The Presidential Inauguration and its Symbolism


Watching Presidential Inaugurations is watching power put on its best face, display its brightest smile and say its nicest words to a happy crowd in Washington DC, and, mostly, to TV cameras from around the world. In this age mass media, showbusiness and the facade of politics have become one of the same and barely distinguishable: Politicians and pop stars parade on the same arena and cater to the same public, using the same tools and techniques to garner attention and to generate adulation.

From a public relations point of view, I cannot think of a more media-friendly family than the Obamas. They are the perfect facade of power, the perfect family the public can relate to and the perfect distraction behind which true power can hide and operate. President Obama is camera-friendly, is great a giving speeches and efficient at delivering the rhetoric his supporters want to hear. More importantly, he simply seems like  a “nice guy” that appeals to the younger generation; Michelle Obama is the quintessential American mother that had little touch of “showbiz fabulous” added to her, making her personable to all mothers, regardless of the race. Finally, the Obama daughters are turning into typical teens who love their smartphones and are embarrassed by their parents. In short, watching them at the highest level of power makes many people say: “It is truly one of us that is up there”.

And that’s what they (those behind the scenes) want you to think.

The reality is, Presidents are simply a charismatic face representing power, a temporary figure to which History will attribute popular and unpopular decisions. Presidents are however not the true decision makers. Despite the heavy rhetoric that color liberal versus conservative debates, there is very little difference in policy from one President to another. Looking back at Obama’s track record, he is not very different from his much maligned predecessor George W. Bush. There were several military interventions abroad, the Constitution was still stifled , the Patriot act was renewed, manless drones appeared abroad and in the US and, the spying and monitoring of US citizens increased tenfold. In short, while the face of power changed, power itself did not change and the same Agenda kept moving forward. The truth is: Conservatives in power are not true conservatives and liberals in power are not true liberals. They are all subject to the elite that runs the world.