They’ll never understand us, the rest of the world.
Yesterday we witnessed the inauguration of our 44th President – the same ceremony (more or less) that has been witnessed by Americans since 1789 when George Washington took the oath of office at Federal Hall in New York.
The world sees our squabbling, hears the rhetoric of the campaigns, and reads our headlines. By all accounts we are a nation divided. But they don’t know us.
We fight among ourselves because we can. Our nation was founded on the principle that each individual is a part of the whole, and no voice is insignificant. One of our mottos is, “E Pluribus Unum”, which means, “Out of many, one.” Voicing our opinions and airing our disagreements is an American tradition.
They don’t understand that the inauguration brings completion. The political season is over, a new administration takes its place, and as a nation we turn our attention to the tasks at hand.
When President Obama finished the oath with, “So help me God”, the national power switch flipped from our 43rd President to our 44th. Instantly the responsibilities of the office changed hands. The chain of command for the military shifted in the blink of an eye. At that moment, the well-being of 300 million Americans rested on the shoulders of a new President.
And not a shot was fired. No one questioned the validity of the transition of power. Nobody threatened to stay in office or demanded a new election. The people spoke, and that’s that.
And so America marches on, refreshed and under new leadership. No one knows all the challenges that await us. Our new President will be great at times, and he’ll make mistakes sometimes too. But as a nation we’ll face the future together – undaunted and with a confidence that comes from being the greatest country on earth. E Pluribus Unum.