Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Thank You For Your Service Mr. and Mrs. Bush, and Welcome Home.

Today my children and I sat around the TV watching history in the making. I was awed. I was proud of my country.

I did not vote for Obama. Obama’s ideologies and mine differ greatly. In fact there is little we agree on. He is, however, my president and I respect the office greatly.

The thing that made me proud today oddly enough, was not the fact that we elected a black man, but the fact that a change of power occurred at all. I personally can’t wait for the day that we elect a man or a woman and little or nothing is said about their heritage other than for the sake of general interest, because it matters so little what color or gender they are. The only thing that matters is if they are the person for the job.

Ann asked me as we were watching Bush and Obama walk out of the doors to the White House together and get into the limo, “If Bush wanted to, could he stop the inauguration? He is still president.” she added.

Will said, “No he can’t stop it. While he is President, he is not King.”

I think that is the beauty of the democratic process. The drafters of the Constitution were somehow able to see into the future and lay the foundations for a Government that was bigger than its leader. Two powers, diametrically opposed and yet the transfer of power is so seamless.

While this is my normal, this is the only type of leadership I have ever known, it is not the norm around the world. There is instance after instance showing us men who get into power and the power corrupts them, goes to their heads, causes them to lose all perspective. They become dictators.

The countries of Congo and Zimbabwe and Haiti come to mind.

But not my country. In my country the people really do get to choose, for better or for worse, who is their leader.

When I sat there with my children and watched Former President George Bush hug the now First Lady Michelle Obama, the camera panned in close to his face and I could read his lips as he said to her his parting words.

“You’ll have the time of your life. I promise.” And he and his wife smiled at the Obama's, hugged them and boarded the helicopter to head home to Texas.

I watched as the Obama’s and the Biden’s stood on the steps of the White House and waved as the chopper headed out over Washington D.C. and I felt really, really proud of my country.

Not one shot was fired, not one person was killed. No one was sent off to some unknown jail or exiled from their country. The leader of one of the most powerful nations on earth simply got into his helicopter and flew away, his job completed, leaving the next President ready and waiting to step into the job. These two men, so very different in every way from color to generation to ideologies to governmental parties, and yet when the time came to hand over the reins of government, it was done honorably with a handshake, and a wave.

God Bless America.

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