And in other news today, the nation today celebrates the second inauguration of the President of the United States. By the Constitution, President Obama's second term began Sunday at noon; however, the public ceremony, celebration, inaugural parade, etc. all occur today.
I was in the throng of approximately 2 million people four years ago to see President Obama's first inauguration. Not going today based on any disillusionment or dissatisfaction I have with politics or our President. I simply have other things to do on this holiday!
And that's another point of significance. That today is the national holiday recognizing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, and of course, our first African-American President is being inaugurated again.
I would love to say that I have wondrous optimism for the next four years. But I do not. Rather, I expect four years similar to the last four. Which, to be honest, could be a lot worse! I expect the President to ultimately be very successful in terms of legislative priorities. I expect working with a Republican Congress to continue to be totally aggravating, and hope that both houses of Congress become Democratic in 2014 so things can get done during the second half of Obama's second term. And I expect the economy to continue to progress-- slowly, but with surety.
Unfortunately, I also expect our national leaders to continue to be dishonest with themselves in terms of our economy. Kicking the fiscal can down the road? Expect it at least for two more years. I also feel that the tone of anger in our public discourse will continue; the opening shots (no pun intended) fired in the early stages of the national gun debate stand testament to that.
And all of this wonderful behavior filters down. Of course it happens in state government--we've seen that recently with the three referenda we had in 2012. Local government is not immune-- look at all of this nonsense the teacher's union has foisted upon us over the past several months. And of course the campaign and election of ADL. And, maybe most disturbing, these sorts of behaviors filter into our personal lives, even into interactions with our families and colleagues.
It's more than simply a lack of civility. Although that's part of it. It's a lack of basic trust and belief in your fellow human being. To first confront instead of to first find common ground. Our society is truly in a dangerous place. Not sure how dangerous we realize. Likely not so much as long as we look back up the mountain and see all of our leaders and people we look up to acting the same damn way.
So as an American, I am proud and love my country. But I also have shame for the lowest common denominators to which we devolve.