Once upon a time in America, well, just four years ago actually, Barack Obama and his wife Michelle made an appeal to the people:
“For a change, do not vote out of fear, but rather out of hope.”
It was a nice idea at a good time. People wanted to hope there was a better way. We wanted to forget about 9/11 and the terrorists. We wanted to turn the economy back around. We wanted to hope.
Earlier this year, The Guardian (a leading British news journal) said this about Americans: “The year 2011 will be remembered as the time when many ever-optimistic Americans began to give up hope. President John F Kennedy once said that a rising tide lifts all boats. But now, in the receding tide, Americans are beginning to see not only that those with taller masts had been lifted far higher, but also that many of the smaller boats had been dashed to pieces in their wake.”
So, here we are just two months away form the presidential election. And by all accounts, there are more undecided votes than at any previous time in history. And some might conclude from this that we have all given up hope.
But I would suggest that the American people have not and never will give up hope. I would suggest that we are as hopeful as ever. We are simply waiting for a candidate – either candidate – to give us something to believe in. Tell us something that we can nod our heads at and say “yes!”
Tell us how you are going to create jobs. Tell us how you are going to improve education. Tell us how you are going to bring peace to the world. Don’t tell us you are going to do it. Don’t tell us how the other guy can’t do it. Tell us how you are going to do it.
I hope you can. I hope you will. I hope.
Certainly extraordinary times create an opportunity to divert from the topic of consumer goods.
More than 1 million people are expected to flock to the National Mall tomorrow to see Obama sworn in. But you can enjoy the best seat in the house by watching the inauguration from your office, home or coffee shop. Consider yourself lucky… you will not have to fight for the port-a-potties; only about 500 are being provided for the expected 1-2 million people anticipated to attend!
Tune into one of the many online news sites streaming the live video.
1. CNN.COM: CNN.com and Facebook have partnered to enable you to connect with your Facebook friends while watching all the inaugural events on CNN.com Live. I already RSVPed and am excited to see how this works.
2. CBS.COM: CBS.com will host an exclusive Inauguration Webcast at 10 p.m. ET hosted by Katie Couric, who will look back at the historic day with a host of CBS reporters, political experts, pundits and special guests. The Webcast will include answers to viewers questions, which you can submit at the link provided above.
3. MSNBC.COM: MSNBC will broadcast the event live. There are no special features… just straight video.
4. New York Times: The New York Times will stream video from its home page. Simple and easy!
5. ABC News: Will stream video live and also have live blogs from John Berman and Juju Juggles.
6. PBS: Will be streaming the events live. You can also explore past presidents’ speeches on this site and see how Obama’s speech measures up.
No matter where you are, be sure to catch some of the inauguration. As my mother would say to us when we were kids… “This is history”. Now I can finally appreciate it.