I realized a few days ago that it’s a little hard for me to believe that there is an Administration in the White House in which I actually believe. I’ve been cynical and negative for so long that reversing that frame of mind takes conscious effort.
Ella expected decisive action, as did other kids. At the end of Presdent Obama’s first full day in office, she asked, “Did he end the war?” To which I had to respond, no, it takes a long time to end a war, you can’t do it in one day.
But while I have no doubt that decisive action will be made on this and other fronts, I also have trouble believing that This Has All Come To Pass.
And then I wonder: Is this the political equivalent of shock? Or post-traumatic stress syndrome?
When I hear President (!) Obama speak, I still have trouble believing his Presidency is real. When I hear about the things he’s done right away, like signing Executive Orders to close Guantanamo, and CIA interrogation centers, and open up FOIA, and make service and citizenship a priority, and restore funding to international family planning groups, or his commitment to education, science and technology, or signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act 2009 I’m inspired with possibility just as I was during the campaign season.
Of course things are a mess right now. But they would be darker if I didn’t believe that President (!) Obama will address the domestic and international problems with intelligence and plans for action, and if I didn’t believe the Administration will continue to rally all of us to do the hard work we need to do to get back on track. As a friend of mine recently posted on my FaceBook page:
We (Dems) have the President, but the remaining Republicans in congress continue to make it very difficult to move on and change the agenda. We must all continue to support Obama, in his effort to turn the country around..
So, day by day, I’ll keep pinching myself, and finding ways to be involved, and one day soon, I’ll take Obama’s Presidency (!) to be as natural and obvious as Ella already assumes it to be. And that’s one of the beautiful things, isn’t it? That our kids will grow up knowing not much besides President (!) Obama. This, I think, is how the new order should be for the next generation.
For our Party, we framed our Shephard Fairley print and placed it over our mantle. Now, over a week later, it’s still above our fireplace, and we don’t really have any intention of taking it down. Kory & I joke that we’re going to be like one of those families in the 1960s who kept a picture of JFK hanging in the living room, right next to the Pope. There won’t be a picture of Pope Benedict in this house, but now I think our kids just might grow up wondering what the heck was with us, their silly Gen X parents, keeping that picture of Obama up, year after year after year.
And maybe we’ll say it was to remind us of something that we had forgotten for a long time, and wanted never to forget again.