Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Historic Day

I stayed up late to watch President Obama's inauguration. He wasn't sworn in until almost one in the morning here, but I caught it on CNN's website. I must say I was impressed with the turnout in Washington. It was a grand affair.

His speech was pretty moving as well. Maybe it's because I'm an American abroad, so I'm not used to seeing such a powerful display of patriotism for my home country. I especially liked these quotes:

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.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West: Know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

It's been tough traveling or living abroad as an American for the past several years. People who have a problem with the West often blame America, and people who blame America blame Bush and those who put him into office. I hope that Obama can renew the face of America for the world. Of course we will still need to be powerful or occasionally forceful, but I hope that we can also gain a reputation for being compassionate and progressive.

Another part of me wonders if Obama can really deliver all that he said yesterday. I think many people are so excited to have someone other than G.W. Bush in office that they think all of the problems and issues will be resolved and new ones won't crop up. "Hope" is a powerful word, and a good thing to have, but if it's squandered on hopless causes or leaders, then it can only end in disappointment.

What are your thoughts?

Also, check out this slide show. Like myself, countless American expatriates and people all over the world stopped what they were doing to watch the ceremony.

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Blogger tom said...

Joe - don't even get me going on this guy.
I just "hope" we make it throught he next four years.

January 21, 2009 at 8:48 PM  
Blogger Rich said...

Hope and Change. We got it.

A couple of things. When has America not lead? "America is a friend of each nation..." is simply not true. There are many rogue nations with which friendship is not possible. Just an expression of liberal utopia.

And how about this one:
"...our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint."
It is not true. Security emanates from the ability to defeat an agressive foe. Many just people in history have been murdered by an evil more powerful enemy.

In total, I was unimpressed. I wish Obama well for the sake of the nation, but I expect a hard left agenda and perhaps a more insecure world.

January 22, 2009 at 3:28 AM  
Anonymous ESTANQUES Y CASCADAS said...

Uhau! Obama

July 19, 2011 at 4:34 AM  

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