Twelve years ago, on this very date, on another Inauguration Day, I started this blog, Ramona's Voices, on a note of hope and change. Barack Obama was being sworn in as president for the first time and it was a day so overwhelming I felt as if I might burst if I didn't put my thoughts to good use.
We had come away from what seemed like an awful eight years, brought to us by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. They took us into an unnecessary, deadly war. They took a huge surplus left by Bill Clinton and turned it into a massive deficit. They lied so often it became commonplace, and too many people accepted the lies and turned against the best of our programs. Ordinary people didn't have a chance.
It seemed as if, with Obama, we were being rescued.
I needed to be a part of that, if only as an unknown witness, an observer, a chronicler. I look back on the pieces I wrote during those 12 years, sometimes with joy and sometimes with sorrow. I didn't chronicle everything. I picked and chose whatever struck me and I didn't keep a schedule. I saw it as a blog and not a job. It was my place and I loved having it here.
I built a sidebar that showcased other writers doing meaningful and wonderful work. Most of them are still there, thankfully. They did see it as a job and they never gave up.
You'll notice I dropped out often after Trump was 'elected'. The heart went out of my political writing. I didn't realize as it was happening how broken-hearted I was. For four solid years I felt as if my country, our country, was barely surviving under the clutches of an abuser. I felt powerless. I was powerless. But I should have had more faith in my country's absolute requirement that democracy must prevail.
History will view Donald Trump's presidency as a warning that we were a democracy far more fragile than we could have imagined. Those of us who warned against him early on couldn't even imagine that a president of the United States could go that rogue. Trump was always an incorrigible liar and a crook. He was always a narcissist and a sociopath. What we didn't expect was the help he would get from a political party sworn to preserve the republic and to protects us from all enemies, both foreign and domestic.
I don't need to regurgitate Trump's four years here. In fact, I refuse. But as I write this Joseph R. Biden Jr. was just sworn in as the 46th President of these United States. Kamala Devi Harris was just sworn is as the first Female of Color to ever advance to the Vice Presidency. The Democrats have a tenuous hold on both the House and the Senate, and Biden's cabinet is already at work to begin the healing and take us to a far different place.
And I see today, this very moment, as the perfect time to end this blog and move on. I love what I've done here, but the truth is, almost nobody sees it. I've lost the ability to allow comments and I haven't been able to figure out how to change that. It's not a community without comments. We need to have a conversation. Or at least I do.
So I'm going to move my writing to Medium, where I've been for more than a year, and to Substack, where I'm building a newsletter that will be part blog, part promotion. (I'll post info about my work, along with some new stuff every week. Please subscribe. It's free!) Please follow me at Twitter. I spend a lot of time there, no apologies. I love that community.
This blog will always be here as long as Blogger allows it. The posts I've written will be available as an archive. Keep an eye on the posts under "Necessary Voices", at the sidebar to the right. They won't disappoint.
2020 was a dreadful year for most of us. 2021 brings us new hope. I want to be there with you as we fight to make it right. But right now I want to enjoy this day. Let's all enjoy this day.
And wasn't Lady Gaga amazing?