By Drew Kaufman
Those of you reading at home know there is a lot to experience at a presidential inauguration. In the coming days, our group will chronicle the 57th Presidential Inauguration, but before we undertake that task we must first think about what we look forward to. There will be so much to take in in such a short period that it is hard to nail down just a few things that I look forward to experiencing. Ultimately, I believe I am most looking forward to experiencing the political spectacle that is an inauguration and what I hope to hear in the inaugural address.
A presidential inauguration is a unique spectacle because it is either a peaceful transfer of power or a reaffirmation of power already vested, as it will be in this inauguration. Hundreds of thousands will crowd into Washington D.C. in the coming days to take part in the spectacle about to occur. The inauguration is the fruition of the public vote. This vote shapes the government so it reflects the will of the people. An inauguration is a public celebration of the fact that the people have once again legitimized their government. As a politics student, the opportunity to witness this is absolutely thrilling.
Beyond the legitimization of the government, the inauguration provides a president a pulpit to offer a speech to the nation. This speech often outlines a vision for the future. This Inauguration, I’m hoping to see a specific version of this future outlined, however unrealistic that hope may be. I’ve been a fan of President Kennedy’s “We Choose to Go to the Moon” speech for a while now. At about 8:23 starts the most famous part of the speech:
Kennedy says: “We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” I’d like to think that this is what makes America great. In this country, we should choose to do things not for their ease but for the idea that they advance humanity and make the world a better place.
In this inauguration, I would like to see the President reaffirm these principles. America should strive to do the work that makes the world a better place. If we stay true to these principles that have served us in the past, in our future we can be a global force of change for the better.
I hope you’ll watch with us in the coming days as the inauguration unfolds to see our experience and whether our expectations are fulfilled.