I probably made it into a few photos today, for just as I was beginning my walk down the street to the libbery, here comes Washington astride his horse, accompanied by Lafayette...I managed to restrain from asking whether or not his patches were holding, but I did wave back when the General touched his hat to me. They strolled on up the street and I was about fifteen feet behind them. Other people waved too, so I didn't feel quite as dorky...although, most of them WERE under ten..er...
I was watching "The Daily Show" last night and John Stewart was making some good points. He was showing clips of Barack Obama and his now-famous "people being bitter" speech, followed up by the media attacking him as an elitist, and then Hillary Clinton drinking beer and trying to connect with the regular folks. My reaction was not "Hillary Clinton drinks beer! I drink beer!" but "Hillary Clinton--aren't you technically working? Hell, if I was drinking at work, I'd be fired!" This is a pro-'bama blog, of course, but I think John Stewart had a good point when he pointed out that we WANT someone elite to run the country. We want a smart person, someone who can get all the facts and sort through them logically and make the eddicated decisions. "If you don't think you're the smartest person for this job--why are you running for office?" Stewart asks, and I concur.
I also have to admit that Obama has a point with his "people are bitter" statement. I am a little bitter. Why should I give a darn about America when I'll never see any real Social Security, I don't have health insurance, and public school tuition is through the roof? (call me crazy--but these are the things I think a government should look after, not bailing out trading companies in New York) So I am a little bitter.
But instead of reaching for my guns, I reach out to the history books and I think about 1796-ish, when President Adams called out the Army in a panic to stop a pack of rebels who were threatening to overthrow the baby government. The rebels? Revolutinary War veterans who hadn't seen a dime of their pensions. And at the head of the Army? Washington--pulled out of retirement to fight against the men he once led. Well, naturally no shots were fired, and tempers cooled on both sides. Washington understood that anger. After all, they had fought for a better government, and the new boss was turning out to be the same as the old boss. But he also understood that this is a DAMME FINE COUNTRY and it's worth fighting for. For--meaning no matter how bad things get, we should work from the inside out to reform the system and make the government be the shiny city on a hill it was always meant to be.
I wish I was a better writer so I could more adequately explain what I mean, but hopefully y'all see where I'm headed.
And I want the smart people in charge. I want someone in charge who is way smarter than me, even if it's just that instinctive political cleverness that Washington possessed. (Adams, btw, was a one-term president. and HE went to Harvard) I'm not saying that Barack Obama is Washington, but I think he is the right man for the job right now. He gets the bitterness. He gets the anger. And he is trying to turn it into something positive--to force us to fight for our country instead of giving up.