New Beginnings

a_wyq3d86ic-florian-giorgioSeems hard to believe we’re more than halfway through January already. To say a lot has already happened this year would be something of an understatement. Surely a lot of New Year’s resolutions have already gone by the wayside. It’s in our nature to yearn for new beginnings because we make mistakes, lots of them.

Even a new beginning based on a calendar date offers an emotional turning point beyond which we can avoid looking back at those mistakes and hope we don’t make them again.

The inauguration of our new president offers a new beginning. His inaugural (def. marking the beginning), speech promised a long list of sweeping changes to correct the mistakes others before him have made.

He promised:

To make us, the people, the rulers of this nation again. A noble proclamation.

To put America first, and to stop subsidizing foreign industry and militaries at the expense of our own.

To no longer impose our way of life on other countries, but let it shine as an example for others to follow.

To strengthen our borders, stop gang activity in our inner cities, and stamp out radical Islamic terrorism.

To stop accepting all talk, no action politicians.

This was a very different inaugural speech. A very different new beginning, but a new beginning nonetheless. Past Presidents have spoken in broad terms of cooperation, of past American successes, and of optimism. This speech contained none of these things, but it was quite specific.

For over a hundred years, the U.S. government has served the interests of major corporations under the guise of spreading democracy and humanitarianism. We’re a country born from the desire to be free from colonial oppression, but we became what we fought so hard against in our beginning.

Intervening in (or undermining) the governance of other countries has been one of our signature moves. Radical Islamic terrorism exists in part because over time the U.S. government and its allies have drawn borders in the Middle East to meet the agenda of the elite.

The trade agreements the president railed about in his campaign speeches were not designed to engender open commerce across borders, so much as they were to establish and protect the rights of American corporations, and really are part of why there are so many displaced people trying to come here.

A new beginning to change all this and cure the ills that have stemmed from it would be welcome indeed.

Imagine. Truly seeking good will and friendship with other nations rather than secretly placing puppet regimes in place to collude with big American business. Developing trade agreements that offer international fairness, environmental protections, and safeguards and equal rights for workers.   Investing in the education, health care, and wellbeing of American children. Taking the power away from the moneyed corporate interests, and giving it to the people.

Truth be told, the president’s background, and that of the people he’s selected to help him in this unimaginably difficult endeavor, does not lead me think this is really the primary objective, or that this time will be different. But hey, I don’t really know them. And this is a new beginning. Here’s hoping.