Originally Posted January 19, 2009
Change. You can feel it in the air.
On Tuesday, January 20, we will witness history. Not just in terms of the President in the guise of Hawai’ian native Barack Hussein Obama II, but of a call to change the course of this nation. Obama is a beacon for change. This is why the majority of voters elected this gentleman, the former junior United States Senator from Illinois, to the highest post of this nation.
But, what exactly is change? Why is so much pressure put upon a thin, astute, Harvard-educated gentleman? Why have we chosen to further the cause of honoring diversity by voting in a man of African heritage to one of the most powerful positions on this planet? Why does it all matter what our nation’s leader look like if he, his administration and a newly sworn Congress are tasked to solve the issues of a slumping economy, a massive national debt and a world on the verge of imploding into various pieces.
A man who lives above hate is walking into a world where division stagnates progress.
What is the benchmark for progress? Is progress and change not satisfactory for all citizens? For example, at the end of last year people began to criticize Obama’s transition team on their selections of cabinet posts. How can seasoned politicos be a form of change? We thought it meant bringing new faces to the White House. Where we misinterpreted the concept of “change” is from the fact that we spent eight years of a government that reversed financial fortunes, stretched its defense mechanisms, manipulated energy policy and provision to its people and the world, and tarnished the American image worldwide.
Americans needed a change from a failed government. Obama’s team represents true change and is committed to reversing the misfortunes of this country.
This is what we expect out of this new administration and Congress.
What do I expect from the new Administration and Congress? For starters, find a way to save this country’s economy without bankrupting the nation. As we are one of several global hubs of economic activity, our reversal from despair could possibly stem the tide of the ripple effect the entire world is feeling. Personally, I would like to know if I will be gainfully employed through this year and be able to keep control of my finances. I’d like to know if I could finally purchase that new car in 2010 when we will begin to see affordable vehicles that will be less taxing on the environment.
I also hope we can effectively change our military strategy worldwide under this administration. This is not just pulling our operation from Iraq, but to use smart strategy to assist in a global effort instead of unilaterally deploy in places where we have no business in. A strong defense means a strong defense of national interests – especially on the home front.
This may seem far-fetched, but perhaps we can bridge our differences with our enemies and other nations where this country has tense relationships. Again, this goes back to the hope that Obama’s image worldwide can pay off in improving our standing in the world. This may take even changing this country from being a mighty power to one that believes in global peace and prosperity. This is attainable only if Obama and his administration want to change this country’s global image.
Lastly, I want to ask for patience if this administration does not take on issues pertaining to the GLBT community. There are more imperative issues to tackle first before he gets to our civil rights. When this administration and Congress does, be ready to lobby for everything from the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell to marriage equality. Once the debates begin in Congress, I can only ask my GLBT people to take baby steps to formulate a strategy towards achieving Federal equality.
Still, I have high hopes for this new President and administration. I see that a lot of us have, too. I hear conversations every day at work, on the bus…on the street where they also express hope in Obama, his team and the nation’s future.
Can our hopes become reality? After Tuesday, we can only hope they do. If he does, Obama could become one of the greatest Presidents in this country's history. That is a lot of burden to put upon the man...but, somehow, I can feel it happen.
Lately, my tears were revealed. Finally, I can see a President I can believe in. I also fear for his life as there still people who cannot accept a non-Caucasian President governing this country. My heart flutters when I see him and calms down when he is safely off the stage.
The promise of change is embodied in this President. However, we must also put the burden of change upon the new Congress. With that, I feel Obama will fulfill history with a combination of bipartisan cooperation, massive public support and a new era of diplomacy for this country. I certainly hope this will happen this way. I want to feel proud of being American again.
This time, it will happen.