Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Today Is the Day

I'm really not a very political person. I don't side with any causes passionately and I can't hold my own in an intelligent political discussion. But there's something that really engaged me about the election last year, and while I thought it had something to do with politics, I don't think that's actually true. Perhaps it was the drama of it all. More likely it was Barack Obama himself. That guy could make a stone come alive.

Whatever it was that excited me about Obama's trajectory to the White House, which hits its zenith today with his inauguration, I'm right back there in that mindset again. There's something in the air, a palpable buzz, and I feel it. Sunday, watching the concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, I often felt a real sense of pride and got chills. Just seeing the news coverage of Obama at various events or listening to him speak is awe inspiring. After eight years of being disengaged, detached, angry, and lethargic, the country is reawakening. This feels different, unlike any other inauguration — unlike Bill Clinton's even. It has to be what people felt when Kennedy was elected. This is history. I have to say, it's really exciting to be alive, to be an American, and to be witnessing it.

I'm not saying that all of a sudden I'm overcome with any sense of political purpose or that I'm going to start reading the Washington Post every day. Nor am I saying that I've had some great revelation or that I'm now going to become more involved in causes. And of course, I don't mean to go on like all kinds of self-righteous, self-centered celebrities have been in recent days, making it all about them. All I'm saying is that at noon today, like so many other people around the world, I'll be in front of a television watching the swearing in and then Obama's address, and I really can't wait. I'm interested like I've never been before. I hope these feelings I'm feeling stay with me and do spur me to become more politically active or service-oriented in the future, or at the very least, to become a more politically aware person.

Congratulations to our new president, Barack Obama!



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