On this day, this most historic day, we celebrate what we all believed in. But we didn't hold our breath. Now breathless, we exhale, knowing that now it all begins.
I do not have words for what I feel about Barack Hussein Obama inaugurated today as the 44th President of the United States. When Rick Klau started talking to me about the man he did his part for in his local district, in electing him to the Senate, I was captivated and felt hope. For a rare moment, I feel that politics has progressed faster than technology.
My Firefox spellchecker prompts me to correct Barack Obama, but not Hussein.
And I feel hope again. For my children. For our global citizenship. For who we want to be. And how we could get there.
Obama cannot be successful for us without us. He knows that, and the new whitehouse.gov reflects more than a progression from his campaign. It now serves us and him towards entirely different goals. Beyond engagement with civic life as us, I think it could change policy-making forever.
Washington used to work through lobbying, or institutional pluralism. When that failed, Regan used the Bully Pulpit to get people to fax their congressmen, or individual pluralism. These tools still work for advancing change. And with the web they are amplified. But my hope is we don't activate mass pressure, but smarter pressure. Getting citizens together, to deliberate together, to form constituencies before not heard, to gauge multi-disciplinary approaches, and suggest better courses of action. Emergent pluralism may have its day.
Today I heard someone on the radio saying the FDR needed to the depression and Lyndon Johnson needed the civil rights movement and other presidents needed citizens demanding solutions to challenges to make them as great as they were. This is but one thing for the coming administration, but how they engage us, beginning today, could be the greatest.