Posted by: Patrice Fitzgerald | January 20, 2009

We have a new president

I’ve been watching since about 10:00 this morning the amazing transition of power.  I grew up in Rockville, Maryland, and worked, played, and went to law school in D.C.  One of my favorite things is to stand right in the center of the Washington mall (and it usually has approximately 2 million people fewer wandering around) and look straight to my right and left as I am positioned between the Capitol building and the Washington Monument.  It’s a wonderful space — did you know that the monuments make a cross shape when seen from above?

At one point I told a friend that we would look back and recognize the “bad times” between Sept. 11, 2001, and the election of Barack Obama, but that now we are coming out of the dark  and into the light.  And I see that Michael Moore has talked about the darkness starting with Ronald Reagan in 1980 (though there are many who still revere Reagan as our most successful president, and one who changed the world in good ways and gave us unprecedented economic prosperity), but I agree with Moore that the Reagan presidency ushered in more bad than good.

To me, the beginning of national despair began with the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy in 1963, followed of course by the murders of Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy.  There followed President Johnson and Vietnam, and then the nail in the coffin of confidence in our government — Tricky Dick himself, the nefarious Richard Nixon.  

I was 8 when Kennedy was killed, and 18 when Nixon resigned.  

But today, faith is back.  There are possibilities again.  Even someone who has seen as many years as I go by with presidents good and bad, can believe that we are able to pull ourselves out of not just the current monetary crisis, but the horrible mess that we have exported to the world — and persuade the world to move with us in a better direction.

Barack has just entered the luncheon at the Capitol Building to the strains of “Hail to the Chief” for the first time.  

Wow.

Enter the new America.

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