Inauguration 2009: A Republican’s Perspective

January 20th, 2009 will mark the end of an era, and the beginning of a new one.

It marks the end of an era when American politics were plagued with apathetic citizens, who found nothing in the candidates inspiring enough to take a passionate interest in.

It marks the end of an era when race was an invisible barrier over politics, the end of affirmative action being a weapon against the status quo, and the end of divisions in America over race. Barack Obama has attained the highest office of the American political system, and to some people, the free world. There is no reason anymore why any good citizen of America should not be able to succeed in their goals and dreams through diligence and perseverance, because it has been proven that the highest goal can be accomplished by normal people.

Finally, it marks the end of an era when the media was an impartial observer in the American Political system, and when committed voters were educated properly about their candidates. During the 2008 election, there was an enthusiasm towards our democracy that has not been seen in years. There was also, however, a vast prevalence of ignorance on both sides, and it was spurred by a media that displayed ruthless bias not seen in years. Mainstream news magazine Newsweek published six issues with covers devoted exclusively to Barack Obama, five of them issues in this year alone. 2008 was a year in which public opinion was ruled by media portrayal of political affairs.

The wedding is overshadowing the marriage. The Inauguration has magnified into something bordering on a spectacle, with commemorative trinkets being hawked in every possible commercial medium, and huge celebrations being planned across the country. Happiness and joy at an inauguration are not bad things. Blind euphoria and an unwillingness to accept shortcomings in the president-elect are.

As a conservative and a Republican, I don’t have high expectations for the next four, and possibly the next eight, years. Seeing Obama’s face doesn’t fill me with pride and hope, but a nervous concern for our country’s well-being with an untested president. I could be wrong. With Hillary Clinton as his very intelligent, very acquainted with international diplomacy Secretary of State, we could finally help the world see us as more than a distant and isolated giant. Hillary’s participation in his cabinet gives me hope that America will at least remain stable in international affairs, if not find diplomatic success.

I don’t believe Obama is a terrorist foreigner, but I don’t have much faith in the presiding ability of a man whose career rises from the infamous political machines of Chicago, Illinois. He remains untested, having been nearly completely cushioned from criticism by a media that remains vastly doting upon him. Without having faced adversity against his policies from a large portion of America, I believe he lacks the realistic gravity taken on by politicians who must fiercely defend their policies from a critical media.

I’m happy that a majority of American citizens are bonding together in what must be a very happy time. I’m glad that patriotism is at a recent-years high, as well as pride in our country. But at the same time, I wonder in the back of my mind if such limitless support will blind Americans to the shortcomings of their chosen leader, and draw them heedlessly into the cult of personality maintained by the media and faithful supporters. I take the optimism and euphoria of the inauguration with a grain of salt, because such unified support and utter faith in national leaders has taken a very grim turn in several times in history. If we are going to serve a president with whom we are not well acquainted, we must be willing to call him on the mistakes he makes, and not cushion his errors to maintain high approval.

I applaud America for a historic decision in the elections, but I caution America against turning a blind eye towards the new President’s novice mistakes.

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Oh The People You’ll Meet: The Stereotypical Art Major
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