Tomorrow, we will witness one of the great events in human history. Yes, an African-American will be inaugurated president for the first time since America’s founding — and I’ll get to that momentarily — but that’s not what I’m referring to here.
What I’m talking about here is far more underrated, and far more consistently historic. You see, tomorrow we will witness that rarest of political occurrences: the peaceful, non-dynastic transfer of power over the mightiest country in the world, yet again, from the outgoing leader of the past eight years to the incoming leader of at least the next four.
The fact that America’s transitions from president to president are so regular, so peaceful, and so orderly has led us to take for granted this occurrence which, in the context of human history, is an incredibly rare and spectacular event.
This is far more rare, and far more amazing, an occurrence than we ever give it credit for. The ancient pioneers of democracy whose tradition we are carrying (and building) on were not able to continue such a tradition.
The legendary democracy of classical Athens, for example, took over a century to establish, then underwent fits and starts during its century and a half of existence, ceding preeminence to tyranny after Solon’s early 6th century tenure, to an an oligarchy during the late-5th century Peloponnesian war, and ending in Macedonian monarchy after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC.
Rome’s fragmented republican system lasted longer (around 400 years if the traditional founding date of 509 BC is accepted), but it endured more upheaval and violence than the halting Athenian system, finally ending in the 3/4-century long inferno of repeated proscriptions, tyrannicide, and seemingly endless civil war.
Barack Hussein Obama’s accession to the presidency is not being met by military mobilization, riots, or widespread conspiratorial assassination attempts. In fact, it’s not even being met with the protests, the threats of violence, and the widespread claims of “he’s not my President!” which were directed at the last recipient of presidential power eight (and again four) years ago, when we came the closest we have in living memory to breaking our historic cycle of peaceful, non-antagonistic transitions.
Tomorrow’s inauguration of the 44th President of the United States (and the first African-American president) will demonstrate two things above all else:
- That America, its citizens, and its leaders still respect the rites of democratic succession to such a degree that, for the 42nd time, we have had our electoral say and as a result power is changing hands peacefully, with (despite the far Left’s paranoid claims of the last eight years) no armies being marched on The Mall and no last-ditch attempts being made by the outgoing leader to hold onto power or to keep the presidency within his dynastic line; and
- That the idea of racism as an institution imposing a glass (or steel) ceiling on the level to which African-Americans can rise is as dead as Nathan Bedford Forrest himself.
Building on #2 above, allow me now to change gears to address the race issue.
The inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America shows once and for all that the identity politics and categorical identification and treatment of Americans according to race, religion, and gender — which has for so long been a key tool in the Left’s political toolkit — is both outdated and irrelevant.
With the swearing-in of a racial minority to the highest office in the world, attempts to supposedly make up for past transgressions by implementing race-based quota systems, rather than actually allowing minorities to succeed on their own merits without the cloud of racial favoritism and “white guilt”-induced pity hanging over their heads, should be recognized as the irrelevant mechanisms of outcome equality that they are, and should be left by the wayside with “separate but equal” and other similarly outdated doctrines.
America as a whole crossed the threshold into a largely “colorblind” society years ago. Unfortunately, as is their wont, politicians and government (particularly on the left side of the aisle) have lagged far behind their countrymen in this area, and have continued insisting on identifying, categorizing, and regulating Americans by their race and gender, rather than by their common humanity.
This will not immediately cease to be the case with tomorrow’s inauguration — but it should, and, with the accession of an African-American to the presidency for the first time in U.S. history, there is no longer any excuse for it not to.