Today at high noon, President Obama steps into history and becomes the 44th President of the United States of America. Not only is this moment historical because of the fact that 1/2 century ago, African Americans were not allowed in ‘white’ establishments, but it is a moment of hope for our country. A reminder of all that is good in America – the democratic process does work, the people’s voice is still heard. It is a testament to the world, that power can change hands, not just from person to person, but from party to party without a shot fired.
I did not vote for Barack Obama. My choice wasn’t influenced by his skin color, but by my concern over his lack of experience, the people he surrounded himself with, the message he was taught in church, and my concern over his naivete on how to handle other world leaders. But as the new President of our country, I will do all I can to support him (as long as it doesn’t conflict with my moral values and that would be true of any President).
As a supporter of President Bush, I believe that history will judge him better than his contemporaries have. He started off with basically a no-win situation (the 2000 election) and everything was an uphill battle from there. He had to fight every step of the way because the Democrats were so disbelieving that their guy could lose, they refused to consider supporting their new leader. With a country so divided, it would be hard for any President to accomplish much of anything. And President Bush didn’t even have an ‘easy’ presidency. Terrorist attacks, 9/11, two wars…there were no easy decisions for him to make during his 8 years in office. Every thing he did was scrutinized by the media to the nth degree, but despite predictions when he was elected, he hasn’t paved the way to become emperor of the world, nor has he spent his years in the White House as a falling down drunk. I wish President Bush the best. I pray for happiness and peace for his family.
But my prayers are not for President Bush alone. During the years that Bush was in office, I was amazed at the constant harrassment that he put up with from the Democrats (those in office and regular civilians). It did not seem to me like anyone ever gave him much of a chance, except perhaps in the days and weeks immediately following 9/11 and even then the conspiracy theory hounds were out in full force and people were criticizing his reaction before a group of young children he was visiting when the 9/11 attacks began.
I prayed this morning for the safety of President Obama and his family. There is no doubt that they face more dangers in this office than the ordinary president, because even in this day and age, there are those who don’t want to move on and don’t want an African American running our country. I also prayed for wisdom for our new President. He has a lot of challenges to overcome. Fortunately, because of his heritage and because the Democrats finally feel vindicated, he has a lot of support fresh out of the gate. And, while I imagine many non-church going, non-conservative people would doubt this, he has the prayers of the churches around the country. We want him to be successful at his job. We want him to be President over all of our nation and we want the wounds created by the angry over the last 8 years to be healed. President Obama is riding a wave of historical significance. He is flying high on emotions of a country that is proud of itself for having made such a show of letting go of old prejudices. I pray that the good feelings that are sweeping our nation and the world today will bring in a period of cooperation and peace for us and for the world.
May God bless you, protect you and guide you, President Obama and your family. May God bless this great nation. May God bring peace to the world.
And President Bush, thank you. Thank you for doing the best job you could do when fighting against the odds. Thank you for being a stand up guy, who stood up for what he believed was best for this country, even when support was low and people were calling for your head. May God bless you and your family.