Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hail to the Chief

I know millions of blog posts will be written today, and I know that mine won't add anything special or unique to the rest, but I feel the need to get my (moderately cliched) thoughts down.

I'm ridiculously optimistic right now. This feeling will likely become more tempered as the days and weeks go on, but right now, I'm caught up in the euphoric wave of it all. For my entire adult life, George W. Bush has been president. Although I remember championing Bill Clinton in elementary school, I've never been in a position to truly feel good about the person who is running my country. I was devastated in 2004, when in the first presidential election I could vote, I saw America endorse another four years of division and ignorance. But now, it seems like we're in a position where we can start turning things around.

I'm going to try not to get too swept up in this rush - we have to remain critical and aware, even if we have what seems like an ally in office. (Related note: My school had a little viewing party for the inauguration, and it was really cute to be in a room full of people who also felt moved to applaud at mentions of science and the depletion of natural resources.) In my arena, I hope the environmental groups remain vigilant and don't get co-opted into rubber stamping this administration's policies. I hope that new attention is drawn to human aspects of environmental issues as well - now's the time to start getting serious about environmental justice, which we have a largely unenforced Executive Order for already.

But for now, I'm going to bask and smile, and for maybe the first time in my adult life, be truly proud to be an American.

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