREE!

Watching the inauguration and days following, I feel like the feeling in the country is on a small scale similar to after 9-11. A sense of unity, community, and belief of conquering anything. And I would much rather build on common goals and succeed than tear each other down and fail. There are major issues which we will all agree are huge plagues on our country. Do I want everyone to be insured affordably? Yes. Do I want our economy to stablize? Yes. Do I want our kids to get the best education and have affordable college educations? Yes. Do I want our borders secured and our national security ensured? Yes. Do I want our earth cleaner and more fuel efficiency? Yes. Do I hope Obama succeeds in making these things happen? YES!

Where we will disagree are the methods in solving these issues. I whole heartedly disagree with bail outs, and where the money in this newest 'stimulus package' would actually be going and when. I whole heartedly believe a government run health care program would be a disaster. But I also believe our country is built on compromise, and middle roads should be met. Anyhoo, I took too much space.

Lula, I agree with you. If you are hoping and waiting for Obama to fail, life would be so depressing.

Lula O said...

Personally, I'm always sitting down. Standing might be construed as exercise, and I hate exercising.

What? Hell has indeed frozen over...;o)

Anyhoo? That's from a movie I've seen before and I can't place it. It's driving me crazy!
Anyhoo, anyhoo. What a funny word.