Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I Hope I'm Wrong

Inauguration Day is today. I don't think I'll be watching. Sure, maybe a little here and there, but it's like the political equivalent of a parade, so my interest is mild. Even if the candidate I voted for had won, I'd feel the same way, so it's not sour grapes. It just doesn't mean much to me. I'd rather watch "The Price Is Right"

People who say that this inauguration is historic are correct only in the every presidential inauguration is historic. To single Obama's as historic means that the designation is based on his (mixed) race, which would then be racist and wrong. A new president is being sworn in, and for that reason it is an historic day. But that's all.

I hope that I'm wrong here, but I feel like there a lot of people who are really going to be let down. Those who assume simply because Obama is in the White House that everything is going to be magically better are in for a hard landing, something even Sully couldn't pull off. Unfortunately, there's an ever increasing group of people who think that it's up to the government to make their lives better. Their hope is that an Obama administration will do just that. Government can help by allowing an environment that is favorable to business development, and job creation. They just can't commission B-29s to do money drops over areas hardest hit be the recent downturn in the economy. Money doesn't make you smarter. Those depending on government to help them out of the hole are going to have a longer wait than G&R fans did for "Chinese Democracy" (and that was hardly worth the wait).

That said, I like that people are optimistic about the future of the country, and I truly want Obama to succeed. That's selfish, of course. If he succeeds, I succeed. Still, optimism is something badly needed right now. Bad news stories piled upon bad news stories only leads to pessimism, not productivity. Perhaps the optimistic frame of mind that I'm seeing and reading about will help turn things around a little, and that's a good thing. Or, people will just be in a better mood while they wait for their government handout.

In the meantime, hats off to those who have already profited off the new administrations. In last Sunday's paper, there were ads for "commemorative" Obama plates, glasses, stamps, books, magazines, mugs, flags, etc. Today's Review-Journal is also a so-called "collector's edition". It kind of reminds me of the people who were selling t-shirts as the Berlin Wall came down. Making history is great, especially when we can cash in from it.

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