Thursday, January 19, 2017

Tomorrow the 45th President of the United States Donald Trump will be sworn in.  Needless the say this past election has stimulated a wide range of emotions.  I attended the inauguration eight years ago when President Barack Obama was elected.  It was a very cold day, but I could feel the excitement and optimism.  My thoughts at the time that his presidency would stoke the best and worst of the country simultaneously.

The fact that he was elected and excitement surrounded it represented the best.  The clear resentment from some and how that would play out were my concerns.  It was later reported that on the night of Barack Obama’s inauguration, a group of top GOP luminaries quietly gathered to create the outline of a plan for how to deal with the incoming administration.  After three hours of strategizing, they decided they needed to fight Obama on everything. Obama had no idea what the Republicans were planning.

I have grown increasingly frustrated with partisan politics.   I’m displeased at both major parties throwing labels at each other.  The left this and the right that.  Our society has evolved and people do not care to be put in a box regarding how they view issues.  The Republicans have become nauseating.  As a black man living in this country the lack of acceptance and understanding of issues pertaining to minorities is plainly obvious.  It’s so sad that I can listen to a politician holding office, surrogate, or political commentator speak on any issue and know their political affiliation before a "D "or "R" appears on the screen next to their name.

When the water crisis made news in Flint, MI I assumed the governor was a Republican, it was.  When the continued issue of voter id in the south, Alabama for example, I assumed the governor was Republican, it was.  There was Republican pressure on President Obama to approve the Dakota pipeline affecting Native American sacred burial grounds.

The Republican party would be the party that would have a Donald Trump win their nomination and the appointments he has made such as Jeff Sessions as Attorney General with his track record on civil rights issues, Dr. Harry Carson for HUD with no experience in housing, or Betsy Devos for Secretary of Education with no experience in public education. 

For Donald Trump to have a campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” and that not be offensive to all Americans with our history was very disappointing.  Again means we want to go back to something.   What is that?   

“I’m actually old enough to remember the good old days, and they weren’t all that good in many ways,” he said at a rally in Orlando. “That message where ‘I’ll give you America great again’ is if you’re a white Southerner, you know exactly what it means, don’t you?”

Karen Tumulty of the The Washington Post reminded us how Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush had used “Let’s Make America Great Again” in their 1980 campaign.

I was frustrated with the Democratic Party with its insistence that Hillary Clinton be the nominee.  As it became apparent with the email hacking to suppress Bernie Sanders that they didn’t want her to have strong opposition.  After winning the nomination her complacency in not visiting a state such as Wisconsin on the campaign trails was costly.  I was concerned about Clinton fatigue since her and husband former President Bill Clinton have been in the public eye for so long that voters were just tired of them.

The Democratic party’s lack of identity and leadership is evident.  I’m more confident that they are the party that is more reasonably minded and acknowledge the issues that face this country.  They are more inclusive with diversity in leadership.  If the midterm elections during President Obama’s two terms were not a wake up call, Trump’s election better be.

The last eight years I have paid closer attention to local elections.  I’ve always voted when a local offices were at stake, but with many of the events that transpired across the country I’ve gained more understanding of how important those officials are.  Many of the issues that we are not pleased with start at the local level.  

Donald Trump ran a divisive campaign and it worked!  Hillary Clinton did secure three million more votes than Trump, but if you remove California and New York Trump secured three million more votes than Clinton and won 30 out of 50 states.

Donald Trump is a win at all cost person.  Over the years there have been stories on his business dealings and the damage he has left behind.  He saw an opportunity to tap into those that never wanted President Obama to be elected and those that did vote for him who were not pleased with their circumstances after his two terms.

Alexandra Pelosi did a documentary during the 2008 campaign, “Right America:  Feeling Wrong”.   Pelosi visited 28 states and spoke about the fight for the soul of the country with mostly conservative Americans, who feel underrepresented by the mainstream media.  

"The way the press handles the election, we feel like our side's never being really represented, never really given a fair shake," says one man. "It's almost like they think of us as a bunch of hicks, a bunch of idiots. And they don't even wanna hear our side or understand us."

With the growth of social media we have a platform to express our feelings on anything we choose.  It has exposed issues such as police conduct with killings and incidents being filmed and posted.  At times I’ve read comments from articles and post and it is clear we are a divided country.

The division in the United States provides an opportunity.   Whether a person chooses to share their feelings on social media is a personal choice.  But what can’t be avoided is acknowledging the current climate.  We all must take a position.  I’ve heard stories and witnessed of how Trump’s campaign and election has caused strain in relationships between friends and families.  What has been internalized in the past is now more openly communicated.

It is not fair to paint all Trump supporters with a broad brush.  But his bigoted, sexist, and xenophobic rhetoric was not a deal breaker.   If Trump was a minority or woman he would not have gotten pass the first primary with his comments and tweets of all those he offended.

I’m past getting upset with politicians, celebrities and entertainers who reveal their position on a multitude of issues.  Thanks for letting me know.  We need to be the change we want to see and continue to fight for what is right and just for all.   It is time to take a stand.  I’m seeing the signs and hope it will continue while he is in office.

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