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Welcome, Mr. President

January 14, 2009
Next week, we will again witness how special of a country the United States of America is, with the peaceful transition of its highest office.

It also will be an appropriate time to come together as a nation and get behind our new president, Barack Obama.

Those who have read my opinions in the past know that I am a bit skeptical of Mr. Obama, but this country has seen too much division in the past decade-plus. While there have been those who have suffered from Bush Derangement Syndrome, others had an unhealthy dislike for former President Clinton in the preceding years.

I didn't vote for Mr. Obama, but he will be my president as of Tuesday. That doesn't mean that I agree with everything he has proposed, and I don't expect to agree with everything that he will announce. However, it does mean that I will respect him and the office he holds.

Unfortunately, we haven't had that in the past several years. Republicans were bent on bringing down President Clinton in the 1990s, and while he certainly provided fodder, the GOP overreached. Then, when George W. Bush became president in 2001, the roles were reversed. It certainly was fair for Democrats to express disagreement with Mr. Bush regarding his policies — that's the purpose of the two-party system, but some on the left went way too far, wishing for his and Vice President Dick Cheney's deaths and comparing Mr. Bush to Adolf Hitler.

I don't want to do that to Mr. Obama, and I hope that others who oppose his policies instead debate him and his administration in the ring of ideas and not stoop to such hatred. Our country is facing too many issues, from the economy to terrorism to the situation in the Middle East to health care, for such silliness.

For example, an approximately $1-trillion economic stimulus package with "income tax cuts" to those who don't pay income taxes, in my opinion, is not the answer, but we can debate the matter without being uncivil to one another and becoming even more divided as a people.

That doesn't mean I won't write editorials expressing my disagreement with the Obama Administration, because I certainly will, as it's my responsibility, but I will do so with respect, something that hasn't been shown to the past couple of administrations.

So, looking ahead to next week's inauguration, I say: "Welcome Mr. Obama. Good luck, and may God bless you and our country."

(Chris Adams can be reached at 738-2211 or cadams@clarionnews.net.)

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