Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A challenge to Obama supporters

By Rick Morris

As I have stated previously, I did not vote for Barack Obama for president. I differ with him on some core issues that would have procluded supporting him.

But I still found today's Inaugural events to be thrilling and inspiring. I have not missed viewing an Inaugural since 1981 and the sense of continuity for America that these events represent -- a peaceful transfer of power that occurs even when one side comes to power violently denouncing the other side and promising all measure of "change" -- proves why we are the greatest country in the world.

Even today, with economic destruction raining down everywhere and two wars underway to various degrees, today's events provided tangible proof that the U.S.A. does abide, to paraphrase The Dude from The Big Lebowski. Four years hence, we will see another Inauguration, either with the same president or a new one and the same will be true four years later, and so on.

This year's events saw an unprecedented level of interest and enthusiasm, at least in the modern media age. Everywhere you looked on TV, somebody was being interviewed and proclaiming that they were really into the spirit of the day like never before. Michelle Obama's campaign trail gaffe about "being proud of her country for the first time" resonated with more people than I could have ever imagined.

Those on the left are quick to throw down the "you're challenging my patriotism" card, so I'm sure that what I'm about to say will be taken in that light. I don't see it that way, but people can interpret statements however they like.

I have a challenge for Obama supporters who never cared about this day nearly as much as they did today: because this day, ultimately, is about America rather than any individual president, and the manner in which America endures changes in leadership that prove ephmeral through the prism of history, try to care and love America this much every Inauguration Day after this one. Even if Obama loses in four years (it doesn't seem possible at the moment, but go ask either George Bush how fleeting presidential popularity can be), love your country as much as I do and celebrate the country even when the candidate you didn't vote for is installed. It's easy to be a sunshine patriot and wave the flag when the candidate you worship is installed on the throne of our republic. It's much more difficult to suck it up and be as loyal to the country even when it ratifies a decision that goes against your grain.

Richard Nixon and George W. Bush were both met with varying degrees of hostility and even civil unrest on their big days and even though they were both anything but great presidents, nobody deserves that and most importantly, our country doesn't. Stay with this country no matter what, Obama supporters. Your candidate is part of the presidential lineage now and you'll be dishonoring him in part if you don't maintain this love of country.

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