Saturday, January 07, 2017

Saluting our favorite son

I was touched to read about the crowd who waited in the frigid weather to score tickets to see Barack Obama's final national address as President.

"The crowd in line Saturday mostly was a younger one, packed with college students, some of whom wore University of Chicago maroon or carried backpacks weighed down by textbooks. Families brought their young children, who sat in strollers padded with fleece blankets. Older couples wrapped quilts over each other’s shoulders, and little kids skipped in and out of line, their parents calling after them."

Photo credit: the Chicago Tribune

I keep trying to muster a modicum of enthusiasm about Trump.
I'm a patriot, after all, and respect the electoral college and the peaceful transfer of power. Maybe the new President will pass the infrastructure bill that Obama could not and we'll have a renaissance of public transportation and a greener, safer country. But then I read his petty tweets about Arnold Schwarzenegger's ratings on The Apprentice and the derogatory way he refers to the Senate minority leader as a "clown" and my heart sinks.

Obviously we're going from a man of grace and intellect, who turned the other cheek and tried to rise above the indignities hurled his way, to a man who seems to revel in -- or at least is unable to resist -- the deplorable.

I don't want to give President Obama a halo he doesn't deserve. He wasn't perfect. I'm disappointed that Gitmo is still open, that we still don't have common sense federal gun laws, that apparently the VA is still as messed up as it was under George W. Bush*, that he couldn't figure out how to turn his public popularity into legislative success.

But I'm grateful for what he means to us here in Chicago. From Grant Park in 2004 to McCormick Place next week, he's made us proud and he's given us hope.

*That's when my uncle, a Vietnam vet, found nothing but roadblocks and dead ends when he needed help. No one who wore the uniform should be treated that way.

1 comment:

  1. I love your insight. I, too, am struggling to accept the upcoming changes.


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