Sunday, January 18, 2009

It’s a Cold Day in January . . .

It’s a Cold Day in January . . .

Yes! The Arctic “freeze” has blanketed a good part of Virginia this past week. It certainly hasn’t been as cold here as in some parts of the upper mid-west region. However, zero (F) is still cold. I grew up in northern NJ about 10-12 miles from NYC. We had fairly cold winters and a fair amount of snow back in those days. The lakes in that region would freeze over solid - solid enough to ice boat on, ice fish and even drive cars out on the ice. I also lived in Syracuse, NY for two years while attending graduate school and for a year thereafter. I saw a new side to winter that I had not become acquainted with in NJ. They had really serious cold up there and back in those days, the snows we had in NJ were like snow flurries compared to the snow falls and accumulation in central NY state. I sometimes have questioned my motives for moving to Syracuse for my grad work. I was also accepted by the U of FL in Gainesville. It was a one year program in freezing Syracuse or a two year program in warm Gainesville. Oh well, that’s all history now.

So, it’s 2009. In two days we’ll “coronate” the new monarch of the realm. Yes, it is an historical event. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard this statement. But, frankly, after anything and everything happens it becomes history, thus, everything including what I had for breakfast this morning is an historical event. Okay, so call me cynical. But, the way people are idolizing, deitizing, edifying and any other similar term you might wish to add - this mortal and politician who has risen from one of the most corrupt political regions of our society - is being thought of as some kind of messiah, even people who I consider extremely intelligent. Why, one would think it may be the “Second Coming.” They expect millions of people to travel into the nation’s capital, not only from all over the U.S., but from all over the world. My liberal friends and students keep saying this “savior” is going to “change” things. Ah, how soon we forget. EVERY new president, governor, dictator, emperor, etc. represent change. Of course there is going to be change. Actually, change is the ONLY thing we can really count on beside death and taxes.

So, am I against this new president? Absolutely not! He was not my choice for the job - but then again, neither was the other guy. But, Mr. Obama is now the elected choice of the people, he becomes our president on January 20, 2009. I will, of course, be supportive of him, at least until he, in someway, does anything that is specifically against my values and beliefs or negatively impacts my life and those of the people I care about. He is an intelligent man. I believe he is competent and capable. I believe he truly wants the change he represents to be positive for our country and society. I believe he is working hard at surrounding himself with qualified and capable advisors and functionaries. (By the way, I don’t necessarily agree with all his choices, but I believe he is doing a credible job at selecting them).

But, I do not and will not idolize, worship or edify any human who is yet unproven. Being capable is not the same thing as actually achievement. Support him, yes! Worship him, no! Personally, I believe he is jumping into a humongous can of worms. There will always be people with differences of opinion. That’s what makes our society great. There are people who think Kennedy was great - there are others with different opinions. There are those who still laud Ronald Reagan as one of the greatest presidents - and there are those who refute that vehemently. Harry Truman left office as one of the presidents people liked the least (not unlike the current George W. Bush), yet years later, historians are now suggesting that he was one of the better presidents this country has had. My, my - it’s that history thing again. I wish Mr. Obama all the success and luck he will need during his four to eight years in this thankless job. I hope he lives up to everything that all the people who see this as such an historic event expect from him. As for me, like I said, maybe I’m a cynic. Because he is a bi-racial individual is certainly noteworthy (and much note has been made of this - of course, more of that note has been made of only one side of his bi-racial genetic make up). I’ll reserve my accolades for his accomplishments. I choose not to believe in fairy tales and then be disappointed when I find out my “super hero” can jump off a building and prove that the law of gravity is just as valid for him as it is for me. I expect him to work very hard at doing what he has set out to do. But, he’s already been sending out the disclaimers that he is not a deity, but a mere mortal willing to face the challenges and probably get hit with some tomatoes and rotten eggs. But the adulating public have there blinders on and their ears plugged. I hope he doesn’t disappoint them because they will turn on him like a pack of angry dogs.

So, it’s going to be another cold day in January on the 20th. A new man will take an oath to the highest office of our land and he and his family will move into the palace of the land. I will not be there. I am a free thinking, free living and free working, non-conforming individual. I can do a lot of things that will be more productive to my own needs and, hopefully, those I may be able to do something of service for. While we will watch untold millions of dollars being expended to edify this new leader - who says he’s going to help the poor, those who are losing their homes, those who may be dying or living in pain because they can’t afford medical insurance or treatment, youngsters without adequate clothing to keep warm through these cold January days or have enough food to consume enough nutrition to keep healthy, create 3,000,000 new jobs that don’t exist and that seem to keep diminishing with each new newspaper report or broadcast news report - I have to wonder how many people could have been helped with all this money. Perhaps, we, as a society as a whole, are more two-faced then we want to accept. Keep warm everyone who is going to personally stand for hours in the cold, with little to eat, long lines to take care of nature’s callings, etc. I hope the world changes for the positive because you’re there.

Ed Helvey

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