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Inauguration Mania Sends the Wrong Message

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You probably think I’m going to start moaning about the $150,000,000 cost of the inauguration. That’s certainly distressing, but I have a more philosophical concern. The excitement about the Obama inauguration was certainly out of control. Days before the inauguration the major networks were already devoting hours of prime airtime to puff pieces on Obama and his family. My satellite system has a 24/7 Obama channel. The size of the crowd and the level of emotion was beyond any reasonable level. The boiled down message which all of this seems to be pushing is the same, perhaps enhanced a bit by the conjunction of the inauguration with Martin Luther King Day. The media seems convinced that as a nation we’ve accomplished something wonderful by electing someone with a dark skin to the presidency and it’s time to give ourselves a pat on the back and celebrate just how special we are.

I find myself wondering why this is so exciting. We’re supposed to be a nation where everyone is equal and no one has special rights or privileges. If everyone is supposed to be treated the same, why is it any kind of special achievement to elect someone of a particular skin color or background? Shouldn’t that be irrelevant to his chances of getting elected and equally irrelevant in how significant his election is?

To me all of the hype sends the wrong message. It suggests that something out of the ordinary has happened here. But if America is the nation of equals which it is supposed to be, then there should be no difference between electing a white president, a black president or a latino president. Your skin color doesn’t make you any better or any worse than anyone else. We’re all just Americans, right?

The positive message we could send here is to treat this inauguration as routine. We’ve done it almost 60 times before. It’s no big deal. There’s nothing remarkable about inaugurating a dark-skinned man. We’re inaugurating a person, not a skin color. Our society judges people by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin — or so a wise man once told me.

If we want the world to see that we really do practice what we preach, then this ostentatious promotion of the specialness of this inauguration sends exactly the wrong message. It tells people that we’re defensive and insecure and desperate for attention. It tells them that we don’t really believe what we’ve been saying for years and that we lack confidence in the message of equality which we have been preaching all that time.

The fact that Obama is black speaks for itself. It doesn’t need additional recognition. It’s not the important thing about this inauguration. It pales in comparison to the fact that unlike almost every other nation in the world we have once again managed to go through a change in government without any conflict or violence, with one political faction handing power to its opponents with peace and dignity. Having done that every 4 years for over 200 years is much more of an accomplishment than electing someone who is just another citizen like any other to the highest office in the land.

About Dave Nalle

  • Hope and Change?

    hmmmmm..Now I get it!!
    So if I posted, hypothetically of course, “anyone who reads this blog knows that you guys are all a bunch of condescending left wing jerk offs”…hypothetically of course.
    I would have the green light to post, hypothetically of course, that “you guys are all a bunch of condescending left wing jerk offs” in every one of my posts, without ever being edited?

    Um…er….you know hypothetically of course…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    I don’t know, H&C. Just a thought.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    H&C,

    Once would be fine. You wouldn’t be attacking anyone in particular. Repeated in every single post, though, would be a great way to get yourself kicked out of here.

    Read the damn comments policy. There’s a bit more to it than just personal attacks.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    You can always count on Zing to raise the level of the discussion.

    Dave

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    zing2 is the anti-JOM.

  • zingzing

    oh, quiet. i don’t always lower the level of discussion, but sometimes, someone needs a little push. he pretty much shut up, didn’t he?

    and now we can get back to our regular nobel-level discourse.

    i provided a service. nothing more, nothing less.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    To all -

    Now is the time to put aside childish things….

  • bliffle

    It’s not really necessary for BC to censor scriveners such as H&C. It’s quite easy to discard their witless rants as one scrolls through a topic. I do it automatically for several contributors who I have decided are unenlightening.

    H&C has been on my list for awhile, but occasionally I give a listee Another Chance to see if their prose improves with proximity to the better writers of BC. There’s always hope. Well, for some anyway.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    But Glen (Comment #257), if we are to achieve true enlightenment enabling us to walk in the path of righteousness,* we must become as little children.

    I think I read that somewhere.

    *RIGHTEOUSNESS, n. A sturdy virtue that was once found among the Pantidoodles inhabiting the lower part of the peninsula of Oque. Some feeble attempts were made by returned missionaries to introduce it into several European countries, but it appears to have been imperfectly expounded.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    bliffle -

    Can H&C change and mature? We’ve got to encourage him…”Yes He Can!”

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Dan -

    As little children indeed…full of wonder and hope and love – but not the cruelty and spite that one so often sees in an undisciplined child.

    No reference, just rhetoric.

  • Clavos

    Pearls…

  • Cindy D

    (looks around for swine to throw them at)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    How many Pearls? Minnie?

    Dan(Miller)

  • Clavos

    Pienselo, Licenciado…

  • http://www.myspace.com/x15 Douglas Mays

    Zing #240, right on! Car got mashed up in Fremont? Probably a drunk crossing the bridge and making a too wide sweeping left turn off Fremont Ave. to the High Dive. LOL

    Yeah, I live in the Lake City neighborhood now. The bus system is great. I can hop on a 522 (always on time) and be downtown in 16 minutes without having to look for parking or pay for it.

    Manhattan? I remember paying $35 for about 90 minutes worth of parking time (back in 1985!)in a parking garage off Times Square.

    Anyway, the cost of the inauguration is the least of our problems. The cost was just a fraction of any of the waste the feds are guilty of. It was an amazing party of unity. The country needs it.

    best,
    DM

  • Brunelleschi

    When Obama met with some GOP today, they were whining about his economics, and his answer was-

    “I won.”

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    Bruni, if that story is true, then we’re well and truly fucked. If being the winner allows you to ruin the country “just because” then democracy has rendered our republic meaningless.

    Obama’s proposed “stimulus package” is a disastrous waste of money which spends $250K for every job it supposedly “creates” while indulging pet projects for powerful lawmakers and plunging us deeper and deeper into a hole of debt we may never escape from.

    Dave

  • Cindy D

    If being the winner allows you to ruin the country “just because” then democracy has rendered our republic meaningless.

    How ironic.

  • Brunelleschi

    D-

    Relax party-man.

    I just like his attitude.

    In case you forget, he won. Your ideas lost big-time.

    Don’t be such a sore LOSER.

  • Zedd

    Dave,

    I was ready to give the author a break because I was sure it was a kid.

    Are you kidding me?

    If it’s the first time EVER, than it’s sorta a big deal. By virtue of it being a rare instance. However, because of our racist past, the biggest blemish and thorn our our side as a nation, a Black man being President is huge, hence the tears by all regardless of race or political origin.

  • Zedd

    Douglas M,

    I’m pretty sure the African thingy has something to to with the “Black” in Black American.

    Just a thought.

  • Cindy D

    The country looks like zingzing’s car. The guy at the wheel doesn’t remember being drunk either.

    It would be hard to imagine how anything Obama would do could ruin the country much more than it already been.

  • bliffle

    Dave said: “If being the winner allows you to ruin the country “just because” then democracy has rendered our republic meaningless.”

    How ironic.

    Oops! I plagiarized Cindy! It was the obvious response.

    How soon they forget. Only 8 years…

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    In case you forget, he won. Your ideas lost big-time.

    My ideas were not really represented in the election, so they never had a chance to win or lose.

    Dave

  • Cindy D

    Great minds bliffle :-)

  • Brunelleschi

    Hey mine weren’t either. I gave up on the Dems in the mid 80s when Reagan kicked their butts and they rolled over and took a nap. I haven’t really liked anything about them since.

    I didn’t even follow this election much until McCain stooped to waving an unknown blue-collar guy in front of everyone. That’s like the governor of Alabama campaigning with a slave… :)

  • Zedd

    Zing,

    When do you get PC time in the clinker?

  • zingzing

    whenever i want to, baby, whenever i want to.

  • Zedd

    Oh your so dangerous.

  • zingzing

    i can’t tell who’s joking anymore.

  • Clavos

    Everyone…