Today, the administration changes. Today, we move from President Obama to President Trump. Although Mr. Trump is #notmypresident, he is our President. Although Mr. Trump is not the candidate I would have chosen, he is the candidate that won the Electoral College, and per the Constitition, he is our President as of noon today.
For the last two days, I have been in a Cyberawareness class, advising the instructors on how best to teach Cybersecurity. They kept emphasizing the risks and the threats, and what the Obama administration had done with respect to the area. They also emphasized the fact that Cybersecurity is our incoming President’s second priority. That’s significant, and if I was thinking purely about my future employment, I’d be happy.
I read the posts of most of my friends on Facebook — folks with a similar political bent as I. They are filled with hatred towards Donald Trump and all he stands for. They abhor his cabinet picks. They opine that his election has set back the country 300 years. They talk about wearing black to mourn the death of the country. They are filled with dread that Trump’s installation will result in drastic changes to the life they know. They are scared for the country. Their fear manifests itself in calling the incoming President childish names, circulating Fear + Uncertainty + Distrust memes, and sensationalized news that amplify their position. They state it is the end of Democracy as we know it.
In other words, they behave exactly the same as the folks who opposed President Obama when he was inaugurated. I hate to tell them that it won’t make a difference, and only will make them look stupid and will continue the increase in partisanship. But they are set in their minds — their fear has made it so they can’t listen.
What of the folks on the other side? They are gloating that President Obama is gone. They are intimating that it is about damn time. They are intimating that it is time that this [unspoken and unvoiced – Negro] imposter and poser is out of the White House. They are intimating that he left this country destroyed, and in the hands of our enemies. They are ecstatic about kicking the Liberals out. There is joy that (white) men and (white) women and a few token acceptable Conservative minority representatives are in power. There is joy and a belief that Christian values will reign again in our country.
In other words, they are acting equally childish, as they have been the last eight years. They are being just like Mr. Trump has been to date: inflammatory and divisive and pushing and reinforcing the partisan divide.
Children. All Children. And that’s not in the “Children, One and All” sense of Rod McKuen.
Me? Well, it has been a shitty week, topped off by the inauguration. As I stated, he is not who I would have chosen, and in many ways he is not my President, but he is our President. I desperately want him to succeed in doing good things for our country (and if not good, at least I hope he’s careful, and if not careful, that he names it after me — old joke), and our country to succeed and be strong. Right now, I don’t have a lot of confidence in the man, but I still have hope (it is just a very different hope than when President Obama was elected). I don’t believe democracy is dead, but its life and strength depends not on President Trump, but on our other government institutions: our legislative leadership (Congress) and our judicial leadership (the courts). It also depends on our military leadership, who have sworn allegiance not to the Commander-in-Chief, but to the Constitution and the rule of law. I work with the military, and I believe they take that oath very seriously.
I do not believe I can get those who opposed Mr. Trump to support him, nor would I want to. I can’t change the language both sides have been using. I can, however, ask my friends to look closely at their actions and consider how they look to those in the middle, and those on the other side. If they are coming off as partisan foamers, perhaps they should consider a different way of getting across their opinion. This week we celebrated the birthday of Dr. King. I strongly suggest they look to him as a model, and ask themselves whether Dr. King would be on Facebook, posting and saying what they are?
Let us all pray (and if you don’t pray, then hope):
- …that the mantle and import of the office he is entering brings a change to Mr. Trump.
- …that Mr. Trump realizes that extemporaneous tweeting of his opinion can be dangerous and deadly, for he no longer speaks just for himself, but the entire Nation.
- …that Congress grows a pair of appropriate-intestinal-fortitude-glands, and remembers that their job is not to rubber-stamp the actions and nominees of their party, but to provide a check and balance — they are the ones ensuring that those serving the country are free from foreign influence, are free from temptations to advance their personal fortune or personal goals, and most importantly, follow the constitution even when they personally may disagree.
- …that Congress holds the President accountable for his actions, and ensuring that he remains true to his oath of office, protecting the Constitution by following it faithfully (including the clause about being free of influences of foreign powers).
- …that our Judiciary remain ever the voice for, and ever protective of, those in society who will never hold positions of power, and who do not have the means to weld a financial voice with clout. Our justices are the ones who must ensure equal protection for all under the Law, that the freedom to speak freely is always possible, and that the freedom to practice whatever religion we want (even if it is no religion) is possible without interference.
May it so be.
ETA: P.S. A final lunchtime thought, after seeing an ad for The New York Times: As opposed to sharing silly memes and stuff, perhaps the best way to fight back is to subscribe to legitimate media outlets that do fact-based journalism (such as the Times), thus supporting their abilities to do so.