The recent presidential campaign gave me inspiration for a handful of columns last year.
Today’s will contain my first comments on the political scene since President Trump was inaugurated scarcely two weeks ago.
And what a fortnight it has been.
The casual observer from a different planet might find it difficult to distinguish between the campaign, with its steady stream of nasty vitriol, and these first days of the new administration.
Shortly after noon eastern time on Jan. 20 , President Donald J. Trump made his inauguration speech, taken straight from the files of his campaign speeches. He pulled no punches as he lambasted, without naming names, political elites sitting right there on the platform with him.
I guess you have to give him credit for, once ascending to the highest office in the land, remaining the person he was as he sought it.
The weekend following the inauguration, women (and some men, although it was billed as a women’s march) marched on Washington (and in other cities across the country), protesting policies yet to be instituted, rallying under the banner of such notables as Madonna, whose charming speech included assorted bleep-words and her thoughts about blowing up the White House.
That would be called terroristic threatening and/or hate speech in many circles, but she moved on after mild chastening and a very weak “explanation” of what she, supposedly, really meant.
Those several days also included very important debate over the very important matter of numbers of folks at the inauguration vs. the numbers of protesters, as well as promises from the president to investigate voter fraud in the election that he had, uh, just won.
He soon got right down to the business of keeping his campaign promises, getting started on that wall between the U.S. and Mexico (alienating Mexico’s president in the process) and causing worldwide near-chaos and confusion with his travel moratorium for those traveling from certain Muslim countries.
His comment following that? Something along the lines of having had a really good day.
He took to prime time television to announce his Supreme Court nominee, tapping into his reality show experience as he brought the two finalists to the White House, keeping everyone in suspense until he marched the winner out to the podium with him.
Not surprisingly, Democrats have pledged to block the nomination. That would be on the grounds of simple spitefulness, but if we are being fair, we have to admit it’s in somewhat understandable revenge for the Republicans’ refusal to even begin confirmation of President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland last year. What’s good for the goose …
And as I come up on my deadline, some of the most recent news (and I use that term loosely) about President Trump centers around his attendance at the National Prayer Breakfast, with his address including comments about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s poor ratings as his successor on “Celebrity Apprentice.” (The two had previously goaded each other through Twitter after Schwarzenegger announced he would not be voting for Trump).
Again, we are talking matters of great importance here.
All of the preceding is observation. The following is editorial comment:
Could Democrats and Trump detractors (and I count myself among the latter) get over themselves and accept the outcome of the election?
You can say “not my president” all you want, but you would be incorrect. He was elected pursuant to the laws of this nation, so yes, if you are a citizen of this nation, then he is, say it with me, the President of the United States. And that means he is YOUR president. OUR president.
Nobody requires you to like it. I don’t like it. But I can’t deny the election results. Rant, rave and protest all you like, but please, don’t say things that aren’t true.
And by the same token, could the new president possibly begin to act maybe the slightest bit presidential? Could he, perhaps, cease the war of words being conducted on social media and not dignify asinine remarks by responding in an equally asinine fashion?
Could he possibly consider consequences of his actions, with a good start being acting as if he cares one bit that people who were travelling into this country legally, including allies who had given aide to the U.S., got stuck in airports and/or had to board return flights because of the aforementioned travel moratorium?
And could members of both political parties in Congress possibly begin to try to work on matters of importance to this country and be Americans first and Democrats/Republicans second?
Rhetorical questions, all. One can only hope.
A work colleague of mine said we might not know what we are in for over the next four (or eight) years (although we are getting a pretty good idea), but we can be certain it will be entertaining.
Yes, I suppose you could call it that.
Bob McKinney is a longtime Brentwood resident, husband of one, father of three and father-in-law of two. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.