Today was a historic moment for America. We inaugurated our African-American president for a second time. However, this time around, the mood is less hopeful for many Americans including myself. While I hope he can live up to what I wanted him to be during his first term, when I listened to his speech today, I could only point out the historical, societal fibs we tell ourselves as Americans to get by. Here they are in no particular order.
- "The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob." Not so much. While we didn't have mob rule, half this country was enslaved, and half of the white population (women) were second-class citizens.
- "Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play." We know this is true. However, post-1960 rules for free markets were seen as unnecessary and then the Great Recession happened in 2007.
- "Together, we resolved that a great nation must care for the vulnerable and protect its people from life's worst hazards and misfortune." That is until the banks crash our economy. Then the poor get thrown under the bus, because we have to bail the rich out first.
- "A decade of war is now ending." At the end of 2014, the US would have been in Afghanistan for 13 years, and we still aren't completely out of Iraq.
- "Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity." Obama has actually deported more people than George W. Bush. So, we welcome them and then send them packing?
For the full transcript of his speech click here. He did make some positive comments I enjoyed. His approval of gay marriage; his talk of necessity for Medicare/Medicaid; and his desire to tackle gun control. However, we as a country need to grow up a little and stop believing these half-truths as complete. Only then can we start moving forward as a nation.