While I was deep into the A Memory of Light (Wheel of Time), the final volume of Robert Jordan, now Brandon Sanderson‘s epic story of good versus evil, Garry was watching the Inauguration. I had forgotten today was Inauguration day but he had not. My bad.
When you aren’t working or going to school, it’s easy to not know what day of the week it is, much else is being celebrated. I often don’t know what day of the week it is, though because I blog and pay bills, I’m pretty aware of the day of month it is.
As much as Garry dislikes political mud-slinging, he loves the ceremonies that mark America‘s traditions. For him, an inauguration is not the inauguration of a Democrat or a Republican … it’s the inauguration of an American President and he enjoys it, even if it isn’t a candidate for whom he voted. It’s American, not political.
He wrote something about it on Facebook and at least one person went into a political tirade about how he voted for Obama but wished he’d had another choice. Garry pointed out this wasn’t political. It was a celebration, the peaceful affirmation of our power that is far more American than apple pie.
Granted that other countries now have peaceful transfers of power, but only the U.S. from its birth made this a symbol of what we are as a nation … that no matter how hard-fought the campaign, when the votes are counted, the winner takes his place in the White House without violence or bloodshed. The ballot box is where we settle our differences, not the streets and not with weapons.
My take on this is simple: there are far too many people who have forgotten how to be Americans. They are so wedded to party politics, to a set of “positions,” that they are incapable, even for a single day, of just being Americans.
It seems that these folks are constantly gloating (“my guy is IN and your guy is OUT nyah nyah nyah!”) or whining (“We wuz cheated!”). Whether you fall on the side of the gloaters or whiners, if you want to make any claim to being an American or any kind of patriot, you need to be an American first and foremost, with your political affiliation secondary.
If you cannot do that, you really have no idea what this country is about.
- Obama’s Inauguration … and Mine (jessieeps.tumblr.com)
- Happy MLK and Inauguration Day! (sassncurlz.com)
- Meet the First Woman to Ever Deliver a Presidential Inaugural Invocation (jezebel.com)
- Working Together For a Better America: The Inauguration, Dr. Cornel West, and the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. (beyondbelles.com)
- Inauguration 2013 of Barack Obama (anniyang.wordpress.com)