Friday, January 20, 2017

A Change in Direction – Inauguration 2017


And so the 2016 Presidential Election have finally came to an end. Donald J. Trump was elected by the Electoral College, beating Hillary Clinton despite her having more popular votes. Unfortunately for Clinton the president is selected by the Electoral College, not the overall popular vote.

Today I watched the inauguration for most of the day. I had to laugh a bit at all the people saying not to watch it, or coming up with ideas such as leaving their television sets on because it would “drive Trump crazy” over low ratings. Ignoring the fact that they efforts wouldn’t have had any bearing on the ratings,

I have news for them. Trump couldn’t care less. He was the one with his hand on the Bible. It he who took the Oath of Office. It is he who will be sleeping in the White House tonight.

People are already comparing photos of today’s crowds with those of Barack Obama’s first inauguration, using that as some kind of indication that  nobody was there.

It makes no sense to compare the two. First off, the weather was terrible compared to way back in 2009. But, beyond that, you cannot compare the inauguration of the first African-American president with today’s event.

The 2009 crowd, estimated to be around 1.8 million people was the single largest event crowd ever in assembled in the United States. But, let’s be honest. How many of those people were there because he was the first African-American president? I don’t say that to be mean or racist. It’s on honest question. Heck, if I lived on the East Coast I might’ve even made the effort to be there.

Don’t get me wrong. I was not a Trump supporter. But, I look at all these efforts to somehow diminish the situation, or even somehow reverse it, and shake my head. He will be the president of the United States for at least the next four years, unless he resigns or is impeached and removal from office. 

Let him have his day today. Tomorrow will be a new day, and the first day of the 2020 Presidential Election campaign.

So what did I take from today’s speech and festivities?

When Trump was inside the Capital he ha a glazed look on his face. The same look that he had back in November when it first hit him that he’d won the election. That night he seemed rather magnanimous in his victory speech, and more subdued. I was wondering whether he would repeat that today. Turned out to be not so.

The speech was less of an inauguration speech, and more of a campaign speech with some of the words tweaked for the occasion. I said that to myself just a few minutes in. None of the political commentators said the same thing until legendary Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward did a few hours later, which was reassuring.

The president usually uses the speech as an opportunity for reconciliation throughout the country. Not so with this speech.

Trump painted a rather gloomy picture of the current state of the American country, and went on to pledge to eradicate ISIS from the face of the Earth.

I’m hoping that I am wrong. But, after hearing that statement I’m going to predict there will be “boots on the ground” within Syria and western Iraq by the end of 2017. Those of you who voted for the man and have children of prime drafting age should be saying your prayers now because efforts to reestablish the draft cannot be far behind.

Trump has made known some of the goals during his first 100 days in office.

Obamacare, in its current form, will be going away. But, the question is what will be left? The Republican controlled government is ready to repeal Obamacare with nothing to immediately replace it. But, there are undercurrents that this might not happen immediately. In fact, the first executive order signed was to “ease the burden” of Obamacare. What that exactly meant is unclear, and nobody is talking tonight.

The item with the biggest impact on our nation for the long term is filling the vacancy in the U.S. Supreme Court created by the death of Anton Scalia.

As of last fall Trump had a list of twelve candidates he considered to be his short list. Hopefully, he has had unofficial conversations with those people so that the list is whittled down to two or three names, and we can move forward.

Mind you I’m not suggesting there should be a rubber stamp of whomever he places into nomination. But, I’m hoping the opposition can be mature enough to have their hearings, and then vote.

Tonight Trump took a few moments to rail on the press. I had hoped the rhetoric was going to slow down. But, it hasn’t. I can’t even blame it on a few too many celebratory glasses of champagne since Trump does not drink alcohol.

My prayers for the next few days is that protests will be peaceful. You have an absolute right to protest. But, you do not have the right to willfully take a baseball bat or ball pin hammer to a store front. If you do not want to police breaking up a protest then police yourself. It is the anarchists amongst you who are forcing them to react.