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Inauguration Day Jitters

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Samantha Lee
Samantha Lee

I am not, in fact, an American. There’s no good reason I should be interested at all in what’s going down in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday. However, it’s not just me- lots of people are, in fact, shaking very quietly in their boots. 

Question: Who remembers George Bush?

Who remembers how he was voted in, not once, but twice, by a terrified American public, by way of sheer stupidity and some very clever propaganda?

Who remembers how, in the last eight years, America has gone from a slightly tarnished but cocky World Policeman, to the almost the absolute last country anyone in their right mind would turn to for help, let alone approach without a straight jacket and a Very Big Stick at the ready?

My point being, Barack Obama has indicated very clearly that he wants to increase the United States’ standing in the world again.

Good on him. I’m all for conceding all Americans are not actually stupid for voting in An Idiot because they were afraid, or influenced by clever marketing campaigns (by the same token, I’d have to concede not all of my country are stupid for voting in An Idiot, because they were afraid and easily influenced by The United State’s clever marketing campaigns for change.)

However, we’re all so in love with Barack Obama, and so willing to be all Hopenchangey that we’re forgetting how well it worked out for us last time we liked America- we’re setting ourselves up for a fall here.

Take the next door neighbour, for example. 
Mr Bush decided it would be a fine idea to invade Iraq, came knocking on the door to Oz. John Howard, delighted at his esteemed visitor, decided some major ass-kissing was in order and started throwing troops at Bush as though they were cubes of sugar.

The Australian reports there are “about 980 troops based in Iraq and around the Middle East”- which is small bikkies compared with the 146,000 American troops still in Iraq.

The US fatality rate is standing at 4227, Australia at 2. (

Now, I’m not saying Our Hero, the 44th President of The United States is going to come asking for the use of our one good tank and our police tasers, but, y’know, let’s not go granting him private use of our nuclear free waters just because he wants to use “smart diplomacy” with other nations. He’s also “willing to meet with all nations, friend and foe, to advance American interests.”

However, he’s made a few good choices, lest we forget The George Years.

Senator Hillary Clinton is Obama’s new Secretary of State. Now, I actually like Hillary Clinton, and think she would have won the presidency, if only she hadn’t let the American public know she was a) intelligent, and b) a woman. However, rest of the world?

Can’t stand her.

Generally speaking, popular perception is this horrendous Witch Lady of Doom that is going to tell them what to do- which is going to really help her when she’s trying to convince people that, really, she just wants us all to Be Friends…

…But still, let us not be afraid.

There’s Hope and Change in the air, the birds are singing, Obama’s scary priest guy and Beyonce (apparently she volunteered, participation not confirmed) are all warmed up and ready to go, there’s a Parade, a Swearing In Ceremony, and like a thousand Inaugural Balls. (Maybe 58 at last count, and I swear to God, there is one called the ‘Hey, America Feels Cool Again Inaugural Gala’. Absolutely no fooling.) 

Genuinely, I want to see this guy succeed to his full potential, and not let that Red Tape of Washington, not to mention all manner of Republicans, morons, and The Ones That Still Think He’s Muslim hold him back- because there’s one unfortunately inescapable truth in all of this- where America goes, the rest of the world follows.

The next four years are going to be a hell of a ride.

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