Saturday, January 24, 2009

1460... 1459... 1458... 1457... 1456...

We are now finishing up the fifth day of the new administration's term in office...

I have studiously avoided all of the coverage of the inauguration- admittedly since I do not have cable or satellite tv service at home this goal has been much easier to achieve than one would expect. And before there are any flames thrown at me, my decision to not participate even passively in the spectacle that took place this week is not based on who won the election.

I have heard snippets of the speech here and there- and if nothing else I give Mr. Obama credit for having the foresight to hire wonderful speech writers. And Mr. Obama himself has the knack for delivering those words so that people catch a mood- though to my ear there never seems to be any passion behind the words he speaks. It is almost as if he is a very careful automaton who can deliver the words with the correct inflection, while simultaneously keeping himself separate from the meaning of the words.

The second reason for abstaining from my civic duty to participate in the inauguration- even vicariously - was the fact that this country is in a serious recession and the excesses, some would refer to as festivities, which were planned and carried out to commemorate the ascension of the new President brought the same feelings to mind as those words attributed to Marie Antoinette just prior to the outbreak of the French Revolution... "let them eat cake... ".

While I realize that the goal of the President is to lift the morale of the people and act as a symbol of American ideals, my gut reaction so far into the new era is that our leader is not quite ready to lead. We lead by example, even when we do not realize someone is watching. Spending millions and millions of dollars in the wake of record unemployment numbers nationwide seems to smack of the adage "do as I say, not as I do". The American people have repeatedly been called upon to tighten their belts and get through these tough times- though the new administration who has touted change as their catch phrase soldiers on into Washington with a business as usual demeanor.

Unlike the botched swearing in ceremony, where the next day Mr. Obama was given a "do over", the managing of a nation- especially one as mighty as the United States- does not allow for mistakes. There are too many lives depending on it. Hopefully Mr. Obama will come to realize this sooner rather than later.

Either way, we are another day closer to the next inauguration.

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