The peaceful transfer of power

I’d hoped for a different kind of day. One with historic implications. One where I set aside my daily doings to watch the ceremony, so I could say, “I watched her inauguration.” I was looking forward to the day when, after 241 years of US history, we finally had a president who looked like me.

This morning, reading my friends’ final “Obama: Yay!” posts, I broke down. It’s hard to see a woman I voted for lose, but it’s even harder to see a highly qualified, nose-to-the-grindstone, over-prepared woman who really, really wants the job lose. It’s even worse that the man who won is not highly qualified, woefully unprepared and I suspect him of wanting to win the election more than wanting to govern the country.

The clip from Facebook that tripped me over to sorrow was Barak Obama at his second inaugural. After giving his inaugural address, he left the podium, then turned back saying something to the effect of: “I want to take a second look at this. I won’t see this again.” That appreciation—of how lucky one is to be the US President—will be missing for the next four-to-eight years. We’re setting aside a leader who understood gratitude, and struggle, and going high when others go low and we’re swearing in a leader who thinks his success was inevitable, who never misses an opportunity to promote himself, and who responds to the smallest slight with a full-bore attack.

Maybe something good will come out of this chaotic and often hate-filled leadership style. It’s possible. In the time between the election and the inauguration I’ve looked for signs that the man we will call President takes seriously the gravity of his duties. I’ve found little evidence.

In four years, I’m guessing my life won’t be very different than it is now. Sure, we could get sucked into some sort of war that’s entirely unnecessary, but we’ve been doing that since 2003. My hopes for the next four years include the wish that people aren’t hurt by policies I disagree with (ban on Muslim immigrants, repeal of the health care law, bathroom “safety” laws) and that maybe things take a turn for the better.

Joining the government is public service. I’ll be watching to see who is being served, who is being left behind and who is being left out.

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2 thoughts on “The peaceful transfer of power”

  1. We had planned to be there. After seeing both of Obamas inaugurations in person we couldn’t not go for the same historic reasons to see HERstory made. B already had a place to stay on Airbnb and we had plans in the works.

    This post perfectly captures the sorrow of it. My article in verse* will hopefully do the same.


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