Masses On The Mall
I'm watching the inauguration ceremonies from home, and it's far better with the sound off, let me tell you. The scene of maybe a million people in Washington today is a little wild. You don't often see that many Muslim sympathizers in America (tee hee). My Twitter feed is exploding with friends on the Mall providing their onsite reports.
It's not unimportant. This many people motivated to be a part of this event might just be the uniquely American desire to witness history and the ability to say you were there. It also can mean, and I think it does mean, that Americans from all over the world are ready to be a part of their government again. There were many of us the past eight years and longer, who ducked our heads, who disassociated from this country, who failed to recognize it. And while today has a lot of ceremony and symbolism, I look forward much more to tomorrow. There will be a genuinely well-liked man at the seat of power, who ran on a firm break from the current policies, and who is asking the citizens for which he will work to serve. He has told us who he is, a somewhat cautious, introspective, incrementalist moderate, but he has inspired an entire generation of Americans to tell him who they are.
Barack Obama will not be measured by how his initial policies succeed. He will be measured by how he reacts should those policies fail. Will he listen to those screaming for change? Will he take the commitment of millions to heart and fight for them? Will he adapt?
Looking out at the millions on the Mall, I think he can ill afford not to.
Today is about returning power to the people who made this country.