I hate to infuse negative feelings on this glorious day, but do you remember where you were eight years ago, when George Bush became our 43rd President? Crying in the fetal position, yelling obscenities at the television, locked in a dark room or maybe being as pro-active as you could and protesting Bush as he cowardly hid in his limo for the parade down Pennsylvania Avenue...all things that many Americans did to pass the time on January 21st, 2001.
It was a sad day for many, joyous for his supporters of course, but a tragic day for our democracy, regardless of party. Not even Republicans could imagine the damage he'd do...and now they get it, as Bush leaves with an approval rating in the low 20s, worse than any other President since public opinion polls were created. Even before the wars, the economic meltdown and evaporation of international goodwill, the nation was bitterly divided during the last inauguration.
From Democracy Now:
More and more, Independent Media Centers around the world are a component of progressive activism. A Washington, DC-based IMC is providing up-to-date information and live coverage of inaugural and counter-inaugural events.It was the largest Presidential inauguration since Nixon's second coming. Activists on the left had some idea that bad things were on their way, but could not even fathom the amount of destruction Bush-conservatives would inflict on our country. The passion to fight him was there though, and it culminated in the overthrow of conservative government (to a large degree) throughout the country.
On their home page, this morning they write: "The inauguration of George W. Bush comes during a resurgence ofpolitical activism in America and throughout the world and is bringing more and more groups together in the strugglefor democratic and progressive change. Bush’s rapid effort to assemble one of the most pro-corporate cabinets inhistory has led to increased opposition by labor and environmental groups, students and social justice organizations.
“Moreover, mounting evidence that the GOP stole the presidential election by denying African-Americans their right tovote has created public outrage and is leading to a grassroots revival of the civil rights movement. With the Jan. 20 inauguration only [hours] away, thousands of people are mobilizing to protest.”
Now eight years later, minus one day, we have one of the greatest displays of hope and exuberance for the future of the nation. Two million or more are braving the cold and wintry D.C. weather, merely for a glimpse down the Mall to see Obama being sworn in. The parade will be a celebration for everyone there and not one that helps to divide us. Sure, there'll be detractors, that is what happens in any large country. Yet we have not been united to such a degree in a very long time. All you need to do is turn on the TV, the radio or the webcast to see it in the crowds down in our capitol.