20 January 2009

How Did I Become The Conservative In The Room?

Since I live in the heart of liberal Washington, most classes were cancelled so everyone could watch the inauguration. If you didn't get a chance to watch it, I highly recommend you follow this link to watch it at hulu.com. I was on campus at the Center for Education, Equity, and Diversity watching it with quite a few people from the Education department. After President Obama took the Oath of Office, half the people in the room breathed an audible sigh of relief and someone even said "We got our country back." This made me a little angry. We never 'lost' our country. We weren't invaded; our government wasn't overthrown. Yes, we had a government that overstepped its bounds, that pushed, if not exceeded, the limits of their power and mandate, that took a lot of actions with which a lot of people disagreed. It wasn't the place or time, but I was tempted to ask what exactly this person did to express their displeasure with the decision-making over the past 8 years. Did they contact their Congressional representatives? Did they write to the White House to make themselves heard? Did they get involved with movements or organizations to join their voices with others? I am guessing that they, like me, did nothing more than complain to like-minded individuals. I was against going into Iraq from the beginning, but all I did was complain loudly to people who would listen about why I thought it was a bad idea. I didn't write to my Congressional representatives, I didn't get involved with any movements or groups, I just sat around complaining. Which means I am just as culpable for the mess that we are in as those who supported the invasion. We didn't 'lose' our country to some enemy, we sat by and let a few people mold the country to fit their idea of what it should be. We haven't 'got our country back' either. We simply have an opportunity to learn from our mistakes and become actively involved in the shaping of our nation's future. I think that was what President Obama was saying today - we have to work to realize America's potential. We can't afford not to be actively involved in building the future of our nation. We are already paying the price of too many years of inactivity, self-involvement, and insularity. We can't sit back and expect anything to change if we aren't willing to work to make that change. President Obama can't change anything if we aren't willing to make our wishes, our ideas, our opinions known and aren't willing to work hard to make sure the best ideas and plans come to fruition. We have a willing President, now we need to be willing.


WalkConkies said...

What an inspirational thought for the year 2009 - "We can't sit back and expect things to change if we aren't willing to work to make that change." - so maybe that wasn't an exact quote?!? But, I agree that we need to all be better about voicing our opinions and working together to not only make changes, but good ones!!! Thanks for inspiring me to be better!

esperanza said...

Well said!

alwaysadorable said...

Indeed! Fantastic post!