Great American Day

This day embodied everything truly great and inspiring about the United States of America. The rule of law, equal opportunity, goofy optimism, goofier commercialism. Even though it also included lots of gratuitous religiosity, Obama in his inaugural address actually recognized the existence and worth of “nonbelievers.” So diversity and inclusiveness were right up there too.

Unlike some antiwar progressives, who are already condemning Obama for seeming to show way too much respect to the outgoing administration of admitted war criminals. I choose to be more patient, and reserve judgement until we see what happens. I don’t expect to see everything I would want, but I think we will see a lot of good things that we could only dream of three years ago.

I was so inspired, not by Obama, but by the masses of people who are inspired by him and what his election means. I will not discount how meaningful this breakthrough is to people of color, or dismiss their deep excitement and joy with my own agenda. Not today, that’s for sure.

The dreaded invocation by Rick Warren was so forgettable I’m embarrassed for him. It was completely eclipsed by the depth of Obama’s address and the heights of Rev. Lowery’s benediction. Not to mention the art of Aretha Franklin and Elizabeth Alexander, which immediately banished any negativity he conveyed — or at least that was my reaction and I haven’t seen much online that even mentions Warren. And isn’t being ignored the harshest sentence?

Anyway, it’s been a long, wonderful day for our country. We once again looked sane and even beautiful to the world. It won’t last forever, but enjoy the experience, and the memories it will create.

Obama’s Inauguration and Address (with John Robert’s botching the oath of office):

The amazing benediction by Rev. Joseph Lowery:

(The beginning of his speech is from “Lift Every Voice and Sing” sometimes called the Negro National Anthem.)