A Reality Check For Obamaniacs

Rick Hamada
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Wednesday - January 28, 2009

The historic inauguration of President Barack Obama is now, well, history. The weeks of anticipation after defeating U.S. Sen. John McCain in November 2008 culminated on a very chilly Washington day with Obama taking the oath just minutes after noon.

It was a conflicted moment.

It’s undeniable that the rise of an African American to the post of president of the United States is a profound milestone. It was less than a generation ago that black men, women and children were subjected to the indignities of Jim Crow laws in the South. In my lifetime, people of color were relegated to the back of the bus, the end of the line and considered to be inferior to others of the proper hue. There is no doubt that seeing a black man with his hand on the Bible once used by the man credited with emancipating blacks of that generation was a moving and sobering moment. I do give President Obama tremendous credit for his accomplishment.


The conflict arises when historic occasion collides with present-day reality. The fervor and blind faith Obama commands is eerily unsettling. There are a disproportionate number of people in this country who truly believe Barack Obama is the savior of our nation and, by extension, our lives. Much of this conception is due to Obama’s mantra of “Change.” The definition of this change, however, is still a moving target.

It was interesting that not one news outlet, commentator or columnist I encountered had any challenging questions to President Obama’s inauguration speech.

For instance, his speech was rife with backhanded swipes at the outgoing Bush administration. “On this day, we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.” Is this a jab at George W. Bush or McCain? Is this the bipartisan tone he promises to bring to D.C.? What fear does he speak of when referencing either Bush or McCain? Is it a more broad sweeping commentary on Democrat gains over Republican losses?

Let me tell you. Fear has not been assuaged with the installation of President Obama. The Dow had the greatest Inauguration Day drop in history. Where was the mention of this event during the day’s reporting?

Here is my fear. The deification of Barack Obama will cloud the judgment of Americans in regard to finances, personal freedoms and the overall role of government in our lives. It seems the majority of Americans are willing to abdicate their independence and individuality based on the lofty and idealistic promises of the one who is ordained as a messiah. When a people are convinced their futures are reliant upon the actions of government, we have crossed the line that defines true Americanism. The further erosion of the wall separating our entrepreneurial, free-market and capitalistic society will not be rebuilt. Once we consent to government owning great pieces of our economic pie, our devolution into a pseudo-European style of socialism is inevitable.

Obviously, this is a cautionary tale and not an indictment on the first days of the Obama presidency. I am hopeful and prayerful for his success in guiding our nation into the next era.

But there is a cost to everything.

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