Allison Kilkenny: Unreported

How I Felt Today

Posted in Barack Obama, politics by allisonkilkenny on January 20, 2009

This is beautifully written, so I’m using it to vicariously express how I felt today.

Glenn Greenwald

us_presidential_inauguration_2005I can understand someone being moved by the events of today, even though pageantry, ceremony and ritual of this sort doesn’t move me personally (if anything, political spectacles of this magnitude, that are engineered with such massive and adept stagecraft, make me slightly uncomfortable, but I can definitely see how other reasonable people would find it uplifting).

Whatever one’s views are on what came before the Bush/Cheney darkness and whatever one’s guesses are about what is likely to come now, it’s simply the case that seeing that duo and all of their rotted appendages disappear is a positive event. Add to that the fact that the election of an African-American as President is something many (most) people thought they’d never see, and add on to that the throngs of millions of very engaged citizens who are genuinely convinced (rightly or wrongly) that something momentous and important is now going to happen, and it’s understandable that even people generally inured to these sorts of highly engineered events are swept up with the sentiments of the day.

It doesn’t mean people who were moved by today’s events will be permanently transfixed or, from now on, are renouncing their skepticism at the alter of Obama. It’s just that people in the desert dying of thirst will treat a sip of water as though it’s the greatest wine, and that’s what is happening today.

I wasn’t going to pretend to be swept up in the festivities today just to do it, but I also didn’t really have any desire to criticize or mock those who are, because I understand the reaction and think it’s reasonable. Ultimately, I think it’s more of a question of personal temperament than anything else that determines how one reacts to today, and — as Kitt says — it doesn’t mean that the joyousness will last beyond today or relieve Obama of the obligation to fulfill all those pretty words with actual deeds.

One Response

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  1. Kate said, on January 21, 2009 at 2:52 am

    He nailed it – thx/mahalo for sharing.


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