The Impressive Thing About the Inauguration

No, it is not that an African-American is taking office. That is trivial. No what is impressive about this inauguration is the exact same thing that was impressive about the inauguration of John Adams. The impressive thing is that a change in the highest office in the land is taking place without bloodshed. No one was killed to make it happen. No one had to die to leave the office vacant. An election happened and the current office holder vacated the office and handed it over to a new president in accordance with the law.

Actually that this is happening for the 43rd time may make it more impressive than that it happened the first time.

I wasn’t so sure that Clinton would give up the office. I half expected a Y2K issue to enable Clinton to illegally hold on to the office. No I didn’t trust him. Still don’t. He owes Bush of huge debt for making him look less bad.

I had some concerns about Bush as well. The whole war thing and the “I’m the decider” thing. But he did give it up and seems to have done so quite graciously.

This sort of thing happens in other countries today but few for as long as it has happened in the US. And of course in many parts of the world it almost never happens.

In the US the rule of law rules and that is the thing that makes the inauguration special.

2 Responses to “The Impressive Thing About the Inauguration”

  1. Matt says:

    “No, it is not that an African-American is taking office. That is trivial.”

    I disagree, but I think it depends on the point being made. I think it’s a monumental step, given the ongoing racism. But I also don’t look at Obama and think, “He’s black!,” so much as, “Whoa, the President reads the newspaper, understands this foreign policy and economy stuff, and is usually coherent.” So his race isn’t the big deal about him, but I think it’s still a big deal.

    “Actually that this is happening for the 43rd time may make it more impressive than that it happened the first time.”

    Someone said something similar on the radio. And at first I thought it was an asinine statement. But then I started to realize: it sounded asinine because we take it for granted, which only makes it all the more impressive. Sure, there were bitter, nasty feuds, but no violence, and even the party that lost seems to be pretty happy.

    “I had some concerns about Bush as well. The whole war thing and the “I’m the decider” thing. But he did give it up and seems to have done so quite graciously.”

    I worried about last-minute pardons. It’s Clinton that I think of when it comes to issuing myriad, horribly-misguided pardons, but I still expected the same from Bush. I was pleasantly surprised, not only by the lack of doing anything corrupt or trying to upstage Obama, but that he was, as you say, quite gracious about ensuring the smooth transition.

  2. Mr T says:

    My hope is that in 100 years who was the first African-American elected President will be a trivia question. I also hope that we are still changing presidents peacefully via elections.

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