“Politicians are like diapers. They both need changing regularly and for the same reason.” – Mark Twain
No matter what side of the political fence you find yourself on, today is a momentous day. If you think about it, it was only 46 short years ago that John F. Kennedy announced that segregation was morally wrong and declared it was time to act. (This was in direct response, of course, to all the work and dedication MLK Jr. did to bring this issue to light through his non-violent resistance, peaceful philosophy and brilliant use of the press.)
But think about it. “We’ve come a long way, baby,” as they say… a lot has changed in the past 46 years. When only 50 years ago we couldn’t drink from the same drinking fountain or swim together, to having an African American hold the most powerful position in the Free World. That’s pretty amazing no matter how you cut it. As a nation, we should really be proud of that progress.
That being said. I really hope he delivers on the change he promised. I think a lot is riding on his vow to give our country, economy, war, etc. the 180 it needs. He is the one thing our country is really optimistic about right now, and a lot of people are holding their breath until they taste a morsel of change. Once that happens, I think we’re going to see a new, refreshed, more UNITED, United States of America.
That’s a huge responsibility. But I learned last night that it’s not the tallest order any president has been asked to fill right out of the gate.
Last night I was watching the History Channel’s AMAZING “US Presidents – A Timeline of American Presidents From George Washington to George W. Bush” special. It was incredible. Riveting. Seriously. And this is coming from a gal that counted on her high school history class for her daily nap. I learned so much about each president, what they went through, how they were treated and how history repeats itself.
For example… Britain and France were fighting, and we were doing commerce with both. That infuriated both of them. So Thomas Jefferson was pressured by the two countries to choose sides. He basically made a rash decision and said he didn’t want to do business with either (aka Embargo Act that restricted US trade with these other countries). But that eventually made the US economy tank. Conveniently, Jefferson’s second term was up so in walks James Madison into this big plate of problems Jefferson dished up during his term.
Madison was the first to declare war. This led to an attack on American soil, the president’s quarters were set on fire… Dolly Madison saved a picture of George Washington and the Star Spangled Banner, yadda yadda… basically it was a disaster. Americans were scared, mad, sad. All of the above. But it wasn’t really Madison’s fault. He was just trying to clean up someone’s else’s mess.
Hmmm… sound familiar? I was SO intrigued! At the end it made me realize that what we’re dealing with right now in this world isn’t really all that different from what has been going on for centuries. Even though things are pretty bad right now, it did make me feel better to know we’ve climbed out of situations like this before.
Also a little fun fact that I learned from the show… after President Madison’s quarters were set on fire, the politicians of the time wanted to move the President more in-land to make him less accessible from coast invasions. Cincinnati was seriously considered (!!!!!) but they decided to have everything in DC. Pretty cool, huh?! The Queen City was almost the Commander in Chief City!
Alright, that’s enough of Mrs. Storer-Scalia’s history lesson of the day! 🙂