Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Welcome to a Brand New Day!

I just pinched myself and I am awake! George W. Bush has left the building, and we have a new president. President Barack Hussein Obama is the 44th President of the United States. He and his beautiful family have taken up residence in the White House. And now the real work begins.

I'm not a woman of faith, but I do have faith in our new president.

I've been uncharacteristically quiet over the past 24 hours, soaking it all in and sorting through my emotions.

Eight years ago I had just brought my newly-adopted daughter home from Kazakhtan. I was in the city of Almaty from November 18 through December 13, 2000-- during the time when this country's W problem was taking shape. It was during then that Bush v. Gore was in the courts, and the Supreme Court decided not to count the votes in Florida, and decided to award the presidency to the guy who lost the popular vote.

My daughter set foot on American soil as W was preparing to be sworn in as President #43, and became a citizen shortly after he took the oath of office.

During the 8 years of his administration and of our life together, I've watched my quality of life, and my potential for giving her the life I aspired to upon adopting her, diminish. My spirits were dashed, my hopes and dreams dulled with the daily destruction of our liberties, rights, assets and our country's morals.

I adopted a little girl from an orphanage on the other side of the world believing that I could give her a wonderful life in a great country, with the American dream of being able to provide for her at least as well as and probably better than my parents did for me. But those beliefs were taken from me bit by bit over the eight years of a dictatorial, unjust and corrupt administration.

With the election stolen in 2000 and the many problems inherent in our voting systems that were evident in 2004, I wasn't sure we'd ever see a fair election here again. As the rich continued to get richer, the poor poorer and the middle class on the endangered species list, my hope for the great life I was planning to give my daughter faltered.

On November 4, which also happened to be my 49th birthday, the spark of hope I'd been cultivating within me began burning brightly. Yesterday it exploded in a sea of fireworks.

Welcome to our brand new day.

I did listen to the words of President Obama. Although he didn't quote JFK's words "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country," verbatim, he did, nevertheless, express them.

The next few years are not going to be easy.

In between watching the inaugural activities yesterday, I was checking the various radio industry trade sites to see which of my friends and colleagues were let go from Clear Channel yesterday. Yes, Clear Channel had an inauguration day blood bath, ridding itself of 9% of its workforce-- somewhere in the neighborhood of two thousand people.

It's going to get worse before it gets better. But I see the light behind the dark cloud. I finally have trust in our leader, knowing that he's got the intelligence, common sense and ability to make the decisions necessary to turn things around.

Right now, I'm flying on faith, hope and the knowledge that Barack Hussein Obama is the President of the United States of America. Oh happy day.

Today's Radio or Not episode is a musical tribute to our new President, with a little help from Sting & Stevie Wonder, The Chambers Brothers, Widespread Panic, ELP, Patti Smith, Ray Charles, Joe Jackson, Tracy Chapman, Diana Krall, and U2.

Click here to listen... runtime is 15:35.