On Inauguration 2017

Because Inauguration Day of a new president coincides with my normal posting of Opinions in the Shorts, I decided to forego my normal OITS for a posting that is fitting for the day.

In a short moment of time, Barack Obama goes from the one with the title to a former occupant of the Oval Office. My view of President Obama is different from the many who follow partisan lines. At this moment I want to thank him for his service. Thank him for the way he handled himself in representing our nation. Thank him for the way he carried the extra burden of being the first non-white to serve in the most powerful office in the land. Thank him for taking us from where we were in January 20, 2009 to today. (A good read in USA Today.)

Inauguration Day marks the peaceful transition from one president to the next. A transition that is different than most of the world. A transition that is also an American tradition. A transition that is a light by the American version of democracy.

I enjoyed this 4-minute interesting perspective of past inaugurals done by Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan for CBS News.

Presidents need a strong sense of humility – that is something Mr. Trump has yet to show on the campaign trail or in the time since Election Day.

Presidents describe in various ways in their inaugural speech their desire to be a president for all Americans. That trait alone require respect, something Mr. Trump continues to ignore.

Presidents need to be responsible for their actions and decisions. Of course politicians tend to step around problems – blame elsewhere. After all, finger-pointing is much easier. Mr. Trump has failed on many occasions to take responsibility for his own actions and words – thus continually favoring the low road of blame through insults.

Presidents respect the traditions of the land and the office. Mr. Trump regularly favors his way while damning those who think otherwise. Meanwhile the majority of the elected partisan minions we call Senators and Representatives are quiet as they revel in the glory of total control. Time will tell if they continue doing the same.

Presidents respect the nation’s laws and Constitutional requirements. Again, Mr. Trump favors his way of doing things. He says he can separate his business and the presidency. He actually believes he could successfully run both simultaneously. Conflicts of interest could very well be on the horizon, but time will tell.

Maybe if he changes his tone, practices humility, becomes respectful, and operates within the given framework, he may have successes – successes for the country. Besides, Washington is ripe for change – but his previous behaviors indicate this would be a tall order to fulfill.

Being a brilliant orator is not a presidential requirement, but those that were can frame a message by their tone. Mr. Trump is anything but a brilliant orator as he struggles delivering prepared statements – so I certainly don’t expect anything memorable for me. Perhaps he may surprise us with a start that includes a series of apologies to set a tone. Given his personality, the chances of that would be between slim and none.

Although I wish Mr. Trump success on this day, I won’t be watching the pomp and circumstances or listening to his first speech. I’m not boycotting as I simply have something else to do – something that I would rather do.

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72 thoughts on “On Inauguration 2017

  1. Well, said, Frank. I have to agree with you. Say what we want the people have placed this man in a position of leader of the free world. We all will need to exercise the utmost in involvement to keep this democratic system that is so comfortable in place. I have watched our Congress abdicate its responsibility to represent the citizenry to the point where now the citizens feel the need to grasp at any straw that promises action. The only thing Trump promised was plenty of action designed to make America great. You know the examples, build a wall, throw out illegals, close the borders to job loss, and on and on. Well, the voters bought it and now we all will have to hang on to see if he delivers. I’m afraid the next step if he fails, will be much less to our liking. The point is Americans have lost faith in their elected congressional representatives and now don’t care who makes the laws as long as the status quo is disrupted. This does portend to open the door to dictatorship-like actions, but right now the people seem to be blind to that possibility. i step off the box now. Thanks for reading.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great post. Your review captures much of my thinking–thanks for giving such a great voice to these thoughts. I want to be hopeful for the future and see the need for each of us to be engaged in our own communities. Time will tell.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kerry,
      Vigilance by the public is important … but I favor cautious vigilance over the partisan variety. Giving credit when credit is due, and outspoken when necessary. After all, the behaviors of the partisans today seem to be strikingly similar of the partisans of yesterday – just wearing different labels.

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  3. This morning I cleared my refrigerator and started afresh with a hardcopy of your post. Now to hang on for dear life hoping that the GOP’s few surviving moderates, CNN, USA-Today, newspaper columnists David Brooks and Peggy Noonan (Trump has made me a devotee of Peggy’s bravely written Wall St. Journal articles), and bloggers like you, can keep their voices heard while the lights are going off across the U.S. and Europe (far-right politician Marine Le Pen now leads her closest opponent in France).

    Liked by 1 person

      • Speaking of the Nincompoop, Trump’s non-inclusion of Sarah Palin, John Bolton, and Rudy Giuliani in his cabinet gives me some hope for the success of his presidency. Bolton apparently ran afoul of Trump’s emphasis on image with his walrus mustache, Giuliani because (like Hillary Clinton) he “lacked stamina for the job,” and Palin because “she lives a long way away.”

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  4. Well said, Frank. I can hope that DT will change, but it doesn’t seem likely. I can hope that Congress acts as a check, but I don’t know. That’s not looking too likely either. I hope people–including our elected leaders–continue to question and speak out.
    I will not be watching today, and I am marching tomorrow.
    (BTW, for some reason, my comment wouldn’t post on your last post–at least I don’t think it did. Or it did twice.) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Merril,
      The lack of check in the Congress may bother me more than DT … but who knows, maybe he will back them into a corner causing them to come forth … but time will tell.

      Thanks for letting me know about your comment. I try to look at the Spam folder once a week, so you got me to look – and there it was. It’s up now. 🙂 Thanks for letting me know.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t think that Donald Trump is going to change, because there is absolutely no need for him to change. And by “need”, I mean what Trump himself wants, not what the rest of us need, because from the campaign it appears his needs override ours almost every time.
    As for his conflicts of interest, they’re not on horizon, they’re right here. For one example, he is leasing his Washington hotel property from the government, and he’ll be running the government in less than three hours. For another example, a federal labor board is reviewing a complaint by Trump’s employees against him – and guess who will have the power to replace the board members. And that’s just scratching the surface.
    But I suspect his conflicts of interest won’t be an issue for the Republicans since he’s not a Democrat, and that as long as Trump signs into law anything the Republican Congress passes, Congressional Republicans will simply close their eyes on Trump’s conflicts of interest and his other antics. We will finally have Washington that works, and it won’t be pretty.

    Liked by 2 people

    • X,
      And you have only listed a few of the current conflict issues, yet I point to the horizon as the future and his decisions that he will make. Yes – we don’t have to look far and we probably won’t have to wait long.

      Yes – Republicans will close their eyes – yet the hearings have demonstrated that their eyes are already closed.

      A Washington that works? No … a Washington with one side forcing the issue yes … but that’s not a Washington that works.

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  6. My friend F (the first F in FOAF – Friend of a Friend) sent me the following Limerick:

    Big changes on the way — you’re darn tootin’.
    Inauguration today. For our nation we’re all rootin’.
    Many questions linger.
    But one’s a humdinger.
    Will he save a seat for Putin?

    To which I replied:

    Of The Donald I tend to think
    That disaster is just on the brink
    When the nukes start to gather
    It really won’t matter
    So instead I’ll have another drink.

    C-a-L

    Liked by 2 people

    • Debra,
      Maybe or maybe not. He’s on constant acting mode when he’s on stage or in front of the camera. He seems to relish it, while not knowing when to turn it off. Although I think he is smart, he is more than a bit careless – which causes me to fret about where that my lead or could cause.

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  7. Quite frankly, I don’t wish Trump anything on his day. I feel that his day is undeserved. I feel like the ignorant have started to rule the earth, and when ignorance rules, ignorance prevails, and society becomes even worse than it was when intellectual and thoughtful people ruled. Nobody is perfect, that is true, but Trump has just been given a magnificent amount of power and the way he acted on that day, and the speech that he made, and the lack of humility and civilisation that he displayed and continues to display is frankly haunting. However this piece was brilliant, and thoughtful and most of all excellently handled and worded. I am saddened for the world. I truly am.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lenora,
      Many share your angst here in the US, so you aren’t alone. I agree that he tapped into the ignorant by using their ignorance and fueling the partisans. An columnist here had brilliant words in September … “Politics is catching up to social reality. The crucial social divide today is between those who feel the core trends of the global, information-age economy as tailwinds at their backs and those who feel them as headwinds in their face.”

      Yes, he worries me, but my plan is to give him a chance to tap into my slim hope while also watching with diligence through a non-partisan lens … thus why I say time will tell.

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  8. I left the room as trump’s inaugural speech began.
    It didn’t matter where I went in the house, his words of derision followed me.
    Is America really this f**** up with hatred?
    Well, time will be what tells.
    In the meantime, I feel sad and worried.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Resa,
      The fact that you were watching some of the event meant you watched more than me. I’ve read a bit online and heard a few commentaries and reports … other than that, I stayed away from the event.

      It’s complicated here and the country is unquestionably sharply divided. Yes, Trump won … but he won with three groups of voters … the Clinton haters, the partisans who only vote for Republicans, and those that believe him and see the world through his words. A strange alignment of the stars. … and his strength is Obama’s fault.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I also had other things to do. A brilliant piece, Frank. I enjoyed reading and agree with you wholeheartedly. It’s interesting and heartening to see all the demonstrations worldwide, even in Antarctica on Paradise Island where we were only a couple of weeks ago.

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  10. I think he will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. Maybe … just maybe … he will startle us all and turn out to be the best president ever. But on that day I will be racing a fighter jest through the skies on my pink snuffling suidae.

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    • Al,
      Your words echo both sides of the dilemma we face. Judging from the past we can’t help think of the wrong reasons while maintaining hope that it will different. A hope for a better day ahead. I know hope is like hanging on a thread, but I’m hanging on hoping … but also realistically unsure.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. We now enter a 4-year era that will test the structure of the Constitution to preserve the unity of the nation. The only comparable era was the Civil War, and that was a near thing. It reverberates still a century and a half later. I won’t be around for the denouement, but my descendants will, assuming they survive. The best I’m hoping for is a political catharsis that will purge demagoguery and superstition for generations to come.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jim,
      Hey – I thought your resolution was to be less cynical? 😉 … I couldn’t resist. 🙂

      I agree about the Constitutional test because he is a main with his own view that supplants anything else … but would a GOP-led Congress monitor that? … I don’t think so because they have to milk it for all they can get. Prime reason way I continued to profess the need for the power in Washington to be divided – a belief that was to the disdain of both parties – and now we have the current situation.

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      • Ha. I was less cynical for about three weeks, Frank, but when confronted by alternative facts, I fell right off the wagon. I went to the local chapter of Cynics Anonymous only to find that the pool of sponsors had mysteriously dried up! What to do? Will you be my sponsor? (Warning: my wife says I am untrainable.) 😢

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        • This is one of the best answers to a question ever. You answered the question without side-stepping the question. You answered the question with personal reflection and without blaming others. Wow … seemingly a unique approach. Sorry to hear the news about your local CA chapter, but I will settle on your wife’s wisdom.

          Like

  12. I appreciate your diplomacy, Frank. As voters, maybe we should dump the word “partisanship” and leave that bunk to the politicians. It’s beginning to sound, at least to me, the same way “progressive” and “liberal” have been made to sound by a certain segment of the media. Almost like swear words. Maybe we should stop being partisans or any other label, and start being human beings who may not agree, but pretty much want the same things in life.

    I’m a dreamer… lol!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Robin,
      I like to say there is a difference between right/wrong and agree/disagree. Much of politics is agree/disagree … although some prefer to turn it into right/wrong.

      Politicians are unquestionably partisan … and they always play their partisan card first. On the other hand, the voters who are party loyalists are equally partisan. As one who is more in the middle and not affiliated with either party, partisanship stands out like a sore thumb … and sometimes I use partisans aimed at both sides. As always, thanks for your thoughts.

      Like

  13. It’s a troubling time, indeed… You didn’t miss much with Trump’s speech and, yes, I agree with you that he has been disrespectful on many levels with what he has said and done. Let’s hope for a change in him now that he is President, although I won’t hold my breath as I don’t want to be blue in the face!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I think it’s hard sometimes to scorecard a President because there’s so much that goes on behind the scenes that influences their administration, which we know nothing about.
    That being said, I was not a big fan of Obama though I do respect the way he loves his family and how he handled what must have been a difficult transition.
    What happens next is anyone’s guess. We can only hope and support. At some point he has to stop campaigning, forget about the press, grow a thicker skin and focus on the job. That will prove to be a challenge for him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • George,
      A fair assessment on both fronts. Occupying the White House is a huge job with an unbelievable burden. I can’t image how much information a president deals with in one day, let alone the depth. I would think any new president goes through an “oh shit” moment of the task at hand. So your suggestions for President Trump are fair and important!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Frank, I don’t have much to say at this point, because the only way to express how I really feel would be to abuse the privilege of leaving comments on your blog. LOL! I’m so far beyond “disturbed” by what I see that the only thing that I keep telling myself is that perhaps many years from now I’ll be able to say that I witnessed and lived through an extremely turbulent political time and witnessed the chaos of the most personally insecure and psychologically troubled President we’ve ever survived. I was in high school during the Vietnam War protests, and now as a fairly newly minted senior citizen this is the bookend to that start in my political life. I am fairly obsessed with watching the “train wreck,” and I really should look away…soon my husband is going to take the television remote and hide it!

    Liked by 1 person

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