A New Day

For the past week or so, I’ve been trying to figure out how to say goodbye to the Bush Administration. I thought of making a list of all the environmental policies instituted by previous administrations that the Bush Administration threw by the wayside. I felt like compiling a list of civil liberties ignored for the sake of “national security.” I even thought of listing the names of the troops who have died while serving in an unnecessary war in Iraq. Then I came to the realization: Bush is gone tomorrow. Who cares?

Jan. 20, 2009 will be a day remembered decades from now. It’s the day that the United States returns to its place as the world’s standard-bearer for liberty and opportunity. It’s the day that that all-encompassing word of “hope” returns to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. So there is no room to obsess over the years of harm that were the Bush Administration.

But as Barack Obama takes the oath of office, he also takes on one of the most daunting jobs a president has ever inherited.

  • There are two wars
  • The world is in its worst financial crisis since the Great Depression
  • Millions of Americans are unemployed
  • The financial system is in ruin
  • Global climate change is rearing its ugly head more and more
  • We’re realizing that the world’s energy usage must change to something more sustainable
  • Some people still sit in prison despite not being charged with crimes
  • Partisanship is as bad as its been in centuries
  • Morale in the military is at an all-time low
  • Russia is becoming a bully in Eastern Europe
  • The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is reaching catostrophic levels

I didn’t even mention one of the biggest pressures: being the first black man to lead this nation.

So, there really is no time to dwell on the Bush Administration. It’s time to work. And after Obama and America celebrates today, it’s time for all of us to get to work to make our country a better place to live.

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