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For now, no more dread, only hope

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By Wendy Binnie

We had heard from the hinterlands there was an apparent sense of dread spreading round the country like some great unknowable plague aiming to take us down, individually and collectively. Is it the Henny-Penny-sky-is- falling syndrome? But in this particular case, it had relevancy in fact.

While many questioned this recent development with alarm, it seems to be the most rational position to take. Things were not all right and the bevy of experts trying to wax professorially on the subject made it worse. In the end, it’s a case of all of these panjandrums of mischief-making proved one thing: None of them knew a damned thing about how the economy works or how to get it back up and running.

And it’s we who’ve been the fools for listening to them as if they really knew what they were talking about. That’s the awful truth.

If that creates a sense of dread, well so be it. It is deserved. After all, you’ve been treated like a laboratory mouse whose ability to feed itself has been challenged with detours and elaborate traps. After a while, you begin to feeling confused, being out of options becomes normal.

This is how many in America felt then and the sad part of it was, that for the most part, they had nothing to do with what they inherited from a government deep in bed with business owners and the media; something our forefathers warned us against. But at that time, we had rules and laws and government’s representatives worried about getting re-elected, and that required paying attention to the electorate.

In the last several years we’ve discovered that business and government doesn’t give a tinkers’ damn about any of us. Yes, there was good reason for a sense of dread.

Speaking of dread – the outgoing vice president, clad in black in his wheelchair, was reminiscent of Dr. Strangelove – cackle and shudder.

Now the strangest thing has happened, a new president is in office and it actually looks as if he is going to make every effort to keep his promises to the people – the ones who elected him. Is it possible we no longer are watching everything crumble around us?

Our jobs are still overseas and the banks are still foreclosing on our homes. Companies, because of excessive greed, are going out of business and demand that we keep them going in their profligate ways. We’ve been eaten alive piecemeal, and now, at the final hour, when we are too weak to stand, we look at the new president and Congress – and dare to hope.

Yes indeed, there are still people around, even public servants, who think there are aspects of our way of life that shouldn’t fail, and do not have to. There are those around who are willing to do the heavy lifting to put us back on track.

On Jan. 20 our country had a party, and what a party it was. In reading much and talking to many, not one could recall a more euphoric time – the end of WW I, VE Day and VJ Day excepted.

The excitement and eager anticipation from those freezing their collective booties off on the Mall in Washington, D.C. was palpable. The pageantry and pomp and circumstance threatened to rival that of the Mother of them all, the United Kingdom who can and does do these things in her sleep.

It was a joy to watch all the participants in the parade – all smiles in the near-freezing cold – their happiness and pride coming through the television as we watched in comfort. The cheer that went up when the new President and First Lady exited their automobiles and walked told us that the people were ecstatic with the choice of this erudite man and the “cheeky” veep, Joe Biden.

This has all been described by far better writers and observers but what was not mentioned was the behavior of the previous First Family. President and Mrs. Bush were as gracious, generous and considerate as anyone could have hoped.

It was a superb occasion when one could watch President Bush without finding some fault. His manner and demeanor shone through all the fuss and feathers and he and his wife’s hearty welcome and embrace of the new First Family was a joy to behold. It appeared totally genuine and wouldn’t we all love to know the contents of the letter he left in the Oval Office desk for the new president? One is left to wonder if this is the real George W. Bush.

All in all it was a terrific showcase for America, one which the world might want to take note of and emulate that a courteous, lawful and bloodless take-over our country demonstrated as possible.

We wish the Bush’s contentment in their new home, and courage and tenacity for the Obamas in the weeks, months and years ahead. It will not be easy.

Now if only Darth Vader, (the prince of darkness aka Dr. Strangelove) had not shown up it would have been 100 percent perfect — we shall ignore the Chief Justice’s flub. And what a shame that the great philosopher, Rush Limbaugh, was given air time to expound, “I hope he fails.” Fox News, mainly Hannity, was as abrasive and insulting as usual — one has to wonder if Rupert Murdoch truly hates our country.

God bless America!

… As I was saying …

Wendy England Binnie, a novelist and op-ed columnist, lives in Oak Trace Villas. Contact her at smcnews@earthlink.net.