Three short comments on the Inauguration

The reality that a black man is about to become President of the United States is both momentous and moving. It’s hard to say anything further on the subject that hasn’t been said and re-said, but I am simply proud that the pendulum has swung to someone like Obama.

I’m excited to have an educated, articulate, urban President. When I say urban I mean he lives in a city, not on a ranch, a farm, or in a vacation town. I don’t know what fraction of Americans are urban, but I do feel that we are under-represented by our Presidents.

It’s a sad reality that threats against him are higher than against other Presidents because of his race. Some black friends of mine are stunned that he made it through the campaign, and don’t expect him to make it through his first term. Despite crap like this, I don’t think anyone in the protection business wants to be the one who fails this President. Professional pride. At the same time, I’m with Mark Thompson, who, in Time, wrote “Is a Police State Necessary?” I believe that the answer is no. We don’t need to restrict strollers or thermoses from the broad inauguration zone. If we wish to keep those things from the innermost zones, that might make sense. We can’t allow our institutions and traditions to continue to be driven by fear. It’s a matter of hope.

5 Comments on "Three short comments on the Inauguration"


  1. It is indeed momentous and moving to see the first black president, and the USA has come a very long way in the last 50 years, but there is still clearly a very long way to go. As well as bringing a black president, the elections of 2008 brought a Senate with no black elected senators. That’s with 13% of the US population being black and 20% being from ethnic minorities. 2008 also brought the very first state legislature with more than one black law maker, not in one of the states with a substantial black population but in Colorado. Pretty lamentable to take so long in a representative democracy.
    I too am excited to have an educated and articulate US president. Call me a European but I think it’s a fine thing for the leader of a country to be smarter than the average member of its population. I think dating back to the Reagan/Mondale campaign the GOP took to portraying the Democrats as ‘elitist’ and over two decades this shifted to outright anti-intellectualism, culminating in Forest Gump for president (even if Niccolò dei Machiavelli was really pulling the strings). Let us today celebrate that the most powerful man in the Western world seems to have the sense to understand the implications of his actions.
    Let’s all hope that the Secret Service are good at their job and we have many years to enjoy the fruits of these epoch-forming changes!


  2. Last I read white supremacists WANTED Obama to become President. Figured he’d be such a fuckup, it would drive people to their cause.
    Good luck with that…


  3. ??????????? ?????? ???? ????????????? ??????????? ??? ??? ???????.
    Adam, good points. It reminds me that the current president of Iran is from a farm and was swept into office on a popular vote that was at odds with the urban areas. Food for thought.


  4. Nicko’s comment errs. 2008 is the year in which a state had both chambers of its legislature headed by African Americans, not the first year in which two or more state legislators were African-Americans. The latter achievement is probably well over a century older.
    The Senate is rather white (and male). Of that there is little doubt. Interesting that 3 of 4 black senators *ever* came from Illinois. I’d have expected NY to have done something about that. Maybe Paterson will, in the next few days.


  5. We not only have a Black President.
    We have a Nerd President, one who collected comic books and clings to his Blackberry. Urban I don’t care about so much. Nerd! There’s something I care about.

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