As Barack Obama became the 44th and first black President of the United States, yesterday was certainly one for the history books. However, it may be historic not because of the man elected, but for the conditions the office of President now assumes.
On a day when nearly two million people packed Washington, D.C. to witness the Presidential Inauguration, a large slew of current and former head government officials bowed as centerpieces to media-sanctioned grand congratulations during a ceremony that has never tolerated such excess and overindulgence.
Over 10,000 from federal and state police agencies patrolled the event, well-equipped with riot gear and firepower in the event of the need to disperse the peaceful crowd. According to CBS radio news, many Obama supporters were recorded chiding police after being herded from the Capitol toward the Washington Monument due to overflow crowds. The event was a neo-conservative wet dream of possible terror, and these idealogues made sure to convince their minions in Congress to sanction an entire U.S. Army brigade be nearby on call for the event. This is not to mention the over 5,000 security cameras which continuously monitor D.C. every day of the year.
The endless list of parties imbibe "victory" and now celebrate into the morning their uncertain cause. All of the action around the new President turned the Inauguration into a shameless joy-ride with the uttering of the oath constituting a mere inconsequential action. All in all, over $150,000,000 was spent on the activities. Much of that money came from the most wealthy elite of the nation, all jockeying for favor with the new guard. These donors propelled Obama throughout his campaign despite warm rhetoric about his "grassroots" movement.
It is astonishing that such extravagance for one is shouldered by an economy on the brink of depression. But more shocking is the air of achievement and finality the ceremony gleefully tried to convey, when in all truth, after President Obama's first day, essentially nothing has changed from the recently passed days of war criminals Bush and Cheney.
As the media lauds the day as one of triumph of the goodness of American reason and values, it is in all respects a day of defeat. For the mere triumph of Leader, is is no way a triumph of the Republic.