I'm saying it because inaugurations are increasingly pompous, gaudy, ritualistic, overdone celebrations of political victory, two and a half months after the original victory speeches. The president is a public servant, not royalty.
So, here are the top 7 reasons why you shouldn't watch, let alone attend a presidential inauguration:
- No matter what the newly elected/relected president says, the inauguration speech will be of no consequence to your life. Really.
- They are full of mindless platitudes and cliches, or if not, cheap political attacks rhetorically dressed as visionary leadership.
- The State of the Union address is only a short time after the inauguration, is slightly more informative, is more relevant to current issues, and is usually much more entertaining.
- Does the president really need any more celebratory attention? He (or she) is the most covered person in media throughout the world; watching the inauguration only encourages such royalty-like status.
- Despite the sensationalism, it is not that culturally significant. Want to be a part of history? Well try doing something that doesn't happen every 4 years.
- If you must, you can read the transcript and/or watch news coverage of the inauguration later, at your convenience, which won't take up half the day.
- Unless you just woke up from a deep coma, watching the inauguration will not make you a better citizen, nor will it make you more politically knowledgable. Inauguration speeches tell you virtually nothing about the president's policies, but on the off chance it does, it will be horrendously one-sided (see #2).
So there you have it. Inaugurations are a waste of time, and in my opinion are a disservice to our collective poltical knowledge and heritage. IF you really want to be politically knowlegeable, study the political philosophies of both parties, avoid the speeches aimed at the general population and watch the speeches aimed at the candidate's base: they will tell you much more about a candidate's position.
But most importantly, figure out your own political philosophy. Not just a vague idea of what sounds good to you, but a guiding philosopy that makes sense, that you fundamentally agree with. Once you know that, the rest will follow.
Classical Liberalism and Libertarianism (these two are closely related)