Wednesday, January 21, 2009

It’s Time to Get Back to Work

It was a great day, a good speech, a cool parade — including a gay group — and the inaugural parties looked like they were a lot of fun. At my office we gathered around the only TV — which happened to be in my office — and we shed some tears of joy, applauded at appropriate times, and even approved Aretha Franklin’s hat.

But now it’s the morning after. The party, in more ways than one, is over because as President Obama said, we all have a lot of work to do; Democrats, Republicans, everybody, if we’re going to get this country back on track and back to where we were going.

This shouldn’t be an arduous task. Yes, there’s a lot of work to do, it won’t be easy, and it’s going to be expensive. We’re going to have to make some tough choices and finally we have a president who acknowledges that. But it’s not going to be drudgery because whatever we do to make things better, whether it’s repairing failing roads and bridges, getting our schools in shape, figuring a way to get health care to those who need it but can’t afford it, making scientific breakthroughs, making strides towards equality for all citizens, dealing with distrusting and untrustworthy nations or just getting them to take us seriously again, will be restorative. That makes it worth it.

So now that we’ve enjoyed the historic moment that we will remember for the rest of our lives, let’s put the good will and energy it gave us to good use. Ignore the whiners — or better yet, give them a shovel and make them pitch in and clean up the mess they helped make — and get back to work.