I finally got a chance to watch Obama's inaugural address (I've been out of town on business). I thought it was a good presentation of his basic beliefs and desires and approach to his presidency. There is no doubt but that it is a solid declaration of today's liberalism, in much the same way that Reagan spoke clearly of his conservative beliefs and desires and approach to his presidency. Obama made a clean break from the old Reagan era with a pretty clean expression of his philosophy.
Reagan spoke out for the freeing of the individual and against the constrictions of an overbearing government. Obama spoke out for focusing the constructive powers of the government to assist and improve the lives of its individuals.
Obama spoke of the power of working together as opposed to insisting that each must do all that is needed alone. He spoke of the beneficial role that a national government can do to lift the country and its people into a better life. He offered America's embrace of women, minorities, gays, and immigrants.
Mostly, what I noticed is that Obama got his voice back. The voice of Obama on the campaign trail of 2008 pretty much disappeared in his first term. It looks to me like he has re-grounded himself in his basic beliefs and reasons for his political career.
Reagan was a move away from over-reliance on government and toward individual responsibility and opportunity. I still believe that was the needed move for the country at that time. Reagan said that the government was the problem, not the solution.
Obama is a move away from over-reliance on individual capabilities and toward government support and empowerment. Obama says the government is a necessary part of the solutions, and we can't do it alone. I believe that Obama's message is the needed move for the country at this time.
If the Republicans get stuck in avid opposition and attempt a return to Reaganism, I believe that they will more and more marginalize themselves because their solutions are for an obsolete time. The world of today is not the over-regulated, over-taxed, over-protected world that Reagan changed. It is time for the Republicans to realize that they don't have to make the Reagan changes to America, Reagan already did that.
It is now time for the Obama changes to be implemented as a response to an under-regultated, under-taxed, under-protected world left to him by the Reagan legacy.
This should be a pretty interesting next four years. I look forward to it.