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. . . then this diary may not have anything new to say to you, although it may constitute a bittersweet walk along memory lane to the present day.

But if you're much younger than that -- well, it has always intrigued me to think about what life looks like, feels like, to those who live in a different skin than mine.

I'm not referring to skin color, just that anyone who lives outside my skin perceives life from a very different vantage point than my own, even if superfically our lives may appear very similar. My sister and I, for instance, once had a fascinating conversation about the incidental differences in our childhood experiences, growing up in the same household, that led her to love cold weather and me to hate it.

Last night in Granny Doc's diary, Angry Mouse and I had an exchange about differing generational perspectives (or maybe they didn't genuinely differ after all?) around what the Obama presidency represents. A later reader suggested that instead of allowing my contribution to that discussion to remain just a diary-length comment, I might want to make a respectable diary out of it.


The Lead-Up:

Granny recounted her life as an activist by way of explaining why she's been a puddle of tears lately. She punctuated it with a Tip Jar::

For some of we Old Timers (546+ / 0-)

this is a moment that you Young Whippersnappers just can not fully appreciate.  If you catch your Mother, or Father weeping, hug them for me.

Angry Mouse, who is a couple of decades younger than me, responded.

This young whippersnapper has to disagree. (8+ / 0-)

The first election I got to vote in was Clinton's re-election in 1996.  It made me proud to vote and made me feel just dandy about the democratic process.

So the next election was a total shock to my system.  And I think I've been in shock for eight years.  I still get teary-eyed whenever I see or read any clip of news from the 2000 theft of our democracy.

So while I didn't march in the South, I can tell you that I am filled with relief and joy to once again have faith in our democratic process, just as I did when I cast my very first vote at 18.

Inspiring me to wax verbose:


Imagine living in that wasteland for (12+ / 0-)

40 years instead of eight.

Imagine having the people you believed would lead your generation to this point assassinated, one after another.

Imagine if the President you believed in was killed. You're devastated, but you know he'd want you to go on fighting the good fight. So you do. You watch young men getting slaughtered in jungles on the other side of the world, and you watch both black and white people beaten and killed just for asking that all people be treated with human dignity. But you keep fighting through your tears, and you keep believing.

And after a few years of that, just when the world is maybe starting to make some sense again because civil rights are just barely starting to become reality, the leader of the civil rights movement is killed.

And then the brother of your slain president, himself a caring, charismatic leader, agrees to sacrifice his personal desires and seek the nomination. Imagine the hopes you'd be putting on him to help heal all this pain. Imagine your relief when it starts looking like he really will be nominated.

And then imagine that he, too, is killed, just a few months after the second assassination.

And imagine that Richard Nixon, author of the "Southern Strategy," the first President actually to be shamed out of office in our nation's history, becomes president instead.

Imagine how the part of you, deep inside, that knows how to hope, the part that knows how to believe, the part that wants to work to make those big dreams a reality, would finally wither and -- almost, but not quite -- die. How in some respects it would live on only as a set of shining but broken memories. Oh, you still fight the fight. Sometimes. But it's a lonely, angry, depressing, futile fight. And it only leads to deeper and deeper cynicism, stronger and stronger feelings of powerlessness as the country marches relentlessly further away from the ideals you hold dear.

Imagine what it would feel like to spend decades wishing that, someday, there might once again be a leader you could believe in, someone you thought could lead the country back on the path toward those dreams that you had dreamed so long ago.

Imagine that after 40 years in this desert -- 40. YEARS. -- finally that person shows up. The first time you hear him speak, you're thinking, WTF? And by the second or third time, plus a little internet research, you recognize him. Oh, my God -- he's the one you've been waiting for. For 40 years.

If you can imagine all that, then you'll have a clue what the older folks here are experiencing. But only a clue, because imagining it is not the same as living it.


Angry Mouse, of course, posted an eloquent response that gave me an insight or two.


I spent the weekend watching all the pre-Inaugural events, and was struck by how visibly We the People seemed to be in the process of taking our country back. Monday night, on Hardball, Bob Shrum echoed and articulated this feeling in what was truly a remarkable statement that perfectly captures how "something is happening here."

I think America is becoming more truly America right now than it has ever been before. It's . . . I didn't anticipate the total power of it: the sense people have -- and you'll get this if you run into folks in a store -- the sense people have that we really are fellow citizens. That it's not just a title; it's becoming a reality. And in that sense, this is one of the greatest days in American history.

Can I get an Amen?

Originally posted to NWTerriD on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 10:47 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Got home from work a couple of hours ago (49+ / 0-)

    and I'm sitting here in front of the TV, watching on DVR the events of today, January 20, 2009, The Day America Changed.

    Damn it feels good.

    Relax - the adults are in charge now.

    by NWTerriD on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 10:46:34 PM PST

  •  Imagine that. He's a late-end baby boomer. (16+ / 0-)

    The last of the mohikans.

    I'm so glad it happened in my lifetime.  After.... yes 40 years we are on the right path we should have taken long ago.  We derailed with a little propserity during the Clinton years, but finally we have a great chance at making government do right by the people.

  •  Oh Please Oh Please Oh Please (28+ / 0-)

    You are the generation of reinforcements so many of us boomers have been waiting for.

    Do it. Sing it loud, for your people now. Our parents had their knives in our backs.

    We, your elders, we HAVE YOUR BACKS. Sing your song, make America your song, look into the faces of those broken beaten civil rights 50's and 60's leader, we're behind you, we're with you.

    Do it your way, it's a new time, live, grow, dream, GO!!

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 10:59:18 PM PST

  •  How many "Amens" do you need? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wader, Samwoman, revgerry, JG in MD, NWTerriD


    Mongo only pawn in Game of Life.

    by SecondComing on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:02:33 PM PST

  •  Amen indeed! (11+ / 0-)

    Hope is back ... just when we thought it was gone forever.

    I totally relate to this post by Lincoln Mitchell on

    ... reflected that throughout our lives, we had only known two kinds of presidents, those who we really did not like including Reagan, Nixon and the Bushes and those who we tolerated including Carter, Clinton and, I suppose, Ford. Obama would be something different, a president who would represent us and govern the way we wanted. I suspect we are not the only people of our generation to feel that way. Today, for the first time, I have a president who I actually believe in, trust and like. It is a new feeling for me.

    He's only in his 40's, but he gets it, too. :)

    •  It never occurred to me to hate a President (8+ / 0-)

      until Dubya came along.  I first voted in 72 for Nixon's second term.  Back then I was confused and voted for Nixon.  Boy did I feel betrayed. I don't think I voted for a major party candidate until Gore.  I felt that I was an independent, not a rethug or a Dem.  I knew I wasn't thrilled with Reagan's policies and when Iran-Contra came out, it didn't surprise me,  I remember Carter seemed like a nice guy but when he ran for reelection against Reagan, he conceded before I could vote(6pm pacific).  I really wasn't thrilled with any Presidential candidate but didn't feel that they affected my life too much either way, until Dubya came about.  I think Gingrich started it all in 94.  I didn't realize how bad the rethugs were until Clinton's second term.  I felt that the impeachment was a total partisan ploy and I had finally had it with them.  Then 2000 happened.  Florida changed me.  I wasn't a big Gore supporter but he sure was better than Dubya.  But once the joke Dubya got appointed by the Supremes, I began to realize that the rethugs had an evil agenda.  Before 9/11, I considered Dubya a tragic joke.  After 9/11, I gave him the benefit of the doubt, but that didn't last.  By the time the sabers of Iraq war were getting rattled by Dubya, Cheney, Condi and Colin, I had a full fledged hatred for the rethug party and their leaders. I supported Kerry even though he wasn't exactly what I was looking for.  When he lost (or Dubya stole it the second time), I was getting real pissed.  These last 4 years have been a nightmare.  I first hoped that Gore would get in the race.  When that didn't happen, I supported Edwards.  When he backed out, I really didn't know where to go.  I wasn't thrilled with Hillary.  My 18 yo daughter was a avid Obama supporter and suggested I look at him.  The more I saw, the more I liked.  I soon became an avid Obama supporter too.  Nov 4th was about the happiest I have ever been politically, only exceeded by yesterday.  I expect a great deal of Obama, but I have a good feeling that he will not let us down.  He just can't.

      "War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength", George Orwell, "1984" -7.63 -5.95

      by dangoch on Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 01:16:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you so much for your response to (9+ / 0-)

    Angry Mouse...and for sharing it with us in a diary.

    Beautifully put---I'm a 'tweener (born in '65) so I didn't directly experience the traumas of '64-'74, but I was close enough to have a sense of how much it impacted a generation...and then some.

    Though Angry Mouse brings up a good point--watching a party steal the presidency is pretty devastating, too.

    And I am one of those deep cynics who firmly believes that the same cabal that stole the presidency, caused 9-11, and for that I will never forgive them----ever.

    So, today is a miracle. I'm so grateful to be alive to see it.

    Now, we work--for our fellow (hu)man, for our future, and to hold our government accountable.

    America, the BLUE-tiful.

    by Samwoman on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:06:36 PM PST

  •  Gen X in the house (8+ / 0-)

    and appreciates this diary, before skulking away in a mist of nebulous sarcasm . . .

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:08:20 PM PST

  •  AMEN (7+ / 0-)

    You did an excellent job in describing my journey.

    I determined to focus upon raising three strong and unique and, hopefully, enlightened citizens to help strengthen our social fabric.

    There were no practical venues for change.  Political crony legacies streamed out of colleges to fill local offices on their way to the pinnacles of power.  The few faithful who populated our political party could always be counted upon to support the legacies, especially since they brought in the $$$$.  I was actually told in 2000 that our party is essentially an empty shell waiting for well-financed candidates.  

    The internet is the vehicle for this change, President Obama and his team, the catalyst for bringing Americans together.  

    We Americans are not ignorant.  We've just not had a venue to unite us across the social and geographical and economic divides.  We coalesced around values we've always held in common.

    And now we have a president who reflects the values of the true majority.

    I am so thankful for this day.  

    It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them. Alfred Adler

    by Quicksilver2723 on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:17:38 PM PST

    •  I have to confess (7+ / 0-)

      that what I wrote is only partly my direct experience; the rest was absorbed by osmosis as I grew up, even though I had been too young to fully understand it at the time it occurred (I was only ten years old when Bobby was shot).

      I always felt that I had been born out of time, about a decade too late. That the memories of JFK, MLK, RFK that I gleaned from others should have been my own memories, the fierce battle for the Civil Rights Act and for its implementation in the South should have been my own battle.

      Nevertheless, living through that time influenced me profoundly. My true political coming-of-age was the day John Dean told the world in the Watergate hearings that Nixon had lied. That event charted the course of my political future.

      The rest of the story -- the encroaching cynicism, the growing feeling of powerlessness, the malaise and eventual withdrawal from activism, the yearning to recapture what was best of the 60's, the recognition that in Obama we had at long last found the leader who could return us to those heady days when anything, including the best things, were possible -- that was my own story.

      Happy days are here again. Black is the new President, bitch.

      Relax - the adults are in charge now.

      by NWTerriD on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:39:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  funny you said that... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dkistner, lurker123, JG in MD you born out of time, in the wrong decade. I've always felt like a round peg in a square hole, that I was born in the wrong century, back in the day when a man's word and a handshake was his bond. I feel more at home in the 1800s era. The personal computer has made this world too dang small. No privacy. Too fast. Maybe I don't want to know everything going on on the other side of the world-instantaneously. Maybe I like growing my own food and slaughtering my own hogs and chickens. Maybe I don't want my government intruding in every facet of my life. Maybe I like wood stoves, oil lamps, and curing my meat instead of refrigerating it. Maybe I love horses better than cars. Maybe I just like doing things my way instead of the government's way.

        Oh, and btw, I didn't vote for Obama because he was "black"-or because I was his "bitch". I voted for him because he was the most QUALIFIED person for the job! Just thought I'd clarify that for you.

        "Great men do not commit murder. Great nations do not start wars". William Jennings Bryan

        by ImpeachKingBushII on Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 01:06:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You don't actually want (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mint julep, mainefem

        You don't actually want those memories, take it from me. Many people's lives were really torn up by those experiences and those memories.

        People fantasize about the flowerchild, romantic 60s but the 60s they fantasize about ended in 1963. The rest of the decade was pretty dark, actually.

        •  It really isn't the flowerchild memories (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mint julep

          that I wanted to experience (although hearing "If you're going . . . to San . . . Fran . . . cisco" still brings on almost unendurable yearnings in my soul). It was being able to actually participate on the right side of one of the epic moral battles in the history of the nation. Despite the danger, despite the hatred, violence and just pure ugliness directed at participants.

          I don't really harbor a lot of romantic notions about it. I'm not one who believes in the glories of battle or seeks martyrdom or victimhood. I'm actually pretty much of a wimp, and the scent of danger is usually a scent that sends me scurrying.

          But the magnitude of my moral revulsion at racial bigotry has always been such that I honestly think I would have risked the dogs, the clubs, the firehoses, even the possibility of death, to have been able to have an impact in that battle.

          Relax - the adults are in charge now.

          by NWTerriD on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 12:11:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The trouble was (4+ / 0-)

            How can I best say this...the trouble was you never got to stop to catch your breath before another disaster was at you.

            Understand, I went to school with kids who were in the first desegregated classes around Washington DC.

            I was warned to "be careful" when I went to Peter, Paul and Mary concerts in mixed-race groups. Physical violence was not just for marchers.

            I had teachers who rode the Freedom Ride buses and registered voters in the South.

            But from 63 on, what was most relentless was not the progress, but the hideousness of it. Kennedy was killed, then Viet Nam, then MLK and RFK were killed, then came Nixon and Watergate. And I'm not even talking about Malcom X, or Medgar Evers, or Viola Liuzzo...all the blood and deaths.

            You got to stare at the ruins of 14th Street in DC for years and years after the riots. Once in a blue moon you got a few words from someone like Julian Bond, Shirley Chisholm or Barbara Jordan to feed your soul. All you could do was keep your head down and keep going.  (When Hillary used that phrase it really resonated for me, and probably for a whole lot of people my age.) Yes, it was an epic moral battle, but it was a terrible, terrible time, and if you really lived it, it marked you. You can say you want that mark, but you say that because you don't know it.

            And the moral battle is by no means over.

  •  I was right in the middle of 64-74. (4+ / 0-)

    Smack dab.  And I saw most of those that I thot would know better, buy into the bullshit of the establishment.  We can only hope the younger generation does better.  However, they better learn their history, because it happens again and again.  

    "Peace cannot be achieved by force. It can only be achieved by understanding" Albert Einstein

    by BigAlinWashSt on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:17:44 PM PST

    •  Look, then as now, there was a divide. (0+ / 0-)

      Some were heading in the opening hearts and expanding consciousness, anti-war, we-are-all-one direction. Some were buttoning down and dressing for success, embracing materialism and American chauvinism.

      That divide still exists.

  •  Yes, I lived through all those awful years... (9+ / 0-)

    marched in peace marches during the Vietnam war, and those memories still cling to me.

    But Not Today.....

    Today, I witnessed a more perfect union, in a way that I never, ever thought would happen, and for that I'm deeply grateful.

    With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. President Obama 1.20.2009

    by Badabing on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:47:41 PM PST

    •  All I'll say, not to rain on anyone's parade (0+ / 0-)

      All I'll say is that part of what you saw was because Washington is the city it is, a city very unlike many people's idea of what it is. It is not all K Street.

      Had you had the inauguration in Boise, Houston, Omaha, or some other cities I could name, you might have had a very, very different feeling hovering about it all.

      Yes, it was wonderful. It was historic, it was uplifting. But it was not transformative for everyone. The divides are still there.

  •  and I say AMEN, brother! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dkistner, mainefem, Poom

    Just diaried my own reactions, along similar lines, as "My Fellow Citizens".

    I'm 61 and I've never been more optimistic about what we can do now!

  •  Now imagine (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    truong son traveler, NWTerriD

    that the first election you were able to vote in was when W stole the election. That's a downer. And the next presidential election you get to vote in gives you the same damn president.

    I've become more cynical than ever the last 8 years because, until yesterday, 'my guy' hasn't won (and with disastrous consequences).

    It's hard to turn off the cynicism and hope everything will right itself when you have 8 years of bullshit as your only political memory. I guess I could say last 10 years, but I wasn't really 'into politics' until the year I could vote.

    I voted for Obama. I just hope he follows through. Cynicism? Skepticism?

    I've been proven right so far (Bush). Let's hope I'm proven wrong.

    Abolish gun control, marriage, and helmet laws. -7.62, -3.44

    by KVoimakas on Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 01:33:49 AM PST

  •  What a glorious day. Here in CA, sunny and (5+ / 0-)

    beautiful, warm in the 60's, everything seemed to say 'new era' with a wide smile, and felt great.

    I felt "the hope" for the 1st time. I've been cynical about the country and the future. Reading and hearing Obama's speech and people's reactions around the country and world just made me feel so optimistic. His speech was terrific. He gets it.

    I've been pessimistic, and to be honest, I still am, that he/we will ever get out of the hole the Rethugs have dug this country in. I know the adults are back in charge, and I'm confident of that. But health care? And a slew of other critical problems, I'm pessimistic about. But today was reserved for hope.

    I'll share one more thing re: the content of this diary. Having been a kid in the JFK/LBJ/Nixon eras, a teen during Carter, an adult during Reagan onward, I feel ripped off by the Rethugs and I am enraged about it. They have destroyed the quality of life for my generation that was once the envy of most of the world. If Obama can't restore it, and I can't blame him if he can't, it is a tall task now, just restoring the rule of law and sensible decision making is all I expect, but if he can't restore the quality of life, I am prepared to live in other countries before my prime of life is done.

    Children in the U.S... detained [against] intl. & domestic standards." --Amnesty Internati

    by doinaheckuvanutjob on Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 01:36:23 AM PST

  •  Amen. n/t (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dkistner, mainefem, JG in MD, NWTerriD

    A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward. FDR

    by rufusthedog on Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 02:46:11 AM PST

  •  Sam Cooke said it best (6+ / 0-)

    There were times when i thought i couldn't last for long
    But now i think i'm able to carry on
    It's been a long, been a long time coming
    But i know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will

  •  My mother (7+ / 0-)

    born July 4, 1931

    voted for Stevenson (twice)

    she voted for Kennedy and Johnson

    and then voted for Humphrey, McGovern, Ford, Anderson, Mondale, and Dukakis. She died in 1991.

    I wish she were still around to see this day.

  •  AMEN! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JG in MD, NWTerriD

    don't always believe what you think...

    by claude on Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 06:04:12 AM PST

  •  And if you've been around long enough (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JG in MD

    you've heard all the talk about change and promises from canidates before.  Lets hope Obama can deleiver.

    It's better to be silent and thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

    by thestructureguy on Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 06:13:03 AM PST

  •  Born in 1944 (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mint julep, mainefem, revgerry, Poom, NWTerriD

    I was 19 in 1963, starting my adult life in the Kennedy era. All was possible, y'know?

    Today I did errands, in my car that has smithereens instead of half the bumper, worrying about the money to pay for prescriptions and kitty litter . . .

    but as I drove down the highway in my usual way I felt lighter and happier, and everything looked brighter. I could feel the difference physically with Obama in the White House.

    Strange sensation, that. Real nice. Especially after 40 years.

    Joe Biden: Get up! Al Gore: Pray, and use your feet! Harriet Tubman: Keep going!

    by JG in MD on Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 04:50:03 PM PST

  •  The day I finally lost all hope (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    N in Seattle

    was the day in the early 80's, when someone I would never have imagined saying this, an 18 yo coworker, the opposite of conservative in her private life, a partier, a punk rocker, told me she was a conservative who was working for Reagan's election.

    I had thought, up til that time, that it was only the old and reactionary who could ever think of voting republican. I'm still shocked by all the younger people who voted for Reagan.  

    •  beat ya (0+ / 0-)

      I beat ya; someone I went to school with, a gentle, principled, and deeply moral person, announced she was going to work for the infamous CREEP, Nixon's "Committee to Re-Elect the President", the one that became famous because of Watergate.

      No argument we could ever make could persuade her that the committee name was bogus because whoever was elected would be THE president, not just Nixon.

    •  I still worry on that count (0+ / 0-)

      The family grapevine let me know that my 19-year-old, working-class, biracial cousin voted for McCain and was slamming family members for suggesting Obama was a worthy candidate.  She had all the right-wing talking points -- he's not a US citizen, he's Muslim, he eats babies, etc.  

      Well, at least she voted.  

  •  Call me old, cynical, or whatever (6+ / 0-)

    I'm a veteran of those old days, and I'll believe we've "taken our country back" when the system is fixed so that it can't happen again.

    The G.W. Bush administration warped the law, if they did not break it (I believe they did break it myself.) It did start long ago, and Nixon began the slide down, was halted only by the resignations of a couple of brave men and the courage of a few patriotic congressmen/women; then we got the big lie back again under Reagan, and then the first Bush, the Gingrich putsch, and Rove, Cheney and the chimp...and they wanted to give us Sarah Palin.

    I think it is great and admirable that our new President Obama wants to operate in the open, with transparency, within the law. He's a principled, honorable man.

    But when Clinton can get impeached for a blow job, while Bush, Cheney and cohorts do what they did and walk away scot free, it's not a great precedent that's still on the books in this country. It's another disaster waiting to happen the next time the electorate is asleep at the switch. Look at Arlen Spector and a couple of other Republicans still at it at the confirmation hearings.

    We have to fix this somehow so it can't happen again.

    I don't care if they have prosecutions or a truth commission, but the crimes have to be disclosed. Too many people were not on the Mall yesterday, not even watching TV. Too many people think the only problem we have is the economy. Too many people will still be ready to drink the kool-aide the next time it's offered.

    •  Yeah, fixing the system is the long term goal (0+ / 0-)

      but for now, I am almost inexpressibly happy that there is someone in the WH who actually seems to care about so many of the same things I care about, and that he is even smarter, and definitely more capable, than I am.

      Relax - the adults are in charge now.

      by NWTerriD on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 12:16:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Clinton/Gore years were great (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mainefem, JG in MD

    and were a welcome relief from the years of Nixon-Ford-Reagan-Bush I.

    As a boomer, it was great to see the country become revitalized again, and see Dems begin to rebuild the country moving towards a strong economy, secure future and, finally, peace instead of war.  It was in our grasp.  As someone who put little credence in the popular news media, I wasn't bothered by the faux Republican scandals of that era.  The accomplishments of Clinton/Gore were more important and more interesting to watch.

    The stolen elections of 2000 and later 2004 were nearly as bad as the loss of JFK, MLK and RFK.  All meant difficult setbacks in helping our country heal, grow and move forward. But nothing was as bad as 8 years of Bush II.  Nothing.

    Its glad to see the party back on its feet again with a strong president like Obama.  But we should always temper our optimism with caution and never forget the lessons of the past.

    There's an innate tendency on the part of even the elite to idolize men who are making a lot of money, and assume that they know what they're doing. PK

    by Betty Pinson on Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 09:09:34 PM PST

  •  I did not know I am a "Generation Jones." (0+ / 0-)

    I kind of like that. My somewhat vague memories of JFK, RFK and MLK did make me worry off and on yesterday. Some of those lunatics are good shots.

  •  been in desert and this feels like a big victory (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    N in Seattle, NWTerriD

    i'm deep baby boomer, we called ourselves counter culture or concerned citizens. many of us have been that ever since. I bridle at the word baby boomer or consumer. We've had to live through duck and cover, conformity, virulent anti communism McCarthy Hearings, assasinations, wars,riots, SUV's and Bush. If that dont shake you up, nothing will. Its great to be alive, in these troubled times although I hope for some tranquility. I wish Molly Ivins were here.

    seeing Pete Seeger singing This Land is Your Land and a verse that normally wasn't sung at the Lincoln Memorial was very moving. A celebration of the
    commons!  Woody would like to know that his song was sung on this particular Inauguration Day.

  •  Hope is a wonderful thing. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ivote2004, seattlesluff, NWTerriD

    I was born in 48 and lived through it all.  Forty years without hope.  Forty years of seeing things get worse instead of better.  Forty years of guilt for what my generation abandoned.

    The Ceremony was wonderful and yes I cried but even more real was when AF-1 broke ground and I knew they couldn't some how take it back.  I exhaled and forty years of fog lifted.  

    The term "the one" makes me a little squeamish. Barack Obama is a man and not a messiah and we can't loose track of that.  He isn't even nearly as liberal as I would like but I can't deny that he is "the one", the light, we've been waiting for to burning away our national fog.  

    So let us remember that yesterday was the celebration of a beginning. This is the time to drop in and not out. (Again) The wolf is still at the door.  Power does not relinquish it's hold easily.  Evil has not been, nor can it ever be, defeated.  Dirty tricks and tricksters are forever with us.  

    The torch metaphor is over-used.  Everyone is always said to be passing the torch.  Remember though that from the late 60's until now the torch of a perfecting our union burned dimly, yet it survived.  Yesterday the torch of Abraham, Martin and John, and Bobby too, was truly passed to; the black kid with the funny name: the long shot who was supposed to wilt before the mighty Clinton Machine; the guy they forgot to tell us wasn't supposed to be elected so we went out and worked our ass off and made it happen anyway, Barack Hussein Obama.  

    The new Chenys and Roves and Bushs will have new names and diffrent faces but the will return.  With our newfound power we must fight our battles and battles will come. We are many generatons but one people and every living generation must fight together, never give up, and never let the flame of our Union burn so low  again. Yes we can.

    Great diary.  

    Amen. Let it be. Yes we can.  

    "Vote Your Hopes Not Your Fears."

    by YellerDog on Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 10:24:23 PM PST

    •  And Amen to you, too. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JG in MD

      Love your last line -- it sort of ties it all together.

      And I love how you brought in "Abraham, Martin & John" -- who knew, back when we were listening to those names being sung in our youth, that we would someday be anointing a president who was so clearly the spiritual successor to all three of them, among so many coincidences (Senator from Illinois, day after MLK day, bicentennial of Lincoln's birth, having been endorsed by JFK's only surviving offspring, the embodiment of MLK's dream, etc., etc., etc.)

      Very eloquent and moving comment. Thank you.

      Relax - the adults are in charge now.

      by NWTerriD on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 12:24:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I was 15 years old sweeping the floor on a bright (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mint julep, ivote2004, NWTerriD

    Saturday morning, doing my weekend chores and listening to the radio when the announcer stated that Bobby Kennedy was dead. I can still see myself standing there frozen with the broom handle in my hand for I don't know how long. I felt strange, like the floor had given out from under me.

    The Kennedys represented hope, even to my immigrant parents, even to my mother who has never become fully fluent in English. Still, she knew. We had a picture on the wall of JFK, just like we had pictures of our family and relatives. And so did other families in that little south Texas town.

    A light went out that day. Before the country could even begin to recover from the loss of Dr King, this.

    1968 is a year I don't like to remember much. My teenage friends were going to Vietnam, it was a terrible, terrible year. Every time I go home and see the off ramp to Freddy Gonzalez Drive I remember that year so sharply.  His name represents all the boys who died in that useless war that came from my little corner of the world.  

    Hope alighted anew in 2008. The Iowa speech spelled it out: H O P E.
    And now on my wall is a picture of President Obama.

    May no more boys and girls die in another useless war.

    •  I was eleven when RFK died (4+ / 0-)

      Looking back, it seems as though the light really went out after that. As a tweener Af-Am, (born in 56), my group of kids were the last kids who even had a hint of what it was like to not be able to go where you wanted to go (1964 Civil Rights Act, I was seven.) It was a time of rising expectations and opening doors. Then RFK was murdered, and we fell into paranoia and stife with a bunch of riots.

      After that, the efforts to bring Black and other minority people out of poverty gave way to simply holding back the tide against stripping the gains we had away. It seemed for the longest that the Government became hostile, refusing to help create jobs or force the door open enough so that you could get one.

      Obama seems like the end of that long, bitter nightmare.

      Howard Dean Forever and a Day

      by CarolDuhart on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 02:09:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Beautify America - Get a Haircut (0+ / 0-)

    Retaliate immediately to abuse by Republican thugs.

    by NBachers on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 12:13:33 AM PST

  •  40 years! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm still not quite ready to believe it really happened. Of course my brain knows it did,my heart is still cautious,it's been broken too many times.
    I was glued to my tv all day except when he got out of the car I had a bit of an anxiety attack and had to leave and I'm still crying off and on. 40 years!

    Amen to a new day!

  •  I've got my 1/2 century (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    plus 11! and I'm happy too.

  •  Ptah! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    What generation gap!

    I was born in 1940 but I hadn't really arrived until January 20, 2009.

    This is my time, my place, finally! My people!

    And I'm not an African-American. Well, maybe I am but that's from God knows where when my Viking ancestors went awandering and brought various people from various places (I hope they came willingly) home to meet the clan.

    Now, if I can just live another 100 years...

  •  Wow, as always ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... you bring out the remarks Terri :)

    We're still here, in hell, trying to build a progressive organization. DemocracyForTippecanoe has landed a DFA campaign training, right here in god-forsaken Lafayette:

    We work w/ our MoveOn field organizer, and the Obama Campaign (whatever they're called now), and some older progressive org.s in the co.

    The Mad Canvasser (that's me, LOL) says that it's time to stand up and be progressive regardless of anyone's "permission" for same.

    Okay, 'nuff said. As always, thanks for helping us out, in our time of need, during that primary.

    •  You keep organizing, (0+ / 0-)

      I'll keep teaching, and together (with most everyone else, it seems, from looking at those Inauguration crowds), we'll build a better America!

      How long did it take to get used to not having to spend all your waking hours knocking on doors? (Or have you not gotten used to it yet??)

      Relax - the adults are in charge now.

      by NWTerriD on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 04:04:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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