Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Can you spare some change?

So, Barack Obama has been President of the United States for about twenty three hours now, and it seems to be going well so far. I would hope so, anyway. But oddly, the thoughts that stick out about the last 48 hours for me are about George W. Bush, the outgoing President.

And you know, it really bothered me that he got booed as he was introduced at the Inaguration. I don't care if you like him or not, if you think he did a good job or not - you respect the Office of the President. I'll be the first one to cite all the things were I think he didn't do a very good job over his 8 years, but I would never just boo him because I believe in the deepest part of my heart that he honestly tried his best. I think history will look back at him with a rather unfavorable assesment of his Presidency - as will I. I think we are FAR worse off than we were 8 years ago, in every way you can imagine. But there is a big difference between articulating one's disdain for something and simply saying "Boooooo".

It's debateable whether or not he actually won the 2000 election - in either case he got less popular votes than his opponent. The 2004 election was handed to him via mudslinging and fear mongering ("It's too risky to elect John Kerry") and even that came down to a relatively thin margin in Ohio. And if you read some of the interviews he gave in the last few weeks, it's clear he knows he made mistakes and would do at least a few things differently. Look, my biggest beef with W was how he interpreted the Constitution, something I strongly disagree with and will always disagree with. And perhaps even that is misdirected, since a lot of what I had issues with could be attributed to what people around him were telling him and advising him to do, but I don't think so. He's the man responsible because he's in charge. I could write for an hour about where I think he went wrong, but I won't. His time has passed and I don't see the point of piling on.

It's your right to boo. It's guaranteed in the Bill of Rights under "Free Speech". But just because it's your right doesn't mean you can't show some respect as well, especially while the world watches. Just turn the page, America.

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