Editorial: Bring on the hope and change on inauguration day

Today history will be made.

At about 11:00 a.m. CST, Barack Hussein Obama will be sworn in as the 44th president of the United States and the nation’s first black president.

Yet, before he takes power, some people are quick to criticize the administration without even fully understanding the significance of this inauguration, nor do they have any knowledge of even the first thing Obama’s team will act upon.

It’s OK to disagree with Obama’s policies. Nobody is forcing you to agree with his administration.

However, it seems foolish to quickly write him off without knowing what he is capable of accomplishing in this position.

After all, could it get any worse?

George W. Bush was elected in 2000 in what is remembered as one of the most controversial elections in American history.

This new Republican administration was a far cry from the eight years of a Democrat White House under Bill Clinton and Al Gore.

After 9/11, Bush was hailed as an American hero for the courage he displayed and the defiant stand he took against al-Qaeda.

Little did we know what a mess the Bush administration would make in the next eight years, tarnishing U.S. foreign relations for the greater part of this decade.

But today, that group is relieved of its duties and free to pursue a “normal” life, however they describe it.

Today, we say goodbye to eight years of corruption and outright lies and welcome a new administration that reaches across the aisles for the betterment of a brighter democracy: Change and hope.

“Dissent is the highest form of patriotism,” historian Howard Zinn said (the phrase is commonly misattributed to Thomas Jefferson).

Based on the actions of the Bush White House since 2003, critics of the administration use this phrase to justify problems they take up with issues such as the Iraq War.

The difference between criticisms of Bush and Obama is that people actually know Bush made mistakes and that he deserves to be chastised for them.

Whereas criticism of Bush is based on solid evidence and is subsequently supported by it, it’s pessimistic to automatically assume the Obama administration won’t live up to expectations and will fail the American people.

It’s fascinating that people can be so critical of an administration that hasn’t even been sworn in yet.

It’s even more outrageous that people have the audacity to complain after eight years under the rule of a president with the lowest approval ratings of all time.

Is it fear? Is it uncertainty? Have the last eight years just made you paranoid?

Fair is fair: If the Obama administration actually turns out to be worse than expected, then every American will be justified in criticizing them.

But for now, this is no time to be overly critical.

Today is the day we all stand behind Obama and support him as he takes on the most challenging political endeavor he’s ever faced, going against a volatile Middle East and a floundering economy.

If we really want to pull ourselves out of this rut, then it’s time to stand behind the man we elected to lead us out of it.