The year is 2013. The world did not come to an end in the last month of 2012, as so many had feared. Cynicism and existential terror have not won the future. It is Martin Luther King Day, three weeks to the day after the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation—which declared in the gravest … Continue reading Working Together Makes Us Free: Inauguration 2013
Millions of people are expected to gather on the National Mall, between the west face of the Capitol Building and the Lincoln Memorial; security is expected to be without any known precedent, and temperatures are not likely to rise above freezing… should we go? Should we go, and if we do, should we go as citizens, or as journalists? If millions of people can brave the crowds, the security and the cold, to witness an historic moment of such sweeping resonance, then why can’t we?
I realized over the weekend that I wanted to attend this event as a citizen, as a person who believes in the values of true democracy, and who believes that, flawed as the system is, it can still be bent to the virtues of those willing to engage it with principle and decency, and in that way, can be used to make life better and freer, even for the least powerful. And it came back to me what it was to witness the 15,000 people who did just this to attend then Senator Barack Obama’s campaign announcment speech, on 10 February 2007, when the conventional wisdom said he could never win.