I was sitting here waiting for my PS3 download new software. I started looking at a book G picked up for me, a Dover Edition of the political cartoons of Thomas Nast. Then I started thinking about Obama's inauguration speech. It was a big let down for me. And I thought "I oughta blog about this and write the inauguration speech I wished I heard." It is with that thought I began this entry. Before I launch into it, I'd like to share a few bits of information with the reader.
I voted for Obama in November. I voted for him in the Virginia Democratic Primary. I saw him speak at the Richmond Colliseum on October 22. And I participated in the spontaneous election night parade that marched from the Siegel Center to Old City Hall. I've been looking forward to his presidency. But today I was profoundly disappointed. I know millions of Americans thought it was "great" but Obama's speech rung hollow for me.
I'm also troubled by Obama's multiple homages to Lincoln -- swearing on the same Bible as Lincoln, recreating the whistle stop train route from Philadelphia to Washington, and partaking of an inauguration day luncheon similar to Lincoln's. The President from Illinois. You know, I just looked it up and Ronald Reagan is the only president born in Illinois. Lincoln was born in Kentucky. But these references to Lincoln are uncanny. It is as though he is challenging fate or begging a Lincolnesque conclusion. Lincoln is my favorite president too but as Emerson wrote, "Imitation is suicide."
I listened to the speech twice today. The first time live and again about 4 1/2 hours later. I listened to the speech reluctantly the second time but I was eager hear something I had missed or I hoped to hear something I wanted to hear. I left work in a bad mood after having listened the speech a second time.
Here is what I wish to have heard:
It is with grave seriousness that I address you all today. The hand of time rests heavily upon me, I am aware of history's judgement; with an open heart I faithfully hope to execute my duties to the best of my understanding and to your greater happiness and prosperity. Together we will face many challenges. In the midst of an economic crisis, two foreign wars, world poverty and an uncertain future ..."
I decided to abandon this post because it would take several hours to write a good speech and I don't want to.
But I will reclaim this space for personal blog entries. I definitely see a need and have an interest in such a place. I think it will be an irregular enterprise, but hopefully it will be informative of my personality and personal philosophy.