Day 169. Loved It!

Yesterday wasn’t the most productive day I’ve ever had.  By choice.  I was glued to my television.  Yes, I stayed home and watched the Inauguration.  All day.  I flagwatched every bit of it.

When President Obama was elected to his first term, I was completely caught up in Obama fever.  I was in India when he was inaugurated.  I remember telling my travel agent I didn’t care where we were, or what she’d planned, I was going to be watching TV.  As it turned out, we were in the South, in a tiny hill station 7,500 feet above sea level.  On a tea plantation in Munnar.

It was quite a remote spot, and I was concerned there’d be no way I’d be able to watch.  Happily I was wrong.  Our resort had one television set, in a large alcove off the dining room.

And there I was, at 1:30 in the morning, with other tourists from all over the world — Germany, France, London, Australia, Hong Kong, India and me, from Canada — watching CNN live.  Not an American among us, interestingly enough.

There we were, a group of total strangers, watching the first black man in history get sworn in, as President of the United States.  It was very moving, even more so because of where I was; and because of who I was with.  Men and women who couldn’t vote for him, but would have, given the opportunity.  Each of us felt the same way.  We talked about it.  We wanted to be there, in Washington, on that day, anyway.  In spirit.  Symbolically.

Barack Obama had touched all of us.  So much so, we were compelled to be part of the history that surrounded his Presidency.  We wanted to be there, as it happened.  To witness it for ourselves, even if it meant staying up half the night.

During his four years as President, there were many times I became disenchanted.  Often I wondered where the man who campaigned so passionately, who offered hope and promised change, had gone.

Well yesterday, I saw him again.

His speech will be dissected for days and weeks and months and, possibly, even years to come.  It will be torn apart.  He’ll be criticized.  Questioned.  Scorned.  But not by me.  As I watched, and as I listened, I fell in love with him all over again.  Because yesterday, President Barack Obama drew a line in the sand.

With passion and poise, eloquence and dignity, determination and courage, he sent a powerful message to the world:  “I am not going to be pushed around any more.  This is where I stand.”

This was not a wishy-washy message.  It was definitive.  Defining.  Polarizing.

But he spoke the truth.

I love how he linked his ideals and values, right back to the very ideals and values the United States of America was founded upon.  I love how he linked his ideals and values, and those of Dr. Martin Luther King, to those of the founding fathers.

I love how he equated the issues of gay rights and immigration reform facing our generation, with the issue of equality, which faced those who came before us.

I love how he reminded one and all, of the shared duty and responsibility every U.S. citizen has, to make the rights of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness real for every American.  How they are as valid and true today, as they were when they were first articulated more than 200 years ago.

He’s convinced me he’s going to be tough, this time around.  That he won’t back down.  That while he knows four years isn’t enough time to accomplish everything, he has every intention of accomplishing something.  And you know what?  I believe him.

Because yesterday he declared he was prepared to do battle.  What he needs, is for the American public to back him up.  To join forces, and then join him.  To raise their collective voices so loudly, the naysayers are forced to listen.  And if they do, we may just see a new and improved America.  An inspired America.  An inspiring America.

16 thoughts on “Day 169. Loved It!

  1. Put aside the time here also to watch the inauguration, here’s wishing Barack a safe journey through the next 4 years and the good health to enjoy his second term, looking forward to his talked about visit to Ireland during this term – his visit during his first term created great excitement on this side of the pond.

  2. Now that the election is well over, I hope that all Americans will put aside their “choice” for President and give Obama the respect he deserves. He may not be the choice for all Americans, but he is OUR leader and we need to support him to the fullest.

  3. We watched it, too. I managed to snap a picture of my kids watching the inauguration as President Obama got sworn in (2 out of 3 kids were cooperative), just like I did four years ago (before the third little one). They’ll appreciate the picture someday.

  4. Beautiful post, Fransi. I felt like I was right there with you in India. I had no idea our president has had such a mesmerizing effect on those of you who reside in other countries. Time will tell, he’s still up against a wall of republicans in congress. I do truly admire him though….and completely believe him, his values, ideals and respect his taking a firm stand on the issues. How much success he will have will have much to do with the willingness of both parties to compromise.

    • Thank you. Not all of them do. He definitely did. I sincerely hope he pulls it off. I share his ideals and believe their time has come.i believe if huge numbers of Americans started marching on Washington like they did in the igood old days and sent petitions with millions of names on them, the Republicans would have to listen.

      • I remember the 60’s vividly. A peaceful march can turn deadly very quickly. There is something about the herd mentality. This weekend there will be a march in Washington on gun control. I pray it is peaceful and without incident but this is an extremely volatile issue, especially since we are still reeling from the tragic event here in CT which shocked the entire nation and the world. I’d not be surprised if there are NRA supporters there to stir the pot. Petitions, on the other hand, are easily found on the internet. There’s just no excuse not to click that button and add our signature.

      • Yes, I suppose you’re right about marches. What can I say? I’m just an activist at heart. With more shootings, as recently as today, something MUST be done about gun control. And I believe Obama will get that ball rolling. I believe there will be changes during his time in office. Before Connecticut, I might not have been so sure. But I am now. It won’t be perfect. But it will be a good start. The petitions are a no-brainer. And I know they work. I write some for a former colleague of mine who’s founded a not-for-profit to stop abuse. He does them through Causes, but I write them. It’s amazing how many signatures we get. Somebody in the U.S. needs to start some on Obama’s priorities. I’m surprised he hasn’t, to be honest. They are so social media savvy. It played a HUGE roll in his getting elected the first time; and they still use it all the time. They could get a petition going. If I was a ‘yank’, I’d be stirring the pot like crazy, but I’m just a ‘canuck’. Nobody cares what I think.

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