Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Change. A New Era.

So we inaugurated the forty-forth president and the first African American yesterday. Historic implications aside, I’m always a little in awe of the event. To be quite specific: the peaceful transition of power, regardless of party affiliations. It renews my respect and admiration for our founding fathers. It took incredible vision and effort, as well as literal blood, sweat and tears to launch this country.

I’ve read the stories and quote upon quote about a new day dawning, needed change at hand, the positive electricity elicited by this new administration, the next American Camelot. And what’s to become of all that?

If we, the people, don’t do anything, this new administration will idle in neutral and trillions more of our tax dollar spiral down that drain. It’s up to us, as citizens, to roll up our sleeves and get the job done. No handouts, just hard work. The government does not owe anyone a living. Not in this country.

I read this comment today about the inauguration: “For the first time, thousands of Americans are ready and willing to pick up a shovel and do their part of the work.” I gotta ask: Why weren’t they willing to do their part of the work yesterday or the day before that or the day before that? Or even years ago? Seems sad to me that thousands haven’t considered it until yesterday. I suspect our founding fathers would also find that sentiment disappointing, at best.

In looking for a bright side to that comment, I’m hoping the thousands, or even maybe millions, who were moved yesterday “for the first time to pick up a shovel and do their part of the work” do just that. And that they keep doing it even when they get tired of doing it. That we all keep doing it even when we all get tired of doing it. And even if it means we have to shed some blood, sweat and tears in the effort. If you need a role model, crack open a U.S. history book. Look up Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Hancock, Lee, Bartlett, or any other signer of the Declaration of Independence. Then go to the chapter about drafting the U.S. Constitution.

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