Jan 27, 2009

Change-land, the happiest place on Earth

by Mattison Brooks, Opinion Reporter

 There are literally millions of people crowding narrow streets, with overpriced food and souvenirs being sold. An occasional oversized mascot appears here or there, while people stand in line for hours to experience something that only lasts a few minutes.

No, this is not Disneyland or Six Flags. This is “Obama-fest” or “Change-land,” as some media outlets were calling it. A four-day event that featured countless balls and galas, a historic inauguration, men on stilts dressed as Uncle Sam, rides, a chance to appear on television and a massive free concert featuring many of the biggest names in music and, oh yes, a shockingly large amount of movie stars.

But the festivities did not stop there — there was something for everyone. For many African-Americans, who grew up in the shadow of segregation, there was the chance to see the first black president. For the conservatives in the crowd, Rick Warren made an appearance before the inauguration, giving an excellent invocation. A gay priest spoke at the opening of the concert days before the inauguration, challenging the institution of conservative religion for its “ignorance.” And for the feminists, a female reverend spoke at the luncheon the day after the inauguration, along with one speaker of many faiths and denominations.

Truly, it was all things for all people. And from the footage on CNN, it seemed like everyone was happy. Or were they?

What no one took into consideration was that having all these various groups sharing the same limelight would beg serious questions. Questions like, what does Obama really believe? What does Obama say on this issue, or that issue? After all, with such a broad spectrum of belief systems and ideals, it is bound to be one of them.

However, that was not the answer people accepted. What they looked at instead was that their belief system alone was not the exclusive belief of the inauguration. And so the happiest place on Earth became the grumpiest place on Earth in mere seconds.

The liberals, who spent months schmoozing with Obama, where forced to listen to Rick Warren speak just moments before their golden boy became the leader of the free world.

The conservatives, who lost the election, watched the country “lose its soul” as a gay priest was given a microphone and three minutes to pray at a massive rock concert.

The only people who did not notice were the ones catching the real theme of the entire celebration: “we are one.” With the amount of people who showed up, it is not hard to believe that people want to get along and find some common ground.

More and more, Obama has shown himself to be more interested in partisan politics than trying to please everyone. Did he do that with his inauguration? Perhaps. But extending the olive branch in several directions can be interpreted several different ways.

Maybe Obama is serious about wanting to change the country for the better. Maybe he is just another suit trying to win the world’s largest popularity contest. All we can do is watch his actions and pray for our president.

Contact Mattison Brooks at
embrooks@liberty.edu.


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