04 May 2009

YES WE CAN

With a title like that, I have to wonder just how many people will read this post and then it will be interesting to await what the comments will be like, good bad or ugly! I have been wanting to write this post since January, but am just now finally getting to it. So, here goes and yes, it is a long post, probably the longest I have ever posted:

I openly admit that I have been an Obama supporter for the majority of time since he announced he was running for President. I don't talk politics because I am usually not in the popular side and don't think there is a need to fight or whatever over such things. We do live in a nation where we are blessed to be able to use our free agency. I choose Barack Obama, you choose for yourself and I know that many of you do not agree with me, in fact, most of you do not, but that is your choice! I have much respect for our right to choose for ourselves and I would hope that others would respect that right in me!

I have seen and heard many things said about OUR President that cause me concern. I have one family member in particular that thinks it is funny to make racial remarks about OUR President. I showed my displeasure a little that particular night, but must say here, just because you don't actually say that he is this derogatory word does not make it ok to substitute his name for that word! I do acknowledge that I have not heard this said again and am grateful, thank you. I am just using that as an example of some of the feelings that are out there about OUR President. Yes, I know that I have capitalized the word OUR before President several times. This is done on purpose because this same family member referred to President Obama as "your President" when talking to my mom one night. As much as he and many others may not like this fact, President Barack Obama is the President of The United States of America, that is ALL of its citizens, not just those who voted for him. Ok, I have to note here, that in this post I have picked on one particular cousin (more importantly, note that I did NOT use a name, but they know who they are and please know that I still love you as I would hope you still love me!) but I know that there are so many others out there that feel the same way. I would hope they can and will come to an acceptance of facts and be patient for the duration of President Obama's term in office, no matter how long that will be.

I want to take a moment now and note a few things that I do like about President Obama: He is a man, a husband and a father. We are given an insight to this family in a different way. I am not sure why, but I do know that the little things that happen in many of our lives happen in their family, too. They got a dog, they have her mother living with them (although the reason is different than many Americans out there), Michelle and Barack are a married couple that take the time for themselves, going out for Valentines or a date much like I heard about from this last weekend. Just time for them. These things are all very normal. A normal man and family in the White House, could it be?! Anyway, I digress...I like the way he carries himself. I like so many things, but I think I have made my point and I will stop here and just let you, if you choose, read the quotes that I have pulled first from his Inauguration speech, then from the news conference for his 100th day in office. Then, I hope you will share your thoughts on the matter, pray for that acceptance (or maybe tolerance?) in your heart and continue to love me anyway!

From the Inauguration speech on 20 Jan 2009:
"On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord."

"We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness."

"We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions — that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America. For everywhere we look, there is work to be done."

"Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions — who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage."

"For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth;"

"We honor them {service men and women} not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment — a moment that will define a generation — it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all. For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies."

"Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends — hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism — these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world..."

"Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations. Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America."

From his 100th day news conference on 29 Apr 2009:
"Jeff Zeleny. QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President. During these first 100 days, what has surprised you the most about this office, enchanted you the most about serving in this office, humbled you the most and troubled you the most? MR. OBAMA: Surprised. I am surprised, compared to where I started, when we first announced for this race, by the number of critical issues that appear to be coming to a head all at the same time. You know, when I first started this race, Iraq was a central issue. But the economy appeared on the surface to still be relatively strong. There were underlying problems that I was seeing with health care for families and our education system and college affordability and so forth, but obviously, I didn't anticipate the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. And so, you know, the typical president, I think, has two or three big problems; we've got seven or eight big problems. And so we've had to move very quickly. And I'm very proud of my team for the fact that we've been able to keep our commitments to the American people to bring about change, while at the same time managing a whole host of issues that had come up that weren't necessarily envisioned a year and a half ago.
Troubled? I'd say less troubled but, you know, sobered by the fact that change in Washington comes slow. That there is still a certain quotient of political posturing and bickering that takes place even when we're in the middle of really big crises. I would like to think that everybody would say, you know what, let's take a timeout on some of the political games, focus our attention for at least this year, and then we can start running for something next year. And that hasn't happened as much as I would have liked. Enchanted? (Laughter.) Enchanted. I -- I will -- I will tell you that, when I -- when I meet our servicemen and -women, enchanted's probably not the word I would use. (Laughter.) But -- but -- but I -- but I am -- I am so profoundly impressed and grateful to them for what they do. They're really good at their job. They are willing to make extraordinary sacrifices on our behalf. They do so without complaint. They are fiercely loyal to this country. You know the more that I interact with our servicemen and -women, from the top brass down to the lowliest private, I'm just, I'm grateful to them.
Humbled by the -- humbled by the fact that the presidency is extraordinarily powerful, but we are just part of a much broader tapestry of American life and there are a lot of different power centers. And so I can't just press a button and suddenly have the bankers do exactly what I want -- (laughter) -- or -- (chuckles) -- or, you know, turn on a switch and suddenly, you know, Congress falls in line...And I'm -- I'm humbled, last, by the American people who have shown extraordinary patience and, I think, a recognition that we're not going to solve all these problems overnight."
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