After spending another episode in the hospital, I was “lucky” enough to view the entire inauguration proceedings all day. I came back with these observations.
One can never take for granted the ability to transfer government power so smoothly at such a high level of democracy. However, this time the transfer was not done as peacefully as it has been in the past. A mass march of women on Washington followed the next day. There was some violent protest on the streets of our major cities. This was probably the reaction of Mr. Trump’s treatment of women in the past.
It is also our right to be able to voice our concerns related to future policies. This was the first time I was aware of such reaction at an inauguration.
President Trump’s speech does not seem to be one that will go down in history as anything memorable. It seemed more like a continuation of his overall campaign. He has appealed to many white voters who seem extremely angry. They are angry for various reasons. They are angry about losing jobs. They are angry about people who could or have already taken their jobs away. These are jobs that have migrated overseas or have been eliminated here at home. They see Donald Trump as someone who can save them.
These people are also tired of politicians. They are tired especially of politicians who talk and never deliver. They see Trump as an outsider who could deliver, even though there has been no specific plans made in the offering. All we have to do is trust.
The pomp and pageantry of the ceremony caught my attention. That factor seemed much greater than the speech itself. The bands and the singing of the national anthem were impressive. That will not be enough, however, too pull our country together. It will not bridge the divisiveness which so surrounds us today.
We seem to be at a crisis of leadership in our world both at the national and state levels as well.
The patriotism exhibited at the ceremony was to be applauded. It seemed, however, that it was a type of attitude which left no room for disagreement or dissent. It was more like the “love or leave it” of a bygone era. That kind of speech makes many of us cringe with concern.
The America First emphasis did not unnecessarily alarm me, until I recalled my reading from World War II. There were those who felt America could defeat the Nazis without the help of our Allies. Is there anyone around who believes we can defeat ISIS and international terrorism without an alliance and help from other countries? If we believe that, we are just fooling ourselves.
The other growing concern has to do with President Trump’s foreign investments. His failure to reveal his tax returns was a major issue in the election.
A full disclosure would give an air of certainty to the general public who might have some doubts, doubts as to whether business interests might somehow supersedes national interests. A clean break from past connections might have been advisable. It would allow him to have at least the perception of being president of all the people.
The speech itself said all the right things. I felt it did little to calm the fears of so many groups who have a stake in our nation. The issue of immigration hangs over every conversation today. That really has not been addressed other than to say a wall will be built and they will pay for it.
Simple answers are not what the United States is looking for.
Although I am like many citizens who want to give the president a chance to succeed, I do feel uncomfortable with his speech, his demeanor, and his overall attitude. I guess I was looking for more of a visionary leader who could bridge the gaps of ideas and conversations which continue to divide us. We need someone as a calming force who could speak to the critical issues facing our nation.
We cannot go back, we must go forward. The challenge is still there. It is not too late, but the nation is waiting desperately for his confidant and calm leadership. That factor needs to be displayed in the first 100 days or it will be a very long four years.
— Dwight Goering lives in Moundridge.