One such letter was printed in our local newspaper attacking those that are continuing to violently protest Donald Trump's election. The letter writer goes on to state that they "are ashamed our country is filled with so many people that ignore their privilege to be alive in America." The writer goes on further to assert that no matter how much they disliked President Obama, they are unaware of anything undertaken by Conservatives that could be viewed as less than completely "patriotic." They close with an admonition that those "violently opposing" President-Elect Trump should choose to leave America as they are "not real Americans" and that they should be "ashamed of their actions." Another letter writer opined that after eight years of Obama, those opposing Trump should simply "get with the program" instead of trying to argue he was not "legitimately elected." They go on to proclaim those "entitled snowflakes" should win an election instead of trying to change the rules of the elections (see hacking, attempts to change electoral college votes, etc.), because, well, Americans believe in "fair play" and "play by the rules!"
Am I so far removed to have missed the violent protests spreading across America against Mr. Trump? I know I have been trying to limit my television news viewing, but I am still reading a ton of articles on-line from reputable news sources, but where have I been to miss the "widespread violence" attributable to "spoiled losers" (their quote, not mine). I mean, I haven't witnessed a single violent protest yet. Ever wonder where folks get their impressions - even if totally wrong? In spite of blaming the "Left Wing Liberal Media" (cited in both letters), where have the letter writers been to witness this alleged violence? Could it be from the Right Wing Conservative Media? Seriously, I do not know, but the narrative that those opposing Trump somehow are "sore losers, snowflakes and Unpatriotic purveyors of senseless political violence" had to come from somewhere. Go figure? As far as the second letter writer who voiced their admonition that folks that vocally voice their opposition to Trump are somehow abusing their "privilege" certainly has missed the boat I call the USS Civil Rights. You see, the Bill of Rights doesn't simply include "privileges" but it does include "rights." There is a huge difference, whose nuance is obviously lost on the letter writer. Civil opposition in America goes back to Colonial days. If you think the Sons of Liberty were meek "loser snowflakes" then you need to go back to High School to learn real American history. Far too many Americans rely on revised history that eccentuate their belief systems. If you point this out, then you become the "loser."
This week someone posted on social media that Obama was the worst president in the history of the United States. When I replied that our "history" goes back quite a few years and that a few other presidents are considered by historians to be worse, their response was immediate - "Everyone is entitled to their opinion and yours is wrong!" Eventually, I pointed out that I have taught, researched, written and presented on American History, their response? "You are exactly what is wrong in America!" They then claimed being a retired professor of American History proved why my "opinion is skewed and is to be ignored." I ended it in typical fashion by identifying James Buchanan's hands-off approach to the impending Civil War, Andrew Jackson's impeachment, the Credit Moblier scandal that rocked the Grant Administration, Teapot Dome and the Veteran's Bureau scandals under Warren G. Harding and the Ohio Gang (to name a few). The respondent simply went dark. No reply. But why? I was not trying to assert my opinion as being "superior" but simply to better inform the uninformed when it comes to American History. Facts are sticky things, opinions in this modern Internet Age are simply worthless, unless those sharing the opinion actually have a foundation for making said pronouncements.
My bottom line? Although Donald Trump has been elected President of the United States, I hope him the best, but I also do not put him on a pedastal as an idol. Like the Framers of the Consitution, I expect every branch of government to continue as a Check and Balance to ensure there is a real separation of powers - as the Constituton demanded under Articles I, II and III. For those thinking I am new to criticising the president, there is a long list of archived blogs (along the right side of this page) where I have written slamming Obama for some of his actions. And if one believes "losers" should abide by the rules, I give you the North Carolina GOP that used a secret lame duck legislative session to neuter the power of the incoming governor - all because he is not a member of "their team." (See: www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/north-carolina-gop-tries-strip-powers-governor-elect-n696576). How's that for following rules, snowflakes?
And now that Mr. Trump and his GOP followers hold onto the Congress and the White House, perhaps it would be best for all Americans to be paying attention, regardless of what "team" you align with. As Patriot, Founding Father, Framer and former President, James Madison once wrote: "The truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted." So when folks say "their guy won" remind them we all have a new president, worthy of our support AND scrutiny - as power surely must be mistrusted. Have a great week, a safe and healthy holiday season and I will see you back here no later than January 11, 2017. Be well!