Dream With Eyes Wide Open, Colltalers
President Barack Obama’s second-term inauguration today somehow reloads the hope of a new direction for the U.S., which four years ago many had expected that we’d be far into it, by now. For those who’re not about to give it all up just yet, today’s is in fact a joyous occasion.
Despite the already long list of missing opportunities and downright disappointments cluttering any aspirations for another day in America, there is in fact a realistic chance that the president gets on board, and on the right side, of some pretty hairy but crucial issues.
Instead of getting to that, though, let’s remind everyone of the heartbreak of the two George W. Bush inaugurations. In the first one, worst than seeing victory being snatched away from the candidate with most votes, was what followed it: the dawn of even more despairing years than anyone could’ve anticipated.
And the second, which for peaceful and hard working Americans, was the bitter realization that waking up in the wrong side of power also meant being helpless to change it. It also meant being universally blamed for the catastrophically bad decisions the government was making in their name.
So if the cosmic relief of four years ago, fueled as it were by the pent up desire for radical change, made the majority in this country go back to the business of dreaming a better future, what could’ve happened last November would’ve been enough to disheartened even the most ardent hope advocate.
In other words, cheer up.
The president has shown that he can be moved, or rather, forced into positive action, when enough pressure builds up. The recent example is, obviously, the gun control issue, which wasn’t even in the horizon just a few months ago, despite the current trivialization of mass murders in the streets of America. (*)
There’d be much more to mention or to rant about, but as such, we must leave at that. As we said, many will find reasons to be hopeful and re-energized about the second term. His speech for sure, will be as rousing and passionate as his hand at the helm of nation has been cool and detached.
But hey, count your graces because you’re not watching the coronation of that what’s-his-name guy. So there is indeed hope. One thing was painfully clear in these past four years, though: the better future that this country deserves is not resting on President Barack Obama’s hands. Or any other leader’s, for that matter.
What’s going to make a difference, or rather, who’s about to make a difference for better or for worse is you, dear reader. There’s no other way to put it. If you’re not sitting on your pretty behind, hoping that some guy or god will come and rescue you from everything you have fought against, then you’re in.
More than the first term, this one is going to be your call. Americans must show that they care enough to fight, not for the pathetic right to bear arms, for if you think you need one, perhaps you shouldn’t have one, but for the right to have decent jobs, health costs covered, affordable housing.
The U.S. must again lead the world to reduce its environmental footprint, to turn the corner on climate change, and to eliminate once and for all all carbon-based fuels of its economy. Our kids have the right to have parents, not militia-commanders, conspiracy-nuts, racist-survivalists.
The president deserves the support of Colltales and of all Americans, and after 12 terrible years of war and economic strife, Americans deserve all the peace and prosperity that has been denied to them. We see no other way but to renew our hope in the future and what we can mutually inspire in each other towards it.
Thus, even that we know that many will remain jadedly skeptical, and we need them too, we must all hold steady to that dream that was once so eloquently dreamed and imagined: the dream of living in a world of peace, free at last, with nothing to kill or die for. WC
(*) Unlike previous Curtain Raisers, this one tracks closely this week’s Newsletter.