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Tear of The Year

January 20, 2009 marked an ultra historic day in the America’s history. A time where it was impossible not to feel affected and moved in some way. Over two million people showed up to witness the inauguration speech of our newly elected president Barrack Obama and it was a day of many emotions. The tears flowed and people came together forgetting the differences that they once held.

This article states that there are two types of tears, the type you get when your dog bites the dust and the kind you get when you read the 23rd Psalm or hear Amazing Grace belted out by a woman like Aretha Franklin. This was a day when the eyelids of many were filled with tears of joy. People lost sight of the fact that he was the 44th man to swear on that Bible, he was the first of this new revolution. This day marked a new era, the first black president to ever hold office. The expected crowd number (1.5 million) was shattered by the two million that showed. Obama had become “the cool kid”; Stephen Colbert joked on his show that as an American he pledges to support him…as long as he is popular. We as American’s have gotten swept up by the fact that our president is a black man and not chosen to study the qualifications of him as our leader. Proof came on inauguration day when everyone came together in a big, emotional gathering. Anything that the president or the appointed speakers said that day was considered “holy”. Reverend Lowery, a guest speaker, gave a speech similar to one that would be expected from Dr. Seuss:

“We ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around -- when yellow will be mellow -- when the red man can get ahead, man -- and when white will embrace what is right.”

I am not saying that I was not also caught up in this day. The fact that I am a Republican did not deter me from tearing up from something other than allergies. His planners realized the majestic aura that surrounded Obama and everything he touched so they took advantage of it. There was not a dry eye in the house when Aretha Franklin sang from her soul or when Barrack looked upon his children and grinned with a look that sighed, “We did it.”

We were blinded by this rhetoric. The planners of this recalled the times of 9/11 when Patriotism was at a sky-high point. Someone could have thrown up red, white, and blue and would have been applauded. Can these two events be compared? Everyone was excited for this new era, a chance to come together and stand as brothers. Even if you didn’t believe in the man, you could not help but feel like you were part of something great. These antics, in a way, gave Obama a free pass in writing his speech. Michael Gerson, Bush’s former speechwriter said it well:

“Given President Barrack Obama's background, his inaugural address would have been memorable even if every word had been a Flag Day platitude. Unfortunately, too many of his words were platitudes.”
I am not knocking Obama as a speaker or a president; he was simply placed into a win-win situation. One thing that was speculated about the day is that it made everyone feel like a family. We were all excited about a common thing and ready for change. The problem was that the person we glorified as our leader of brotherly love (Obama) was slyly bashing our previous administration (Bush) despite the warmth that had grown between them. With Bush and Cheney only a few feet away on the platform, Obama proclaimed:

"And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more."

My words in this paper could easily be misinterpreted as cynical or downgrading to our president and his team. I have nothing against a black man in office and I hope that he brings some worthwhile change to our floundering nation. Many people at the speech or watching it on television seemed to have gotten caught up in Obama’s mesmerizing words similar to the way a beautiful hymn can shoot straight to the heart unexpectedly. The fact that he has the power to mystify like that is unnerving for me and I am anxious to see how his term carries out.