Attention Must Be Paid

In 3 and a half hours from now, the United States of America will welcome its 44th President.  President Barack Obama.  And a new era will begin, hopefully.

No, I’m not talking about some touchy-feely, bleeding-heart-liberal, MLKjr, kinda era.  I’m talking about a new era for us in the peanut gallery.  That is, the era of paying attention. 

George W. Bush had something going for him his last term.  Those who hated him had written him off.  There was no need to pay attention to what he was doing because everything he was going to do was going to be steeped in failure.  By the time this recent Presidential Election got started, he only had the hearts and minds of 1/5th of the country.  And one has to assume that many of those are probably party loyalists who feel it is their sworn duty to support ANY Republican President.  It seemed like somewhere along the way, a majority of Americans, though they loathed W’s performance as a President, decided, “Meh, we’ll just wait him out”, and then tuned out in favor of Dancing with the Stars.

So now we have this new guy coming in.  And in some sense, he still is a relative unknown, when you compare him to the typical life-span in DC politics.  It’s clear that there are many who desperately want him to succeed.  I suspect even some of the fifth who still like W, would love to see Obama succeed, thought they’d be loathe to admit it in public.  There is a collective weight on our shoulders in the form of this failing economy.  We desperately want someone to come along and lift it.  We want someont to come along and succeed in lifting it.

But the key will be remembering that this is our burden to share with him.  The biggest role we have is to support his efforts.  That is, to support them by paying attention.  We cannot allow this “Hope for Change” to become insulation.  We cannot put so much trust in Obama that we stop paying attention.  Holding his feet to the fire when he walks astray will be our best contribution.  And we know the fifth will do that anyway.  The rest of us need to represent the rational and reasoned response. 

At least, that’s how I see it.  – Reverend What’s-His-Name?