Orlando, Florida Jan 20. I can’t adequately describe the feeling inside me. It’s not merely joy, pride, relief or any range of those emotions. It’s rather a combination of some degree of them all tinged with a little apprehension for the work that still lies ahead. Of course this is an historic event and we should celebrate it, all in our own style. I chose not to attend the inauguration; I watched and have recorded the event to DVD so my grandkids can have it. The trip wouldn’t have cost me much because my daughter lives in the area. No, I chose to be here where it all started.
Our group in East Orlando was a driving force in taking Orange County by over 80,000 votes. We are hosting our own celebration and we have vowed to stay together to become a political force here. We are in the process of forming a Democratic club through either a state or county charter. The point is that we are staying involved. Statistically, Democrats did not do well in local, county and state offices. We also failed to defeat Amendment 2. Local politics has to be an important priority now. The 2010 elections are around the corner and we can’t afford Charlie Crist again in any elected office. Jeb Bush and Mel Martinez wisely saw the future and left the field open. I for one do not want to prove them wrong, so my apprehension is whether or not we will let this opportunity pass.
Watching on TV is frustrating because I can’t stand the constant chatter from the same talking heads. Sometimes their perspectives are so out of kilter that I wonder if I’m watching the same event they’re describing. Some people I never need to see again are Pat Buchanan, Peggy Noonan, Wolf Blitzer, George Will James Carville, Mary Matalin, Chris Matthews and others too numerous to mention. As far as I am concerned they contribute nothing except their own hot air. Not a fresh perspective in the bunch.
I really wish we could get past this race thing as much as I wish we could get past gender and lifestyle issues. People should be measured by their abilities and accomplishments and nothing more. Perhaps this inauguration is the beginning of the end of that kind of biased thinking, but it struck me as I watched the ceremonies on our 50” high definition screen that I wanted to throw a shoe at Rick Warren as he spoke. I might have too if the economy and our business income were better-it’s too expensive to fix or replace right now. Another curious thought occurred when Aretha Franklin was singing; why did they choose My Country Tis of Thee which is really a British song, God Save The (King/Queen) with different lyrics? I would have preferred God Bless America written by Israel Baline, a Russian Jewish immigrant whose name was changed to Irving Berlin. It is much more appropriate for the occasion. How wonderful it would have been for Marian Anderson, or Paul Robeson, or Nat King Cole to have had the opportunity to contribute to earlier inaugurations, all of them compelling performers who were on the front lines of the civil rights battles since the 1930’s. Their vindication came today.
So, tonight I’ll celebrate with my kindred spirits and tomorrow we’ll go out into the trenches and wage the battle for 2010. There’s a lot more work to be done.