Hope on Inauguration Day.

Inauguration Day… the most American of traditions… the peaceful transition from one leader to another… or the hopeful beginning of a second term.

I’ve been thinking a lot about that word this morning: hope.

President Obama kinda hijacked that word in the national conscience in 2008, when he used it as his one-word campaign slogan. But I’m not talking about that. Regardless of who we are inaugurating as President, all of us should remain hopeful for the future of our Country. After all, this Nation isn’t about our President— it’s about you and I. It’s our country, it doesn’t belong to any politician or party. And it is up to us to demand results.

Unfortunately, results have been very hard to come by in Washington. Leadership in both parties is to blame. Politics has been put ahead of reaching in and fixing. Winning has been placed ahead of standing strong for beliefs and the Constitution. The pursuit of power has won over making a difference. Again, both parties are guilty.

Today, it’s my personal goal to attempt to remain hopeful. And not be disingenuous. What do I mean? Put partisan politics aside and determine for yourself where you stand. And keep those stands— no matter who is raising their right hand and muttering, “so help me, God.”

I remember back in 2001 as the Patriot Act was being debated in Congress. Liberals were howling about the government’s usage of a national tragedy in a massive power grab on our Constitutional freedoms, all in the name of our safety. And I was right there with them— any infringement on rights laid out to us in founding documents should not be impeded upon, regardless of the excuse that government is throwing at us.

Today, I am reminded of 2001 as this country is waged in a dramatic conversation about gun control. I don’t own a gun. I’ve never shot a gun. But I believe in the rights of people to own guns. After all, it’s spelled out right there in the 2nd Amendment. Some of those same folks that were protesting the governmental power grab  in 2001 are now saying that it’s OK for folks to relinquish some rights. After all, it’s in the name of safety— again. These people are being disingenuous. A right is a right is a right, if it is spelled out in the United States Constitution. That doesn’t change based upon who is leading us.

So, when you are watching the official swearing-in today or the made-for-TV reenactment tomorrow, please do remain hopeful. Know that whether you voted for the President or did not, that your beliefs should not waver based upon popular opinion. And you should never stop fighting for those beliefs.

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