President Obama has taken the oath of office for the Presidency of the United States and his second, 4 year term has begun. What I kept thinking about today while this was occurring was how fortunate I was to live in the United States of America, for the reason that this event could happen without fighting, warring, or military coups, trying to jockey for the power to run the country if their candidate failed to win the election.
13 years ago, a friend of ours went on a mission trip to Western Africa. With his skills as a carpenter, he went on this trip to help a mission group build some new buildings in the community they were serving and living in. While he was working with the mission, some local men in the community also came to help build the new structures. They were a friendly group of workers, asking our friend questions about the United States. As the vote counting battle was ongoing back in the United States, Al Gore vs. George W. Bush, these local men told our friend that they were amazed that this vote counting was going on so peaceably. They said that if that had happened in their country, there would have been bloodshed by now. They went on to explain to our carpenter friend that their country was made up of 4 or 5 different tribal groups and that no tribe trusted any of the others. That is the way of most of the African countries, our friend was told. They went on to further explain that when their country would have an election, and one winner was from one of the 4 or 5 tribes, the other tribes would automatically cry foul and threaten to battle unless things could possibly be worked out to all tribes’ satisfactions. If not, then battles would happen.
Goodness, but after I heard all of that from our friend after he returned from his mission trip, it made me very glad that I was born and live in the United States. President Washington, all those years ago, in his parting speech upon retiring after his second term, warned Congress not to become divided up into political parties. As we all know too well, our government did divide up into political parties, with two parties having remained the dominant ones of all the past variations. Some of us in this country are very glad that the President was re-elected to serve for 4 more years, some of us are not glad. However, those who didn’t vote for the President aren’t running around in their cities and towns, gathering up arms, militias, and heading to the nation’s capital to try anything radical, dangerous, or crazy to oust the President. Those who disagreed with the election’s outcome accept it and move on with their lives. Above all else, we remember that we are Americans. We live in the greatest country on this earth. Why do some many people immigrate to this nation that we Americans proudly call home? I don’t know why my ancestors left France and Germany to come to the United States but I am so glad that they did!
I did tune in today to see the President take his oath from the Supreme Court Justice, and to see what the stylish ladies in Washington D.C. were wearing. I did hear the songs by the choir and some famous singers, and I enjoyed the strains of famous melodies played by the United States Marine Corps Band. After I turned the television off to get on with my day, I felt mostly a sort of pride, that our country can come together as a new President or a re-elected one takes the oath, and it is all done peaceably, with malice towards none.