Today, we celebrate a tradition in our nation unlike any other in the world. Today, we transition from one president to the next.
The 12th Amendment to the United States Constitution has set January 20th as the date on which one president ends their administration and next begins. The President-elect is sworn in at noon by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court using the Oath of Office from Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution and reads,
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United StatesEvery president since George Washington has had to state these words to the public with these words as their bond.
I like to point out these words to everyone for it demonstrates one of our Founding Father's most important ideals. This nation is bound together by one thing, the rule of law, as stated by the Constitution. No where does it say the president shall consider the Constitution or make sure to do their darnedest to circumvent the Constitution. There job is is preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. Period. The Constitution.
"The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one." This is a quote spoken by the fictional character Spock in the movie, "Star Trek II: the Wrath of Kahn." Yeah, I know, this is all serious and there I go quoting a sci-fi movie, but this quote has resonated with me since I first saw the movie. People believe we live in a democracy and in some ways we do. The majority opinion is used to determine many aspects of our society, but technically, we live in Constitutional Republic. This means our elected officials must represent the wishes of the people under the rules of law as defined by the Constitution.
President Obama is inheriting a nation in trouble. Our economy is struggling. Our stature throughout the world has never been worse. Let's face it, George W. Bush is leaving the nation far worse then when he got it. Many things about this departing administration has left me wondering how the nation could have ever chosen this man to lead us, but today, we must move forward.
President Obama campaigned as the candidate of hope. As a father, I hope for a world for my children that is better then the world I grew up in. Barrack Obama is our newest president. He deserves our respect, he's got a big job ahead of him.
The picture I chose at the top of the page is one of the few photographs I have ever taken that I would consider a concept photo. I staged this. I liked the symbolism of my daughter standing at the spot where Martin Luther King, Jr, gave his famous speech. It's at the top of the stairs at the Lincoln Memorial. My daughter stood their reading the words of a man with a vision of a nation united. I share that vision.
I didn't vote for President Obama but that doesn't mean I don't want him to succeed. In fact, I believe the opposite. I so much want him to succeed.
The magic of this nation is that every 4 years, we get a chance for a fresh start and a new beginning.
Welcome to Washington Mr. Obama. We have a lot of hard work to do. Today, it's your party, tomorrow we start fresh.