Photo Credit: David July
Andy Dufresne taught us the value of hope and that it "is a good thing, maybe the best of things." This concept fit the Barack Obama campaign well, echoed by those who voted for him. When you think about it though, very election is about hope. In casting a vote for a candidate, you hope they make the right choices and justify your support. Frequently they will not meet your expectations or worse will embarrass you by acting inappropriately. You make an informed choice and hope. After the often misguided, discriminatory and embarrassing actions of leaders past, I hope the concept of change is not lost on President Obama when the weight of the nation's menagerie of issues grows heavier. I hope he is able to make more headway internationally with a foreign policy that promotes peace and security without advocating imperialism. I hope he can establish a bridge between the right and left, whose goals can be met with compromise and an open-minded acceptance of the other side. Critics may claim that a lack of experience will inhibit President Obama's ability to be an effectual leader, but I think a fresh perspective not clouded by the cynicism and duplicity of Washington is exactly what we need. While the outgoing administration used the causes of freedom and democracy to justify many of its actions, I hope the new White House will do more to practice than preach, realizing that it is easier to get others to cooperate with your initiatives like anti-terrorism, disarmament and regional stability when you do not employ the same tactics you proclaim to abhor. Like many others, I have eagerly awaited this day since long before Barack Obama blew the doors off the good ole' boys club and started his remarkable journey to the top. There were times it seemed it very distant, such as after the 2004 election and when the USA PATRIOT and 2006 Military Commissions Acts were signed into law. Now that it is here, I am excited to see what happens on day one and beyond, to see which hopes are realized. I slightly regret my decision not to go to the inauguration, but factors like work and money made it impractical (not to mention the bone-chilling weather and enormous crowds). Instead, I will take an extended lunch and watch the ceremony at home via the internet. I will be there in spirit with Erik and Lauren however, with whom I originally planned to attend. They will start their trek to the from Alexandria around 0530 and make an effort to find a decent spot along the parade route.