Editor’s note: Kristine Parkinson is a sales and marketing coordinator for an international software company. She voted for Mitt Romney in 2012 and is watching the president’s inauguration from home. For a democratic voter's opinion, please click here.
The first presidential inauguration I remember was that of Jimmy Carter in 1977. At age 11, I paid special attention because candidate Jimmy Carter shook my hand at the 1976 Iowa State Fair after my family and I sat for hours waiting to hear him to speak. I’ve watched every inauguration since.
The inauguration is more important to the country than some people realize. People watching it want to feel they can play a role in the responsible management of the country; they want to know they are contributing to their future and the future of their kids.
In his inaugural speech, I want to hear President Obama’s personal accountability on bipartisan efforts to make this country a better place. I do not want to hear him pointing out the reasons for his inability to make more progress on the economy by assigning blame.
I want to see Obama draw people together and make them excited about the next four years of his presidency.
I see inaugurations as a new beginning, a chance to progress. I believe every president, regardless of his political party, wants to move the country forward. My hope for the next four years sees Obama paying more attention to fiscal responsibility and less to non-actionable talking points that raise his popularity.
If the president treats the U.S. budget the way responsible adults treat their own household budgets, we would see a different attitude toward spending, resulting in a solid and sound fiscal foundation for the country. Since Obama doesn’t have to worry about his re-election campaign, I’d like to see him make bolder choices surrounding a better global fiscal position without worrying about his popularity index.
Regarding social assistance, Obama needs to understand the federal government should be a part of the solution, not the only solution. Churches, mosques, temples and organizations such as the Salvation Army and United Way should be included in his plans to reach out to people in need.
In addition to eliminating some of the pressure on the federal budget, these organizations are better able to support their community members, giving the individuals a chance to participate in their success, rather than simply collecting benefits.
A note to my congressman and all who hold seats in the U.S. Congress: Please talk to each other. Please put down your campaigns and do what we elected you to do -- represent all of us!
The same goes for you, Mr. President.