Even as we listened to Martin Luther King give his “I Have a Dream” speech, we already knew it would be one of the most famous and deeply meaningful speeches ever. It had that timeless quality of the very few moments that mark milestones in our lives. Having our first African-American president sworn in publicly for his second term on Martin Luther King Day is fitting and also deeply meaningful. It has a feeling of “the circle of life” about it. Deepak Chopra spoke on CNN today about this. He said “I just wonder when Martin Luther King made his speech did he have this day in mind? Well I don’t know if Dr. King was predicting Barack Obama, but I bet he is looking down and smiling on this day, if such a thing is possible.Obama will place his hand on the Martin Luther King Bible while he takes the public oath of office.
Of course, this is a symbolic rite, the swearing in of a president. We know the tough part comes next. The work begins on Tuesday as President Obama, Joe Biden, the Cabinet, and the Congress make decisions that will help the American economy and the job market, “save” the environment, and make decisions about gun control, mental health law, and decisions about immigration. We look to Obama to hold the line against those who seem determined to rob the middle class of their safety net and to rob the poor of the public assistance which makes life more bearable for their children.
I am very happy that Obama is with America for a second term and I will be watching to see what he is able to accomplish. Obama’s Presidency has already had a profound effect on America as it has forced us to face our differing points of view and to begin to make a commitment to a future that will bridge the gaps and heal the divisions without giving in to extremists. Can we remain an enlightened society and still find ways to prosper? This is a goal worth attaining and we should employ the prodigious skills we have available in America and the world to find a means to these ends. I have a good feeling about this. This is a day for optimism. Forward.