I'm disappointed because I had hoped (obviously naively) that the man, once cloaked with the awesome responsibility of being the "Leader of the Free World" would ultimately appreciate the massive burden he has undertaken and the need for him to rally our nation to unify towards accomplishing the many goals we seek to achieve. As I watched the inauguration, I didn't give a damn about the size of the crowd (threats of rain may have kept many away). I mean, how many great sporting events have we witnessed only to become "classics" yet a small crowd actually witnessed it in person? The size of the crowd does not reflect the impact of the game - and it doesn't as well to the Inauguration. I have not been to a presidential inauguration, I have always watched them on TV. My viewing was not to be counted in some sort of "ratings" game, but instead to observe the time-honored American tradition of peacefully transferring the awesome power of a democratically elected Commander In Chief to another. I then listen closely to the message delivered to the country and the world from our new president. Again, I alone am watching from the confines of my home, not from the Mall in Washington, D.C. So what did I see? I saw a lost opportunity, and not only one.
What I heard was a new president calling for all Americans to embrace a new era of government working for the little guy. I heard a new president state that America would be "Great Again" by putting "America First!" What I actually heard was a campaign speech filled with populist rhetoric having little to no relation to the reality President Trump is creating in the White House. As he castigated Clinton repeatedly on the campaign trail for her expensive speech before Goldman Sachs, this president opted to hire not one Goldman Sachs executive but three. Wow, that's cleaning the swamp right? Instead of "draining the swamp", President Trump has deepened and widened it. (See: www.esquire.com/news-politics/videos/a51539/seth-meyers-trump-cabinet-goldman-sachs/).
Next his speech - it addressed the issue of taking up the interest of Americans that have seemingly been lost or forgotten. I'm okay with that. But the "America First" position reminds me far too much of the nativist, Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Semitic, Isolationists of past "America First" supporters. With the "Alt-Right" influences in the Trump Administration, this makes me slightly uncomfortable - no matter how innocent the sentiment may appear in a presidential speech. (See: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America_First_Committee).
Then there were the protesters breaking windows at Starbucks and engaging in various mayhem in D.C. Who were these people? A friend of mine posted on Facebook that "this is how Democrats protest!" Except, no one knows who these morons are. So why so quick to label them "Democrats"? In response, I commented "Democrats are marching tomorrow!" (Referring to the Women's March). Am I the only one to see the partisan crap in this statement? How is it that so many now are chastising so many for not giving Trump their undying support by "at least giving him a chance" while they engage in collective amnesia relating to the horrible disrespect they gave (or silently acquiesced to) when it came to Obama? No, the real Democrats marched yesterday on Washington and throughout the world in support of Women's Rights. And to add to the cynical right wing angst? Comments claiming the Women's March was a sign of "Socialism" and "Left-Wing Extremism" because many women opposing Abortion were (allegedly) not allowed to march. As of this writing, I can find no evidence this is true, but many Conservatives don't seem to care about actual facts anymore, as long as "their team wins"! Which makes them just as bad as the "libtards" they claim to be better than. This folds nicely into President Trump's obsession that not only was his election "historic" but so was the size of the crowds at his inauguration. He again attacked the media for being "dishonest", all the while having his Press Secretary outright lie while engaging in a verbal beatdown of the Media. Instead of mentioning the peaceful march and the concerns of the millions involved, a riled president thinking HIS day to shine was tarnished so he childishly lashes out against the media, both personally while visiting the CIA and through his Press Secretary. Another opportunity lost to prove he understands the magnitude of the position of the presidency. (See: www.politico.com/story/2017/01/john-brennan-trump-cia-langley-233980. See also: www.politico.com/story/2017/01/trump-media-sean-spicer-233977). Don't think for one second this is an isolated instance. President Trump and his advisors are carefully crafting a message designed to de-legitimize the free media in an effort to create a massive disinformation campaign - all designed to promote his agenda at the expense of our democracy. How can I say this? Attacking a free press with "alternative facts" is not an honest discourse. It is based upon deception and manipulation. And it seems to be working - just look at Trump supporters blindly following this agenda without taking blinders off - blinders put in place by their own egocentric ideologically driven tribalism. (See: www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/wh-spokesman-gave-alternative-facts-inauguration-crowd-n710466).
The most disconcerting aspect of this all? If the president and his administration are so wound up about crowd sizes and negative commentary that they lash out with false claims and lies, what can we expect if and when something actually serious is happening? Will we ever get the straight scoop from our government? Just look at the Trump supporters on social media - all attacking all media as "dishonest" while embracing the manipulative authority government propagandists use (straight out of Bannon and Putin's playbook). Divide and conquer -it's an old concept, yet one that still works. It is outright dangerous to our democracy and already
"in play" on Day One of the Trump Era - and seemingly embraced by Conservatives against, well - anyone that disagrees.
What really troubles me though is the impression that President Trump has no appreciation for the high office he now holds. As long as President Trump and his Administration think by winning an election, they have all the power and those that oppose him none, we have a problem. The president is not someone who has won control of the country because of an election. He has won a representative position requiring him view all Americans as equals, whether they voted for him or not. Not only does he represent us, he actually now works for us. We are not to be treated as if we are now his employees. We are to be treated as his new employers! As employer citizens, we have the ultimate right to use his now famous words - "YOU'RE FIRED!".
As President Harry S. Truman once wrote; "In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves... self-discipline with all of them came first." Perhaps it is time for President Trump to "get over himself" and instead start paying attention to the self-discipline required to hold the most powerful position in the Free World. Only then will his legacy move to higher ground. Have a great week!