Inaugural Confessions

As everyone knows, the Obama inauguration was Tuesday. Millions showed up to watch in person. Kim took the day off of work to watch on CNN. It was, by all accounts a history making day. But I don’t get it. To me, while I’m certainly looking forward to Obama delivering on even a fraction of all the hopes and dreams we’ve laid on his shoulders, the swearing in was a non-event.

Perhaps I’m just too logical about the whole thing, but for me the exciting part was his being elected in the first place. Once that happened, the inauguration was inevitable. It was just pomp and circumstance sprinkled with rhetorical blather. It was window dressing. And perhaps it was also indicative of the American fascination with celebrity for its own sake. As if the celebration itself makes the future brighter. I don’t care if Michelle was resplendent. I don’t care if the girls were adorable. I don’t care if the speech was emotionally uplifting. I don’t care what Rick Warren had to say, nor that Obama said, “so help me God.”

We are deep in the soup here, and while I suppose we can use a shot of collective optimism, that isn’t going to have much efficacy in the long run. We need demonstrable and purposeful leadership. We need cooperation and sacrifice and compromise. The words and the ceremony are all nice, but show me the money. Then we’ll celebrate.

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