Last night, the American in me just had to stay up and watch the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States of America.
Tito Bok kept texting – telling me to stay awake. He and Tita Nene stayed clear of DC and the Mall in particular, watching the same thing we all were from the nice warm comfort of their homes. I suppose I would stay home too. The novelty of Obama would fade eventually if you’re a DC local.
But I’m not a DC local, and I was definitely not there that night/morning/whatever. So I forced myself to stay up and stay alert (not too successfully at that).
I never knew they started the day with a service at St. John’s. And I don’t think I ever heard so much talk about God or faith in political speeches before. Of course it’s also possible that I never really had much interest in the political happenings in the United States until fairly recently… or would get turned off right away if GWB brought up God. Here is a man, albeit a democrat with life issues that I definitely disagree with, who has faith in a Being much greater than he. I’d totally believe Obama if he threw the phrase “God Bless America” out to a crowd of people hungry for hope and change. Whether it’s a façade or the real deal – here is a man who wears his faith on his sleeve, open for all to see, judge, emulate.
I wonder what George Weigel is thinking. His last book spoke of the need for America to find her soul. That as a nation, the US has forgotten about God – in whom America trusts (according to their dollar). When you lose your God, your faith, your core values, or whatever it is that your absolutes are, it becomes so much more difficult to defend yourself. This was all written within the context of the war in the Middle East – and I had a hard time swallowing everything that was said, but Weigel definitely had a point there. What exactly are our core values as a nation?
Change. Hope. Faith.
According to the commentator on CNN, these words appear time and time again in the speeches of Obama. These are the words that have attracted America and the rest of the world – words that are not at all political. They said that these are American ideals. Heck, these are everyone’s ideals. His message is one that resonates in a world that is just plain hungry for some good to happen. Strange that the cry for something better came strong and loud from a nation that was supposed to be high up there. Better need not mean more materially. That was clear to me.
I am not so sure what to expect from this man and his administration. He has a ton of work on his plate and I am so not jealous of the position he is in. As a person who is somewhat left of center, I am pleased that he is there. As a person who takes life issues seriously, I’m petrified of the changes that will take place. As a member of the American minority, I take pride in the great leap forward, away from the WASPy stereotype that occupies seats of power in the US. As a Filipino, I am not too hopeful that there will be great changes in our relationship with the US – whether it’s a democrat or a republican in the White House, it’s still imperial America.
But whatever. Exciting times parin. Still hopeful. Abangan…