First Posted: 1/19/2009
Today is a special day in America.
The media has gone on and on about the significance of the first African-American president taking office, and rightfully so.
What gets lost in the shuffle, however, is the extraordinary peaceful transfer of power that we will witness today, and have been witnessing for the past several weeks. In November we had an election, and since then power has changed hands on a number of levels.
Locally, Sarah Stevens has assumed her seat in the 90th District of the North Carolina House of Representatives after defeating an incumbent. Darrell McCormick has taken his position in the 92 District, after winning an open seat in a contested election.
Bev Perdue has taken over the governors mansion in Raleigh after winning a contested open seat. Kay Hagen was recently seated in the U.S. Senate after defeating an incumbent.
And today, Barack Obama takes the oath of office for president, after defeating an opponent for the open seat.
A number of incumbents, including State Sen. Don East, Surry County East District Commissioner Paul Johnson and Mount Airy District Commissioner Jimmy Miller retained their seats, as did a number of local school board members, in the election. Some of those people ran unopposed, some had stiff competition.
At all levels, no matter how dirty the campaigns, once the election was over and emotions subsided, the transfer of political power has been peaceful.
Most of us have taken this for granted, because it is all weve ever known. In much of the world, that is not the case. There are countries where even local leaders war for control, sometimes through endless litigation, but often times through armed conflict and intimidation.
We, however, enjoy a transfer of government unlike most of the world, and today marks the final stage in that transfer at the local, state and national level.
Everyone should pause and observe todays proceedings.
Tomorrow, it is time for these government leaders to get to work. But for today, enjoy.