Today is the day Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.
Many people are excited. Many people are angry. Some overjoyed. Some grieving. There are a host of emotions that have surrounded this day. Now that it’s here I came help but think how similar things were eight years ago.
President Barack H. Obama was the first black president in America. That is truly historic in a country where black people couldn’t even legally vote a short 50 years ago. I’d say that’s progress. On his inauguration day, I remember the feeling of pride. I was watching it on TV with my family. My grandfather, a 28 year Air Force veteran, stood and saluted the TV. I remember thinking, “Finally!! We aren’t just shooting and killing each other. We aren’t only here for people’s entertainment. No. We are just as intelligent as the next person. In fact, we have been thriving in America, through adversity, for years. We always knew we could excel.” All of these thoughts ran through my mind. Thus, I reflect fondly on President Obama’s inauguration day. However, as I was thinking about today’s events, it occurred to me that not everyone had this fond memory.
Somewhere else someone was sad. They were angry. They felt a feeling of despair with the incoming president. I know for a fact folks were mad at having a black man in office. That showed through his entire Presidency. At the same time, other people were mad about his politics. They felt President George W. Bush’s policies would be forsaken. How would the military be treated with a Democrat in office? Would the troops be pulled out of Afghanistan? So many questions and uncertainty.
Much like today.
I’m on the other end of the spectrum. It’s no secret I’m not a fan of the incoming President. Not because President-elect Trump is white. That’s par for the course in my world. It’s because I don’t like what he represents. Whether it be political or personal, I don’t like what he brings to the table. Maybe he’ll surprise me? I’m not sure. I know that I don’t want him to fail, though. If he fails, then the country is in dire straights.
The entire country. We rise together. We fall together.
The one thing that people fail to realize is the president is the president for everyone. This realization is missed on several levels. Even some legislation directly proves this statement. The difference between 2008 and now is President Obama felt personal to a lot of people. Much like President-elect Trump feels personal to a whole different group. The groups are spilt.
There was a time where the President was respected. Regardless of your color, you had respect for your leaders. When President Kennedy was assassinated, the whole country went into mourning. Fast forward to today, and you might see people in the streets rejoicing at the death of President Obama or President-elect Trump.
What a difference in character.
I concluded my comparison thinking life was so different, yet similar to eight years ago. We have a lot of praying to do, but we should have already been doing that.
Today, I probably won’t watch the inauguration. I won’t have the same feelings of pride. To be honest I’ll probably play my xbox. However, I won’t go into hiding. I’ll be paying attention. I want my country to succeed. To build on the successes of yesterday. To move forward for a better tomorrow. We can achieve.
Let’s excel together, America.