Presidential elections and inaugurations always fill me with pride and a real sense of patriotism. I know that America takes a beating from many people throughout the world (and many in our own country). It's become fashionable to hold our system of government, the principles we were founded on and just national pride in disdain. Patriotism is uncool!
We have a great country, though. The peaceable resolution of the controversy over the election 8 years ago and the transfer of power that followed was one example of that. The smoothness of the transition from the Bush White House to the Obama White House and the spirit I saw at today's inauguration are others.
I wasn't a Barack Obama supporter and will never agree with him on some of his core beliefs -- abortion, to name one. Most of the people I know aren't Obama supporters. They are, however, (and I am) President Obama supporters. I've heard diehard pro-life 'religious right Republicans' pray, sincerely & from the heart, for Mr. Obama and for his success in the next 4 years. I've heard them be sincerely pleased that racial differences here have diminished to the point that we have elected our first black president.
I watched the inauguration today and saw people who are political enemies and who were trash-talking each other during the election smiling, laughing and greeting one another. I saw everyone there in a mood of celebration at this watershed event in our nation's history. Am I naive enough to think that they've all become best friends or have stopped disagreeing (and possibly disliking) each other? Certainly not. It was, however -- as it always is -- a civil (even gracious) and peaceful transfer of power. That's remarkable, it's American, and it never fails to make me proud.