General

A New Chapter in American History

I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t vote for Obama. It wasn’t because I didn’t think this country needed change, or even a swift kick in the butt to get us back on track, but because if there is one thing American people DON’T need at this point is being forced to pay more taxes.

And the Democrats like to raise taxes. At least, historically speaking.

So no, I didn’t want that. The husband ran some numbers and last year he calculated we gave a little over half of our annual earnings to the government (federal, state, sales, property, etc).

Over half, folks. That’s completely unacceptable in my book.

And there are several other Democratic issues that I don’t agree with but this post is not about those issues, or about airing my political grievances, this post is about supporting our new president.

I don’t have to tell you how historic today is. Today, and the events of the next four (eight?) years will be printed in future history books. Our grandchildren will read about Obama and his (hopefully) successful run as our 44th president. Because however you might personally feel about our new president-elect, he is now our leader and we must help him achieve the country’s goals.

Because if we hope to solve our problems, if we dream of becoming a better nation, then we must work together to make that happen.

This is not a time for petty arguments. This is not a time for power plays. Our country is hurting. We need to help people get back to work. So they can pay taxes. And stimulate our economy by purchasing goods …

Well, you know the spiel.

In a lot of ways, I feel sorry for Obama and his lovely family. So many people are pinning so much hope on this lone man that I can’t imagine the pressure he must be under to meet those expectations. Every single move he makes will be scruintized and criticized. Every word he speaks will be analyzed and taken out of context to suit special interests groups. He will constantly be on the defensive and the vultures will gleefully dive in and pick him apart at the first sign of weakness or failure.

*sigh*

Poor guy.

Though I don’t agree with Obama’s politics, I like the man. I admire his commitment to his family. And I look up to Mrs. Obama, she’s so classy, intelligent and articulate. I pray that Obama’s term in office is kind to him and his family. I pray that it doesn’t drive them apart or weaken their family bond.

I ran across this letter that President-Elect Obama wrote in Parade Magazine to his daughters. THIS is the biggest reason why I like this man – his devotion to his family.

‘What I Want for You — and Every Child in America’
By President-elect Barack Obama
Publication Date: 01/14/2009

Dear Malia and Sasha,

I know that you’ve both had a lot of fun these last two years on the campaign trail, going to picnics and parades and state fairs, eating all sorts of junk food your mother and I probably shouldn’t have let you have. But I also know that it hasn’t always been easy for you and Mom, and that as excited as you both are about that new puppy, it doesn’t make up for all the time we’ve been apart. I know how much I’ve missed these past two years, and today I want to tell you a little more about why I decided to take our family on this journey.

When I was a young man, I thought life was all about me-about how I’d make my way in the world, become successful, and get the things I want. But then the two of you came into my world with all your curiosity and mischief and those smiles that never fail to fill my heart and light up my day. And suddenly, all my big plans for myself didn’t seem so important anymore. I soon found that the greatest joy in my life was the joy I saw in yours. And I realized that my own life wouldn’t count for much unless I was able to ensure that you had every opportunity for happiness and fulfillment in yours. In the end, girls, that’s why I ran for President: because of what I want for you and for every child in this nation.

I want all our children to go to schools worthy of their potential-schools that challenge them, inspire them, and instill in them a sense of wonder about the world around them. I want them to have the chance to go to college-even if their parents aren’t rich. And I want them to get good jobs: jobs that pay well and give them benefits like health care, jobs that let them spend time with their own kids and retire with dignity.

I want us to push the boundaries of discovery so that you’ll live to see new technologies and inventions that improve our lives and make our planet cleaner and safer. And I want us to push our own human boundaries to reach beyond the divides of race and region, gender and religion that keep us from seeing the best in each other.

Sometimes we have to send our young men and women into war and other dangerous situations to protect our country-but when we do, I want to make sure that it is only for a very good reason, that we try our best to settle our differences with others peacefully, and that we do everything possible to keep our servicemen and women safe. And I want every child to understand that the blessings these brave Americans fight for are not free-that with the great privilege of being a citizen of this nation comes great responsibility.

That was the lesson your grandmother tried to teach me when I was your age, reading me the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence and telling me about the men and women who marched for equality because they believed those words put to paper two centuries ago should mean something.

She helped me understand that America is great not because it is perfect but because it can always be made better-and that the unfinished work of perfecting our union falls to each of us. It’s a charge we pass on to our children, coming closer with each new generation to what we know America should be.

I hope both of you will take up that work, righting the wrongs that you see and working to give others the chances you’ve had. Not just because you have an obligation to give something back to this country that has given our family so much-although you do have that obligation. But because you have an obligation to yourself. Because it is only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you will realize your true potential.

These are the things I want for you-to grow up in a world with no limits on your dreams and no achievements beyond your reach, and to grow into compassionate, committed women who will help build that world. And I want every child to have the same chances to learn and dream and grow and thrive that you girls have. That’s why I’ve taken our family on this great adventure.

I am so proud of both of you. I love you more than you can ever know. And I am grateful every day for your patience, poise, grace, and humor as we prepare to start our new life together in the White House.

Love, Dad

Good luck and God bless, Mr. President.

Giveaway/Contests

Winter 2009 Photo Contest Update

This is the current pie chart (January 20, 6:55 a.m. U.S. central time) for the winter-time photo contest! Cool, eh?

Winter 2009 Photo Contest Results

As you can see, the top two contenders at this point are:

1. June Irwin (Snow Mountain) with 43 votes and 42% of the pie.

2. Penny @ Just Bloggin’ Along (Framed) with 31 votes and 30% of the pie.

Keep checking back and keep encouraging your readers to vote for you! Results can vary WIDELY, even from hour-to-hour, so you still have a chance to get ahead!

Laura
Harrison
(Need a Tow?)
June Irwin (Snow
Mountain)
Julie (Melancholic winter)
Grant (Horses)

TO VOTE:

Please click on the contestant links in the table above.

Then, vote for your favorite in the poll that appears on this page.

Voting ends January 21st at 11:00 a.m. U.S. central time. There’s still plenty of time to coax your readers over to vote for your photo!

Have you voted yet?! Help the contestants out and vote for their photo! (The poll is set up to only receive one vote per person – so choose wisely!)