I have been busy, but I wanted to point you to Colleen Mondor‘s thoughts on the inauguration which I thought well-spoken. Having moved just recently from Michigan to rural Florida (Starke in Bradford County), she has already learned what I am first encountering – that is, really, the disparity between theoretical and first-hand social knowledge. Okay, maybe that’s sorta highbrow, but that’s the best I can do. I just wanted to pull a resonant quote.
Even growing up in Florida, I didn’t realize how prevalent separation was between the races in this country and I had not idea – no idea at all – how distant this country’s young black citizens felt from the American dream. I didn’t know that most of them did not dream at all, or believed the dreams were never going to be for them.
I know that Barack Obama is not perfect and that he will likely make mistakes and that more than once in the future a lot of us will be frustrated with some of his decisions. I am not naive in that regard. However I also know that he is intelligent and thoughtful and acts with supreme care, something his campaign proved to us over and over and that we have been sorely lacking in the White House for a very long time. (Hello George W. and Bill Clinton.) I do not think he is perfect but I do think he is capable of brilliance and that is what makes me so hopeful right now, what makes the historian in me believe that perhaps this time we, as a country, will accomplish great things.
I love that train of thought, and I am stunned by its blunt common-sense, which describes in me my general appreciation for both the President’s rhetoric and manner, and my sometimes unspeakable unease that I was never so carried away as, say, the many present in the national mall yesterday. I have hope in his thoughtful, empathetic demeanor, and his capability of brilliance – but I am also aware and halfheartedly presuming it to fail him on occasion. I am a little worried that his real, first stumble, will be millions tripping.