Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Bottle Full of Hope

Anyone who thinks Fox News tilts right should have watched some of the Inauguration coverage- they were gushing (maybe not quite to the extreme as ABC and MSNBC), but gushing all the same. I don't think I heard one person talk about the extravagance of the week in contrast to current economic conditions.

Fox- like many other rank-and-file party Republicans out there- is trying to show how classy they are by displaying appropriate respect and reverence for such a historic occasion. Too bad it won't get us anywhere. Too bad liberals will STILL pursue the "I hate Bush" rhetoric while we politely take in the new President.

Todd had a tech ask him why he wasn't watching the TV yesterday at work- Todd just looked at him like "When have I ever had a TV on while I'm reading scans?"

All the people enamored with Obama's promises for hope and change just want to soak in every minute of this week. Certainly nobody was asking for the TV to be turned on at work during Bush's Inaugurals. We're all just supposed to be caught up in the history, but most Republicans that I count among my friends don't see Obama as a black-man, we see him as a liberal man- the most liberal man who has taken the oath of office. We're scared and no amount of MTV balls and fluff fashion talk changes that.

Another thing that is getting under my skin (again) is the continued mantra of hope- Hope is a word of spiritual connections- it's a word rooted in religious values. The word hope is NOT in the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence. The words freedom and "free" are- many, many times. The word justice is...the word happiness is, the word liberty is... Why these virtues and not the virtue of hope?

Because hope is something reserved for situations where you have little or no control. "I hope my sister can beat cancer", "I hope this pregnancy goes okay and I have a healthy baby". "I hope he can beat his drug addiction". Hope is not a word one should use in situations where they have some or all control, "I hope I get a job". "I hope our finances get better". "I hope I can go to college". Yet- that's how Obama is using the word. If you "hope" for a situation to improve, it can and it will Well- sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't and if you hold on to false hope (i.e. praying, wishing, hoping something gets better, but doing nothing to make it get better), then despair is sure to set in when your desires don't match your outcomes.

The Founding Fathers didn't hope for a better life, they made a better life. They didn't hope for freedom, they fought for freedom. They didn't hope for change to come, they made change-- and they risked it all- they're lives, their livelihoods, the lives of their families for one thing and one thing only-- freedom.

Obama has now tied in the concept of "hard work" into his calls for change- I'm glad to hear it, it's a great American value to work hard. But I do think those words mean very different things to different people. Certainly hard work doesn't mean sitting around and watching the TV when you're supposed to be working (as my sister Mary sat at the Atlanta airport this morning, she said a bunch of airport workers were sitting around for an hour watching today's Obama coverage- um, it's the day after the Inauguration- get back to work). Hard work is not the employees at the Penn and 66th Brueggers who were possibly all high when I sat for 10 minutes waiting for a bagel and soup (with three employees and three customers).

Hard work means hustling, moving, nose to the grindstone, no time for daydreaming-- work. But see- government can't define that for us. With freedom, you have the ability to make choices to sit on your butt or not attain an education or work only a part-time job when you should be working full-time, on and on. And you know what? As long as that doesn't affect my freedom- then I don't care if you make those choices. Obama- and liberal- ideology states we should care, we must care and that it's our communal responsibility to ensure that not only are there equal opportunities to work (which we should have) but that there are also equal outcomes from the work we do. There aren't- there can't be- and no amount of government intervention will change that fact of human nature.

To bottle up hope and sell it to the American people was pure brilliance- we are an optimistic people and a President must be optimistic. To bottle it up and sell it after the same group of people (Obama included) tried to sell us on pessimism and despair (on the Iraq war on President Bush's leadership) is pure political calculation and I believe a call to fundamentally shift our country further away from the intentions of the Founders- that we should be free, that our nation's role is to provide security so that we may attain the unalienable rights endowed by our Creator- life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.


Goose said...

Well said. While I agree with you that we conservatives just see Barack as the president, and not a black or African American president (Kenyan-Kansan would be more appropriate), and could care less about his color, but care immensely about his policies, I found it amazing that the person chosen to give the benediction took the opportunity to incite racism during the inauguration and singles out whites as the ones not in line and all the other colors beaten down by the man:

Text of the last paragraph of the benediction by Rev. Joseph Lowery during President Barack Obama's inauguration:

"Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back, when brown can stick around ... when yellow will be mellow ... when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right. That all those who do justice and love mercy say Amen."

It is statements like this on a public stage that keeps racism alive and kicking.

Princess Freckles said...

I want to hug you! Do you mind linking this to The Prepublican? Or I can! The part on hard work really hits home as my fiance is taking a class about Urban Crises in Detroit.... I'm sure you can imagine! We were discussing this very thing last night.

I know I've been trying make myself feel better knowing that we're not prtesting and acting crazy like the Dems, but you're right. No amount of classiness is going to change them.

Sheila said...

Goose- I just read the WSJ article on that statement- I had missed the benediction- that's shocking, is it time for a cat in the hat rhyming when we swear in the leader of the Free World?

How many did we lose in the Civil War to "do what's right"- 600,000 men? Now that's anti-American sentiment.

Princess F- I'll cross-post tonight! Thanks :)

Ginny said...


liz said...

I was driving in the car when I heard Rev. Lowery's benediction and for the first time shouted at the radio. What? What did he just say? No, he did not just say that? And then I had to remind myself that this was supposed to be a prayer? Completely inappropriate.

I remember at one of the McCain rallies how he would always, always show respect to the Obama campaign. That Obama can't offer the same courtesy to Pres. Bush and silence the crowd who was booing him showed his true character.

Goose - Rev. Lowery also mentions the "evil rich" in his benediction. It was a few paragraphs before his comments on white people. It boggles my mind.

Scarlet O'Kara said...

Just popped over from The Prepublican and I have to say...Bravo!