Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Welcom to A new US president

Today is the inauguration of President Elect Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America. Arguably one of the most powerful offices on the planet.

There is an incredible optimism associated with this particular inauguration. It is seen as a sea change in US politics and society. It is doubly poignant as it comes after Martin Luther King Jnr’s day and is in many respects the realisation of his dream.

Everyone speaks of a black president. As someone pointed out to me it is largely in people’s minds. Barak Obama is in fact 50% black and that somehow makes him just “black”. You could use the same logic to say he was “White”.

Whatever, many people have invested a huge amount of hope in him. Maybe they should dial back on that just a little? He is human, not a superman. He does not have a magic wand.

If people build him up unrealistically in their minds they are likely to be correspondingly unrealistically disappointed if he can’t deliver on their every wish.

So here is a hope that people don’t expect too much and too fast and then get annoyed if he can’t do miracles. Especially with all the troubles the world is beset with right now.

Between Memorial Bridge and Arlington Cemetery, there is an inscription on the memorial to the Seabees, the U.S. Navy Construction Battalions. It says:

“The difficult we do immediately. The impossible takes a little longer.”