By Dr. T
The more things change…the more they stay the same is “a hard pill to swallow” and yet continues to be an inescapable reality in this country as we stand on the precipice of yet another historic election. The circumstances surrounding the election of Donald J. Trump to the highest office in the land will be studied and scrutinized for years to come and even now face a myriad of federal and congressional investigations as the new President-Elect takes the oath of office at the end of this week. The divisiveness and resistance to who Donald J. Trump is and what he represents will make him the most unpopular man to take the oath of office on inauguration day. And yet, this is the man who will be our nation’s 45th President following the historic and consequential Presidency of Barack Hussein Obama, our nation’s first African American elected to the office.
The lived experience of one of these men demonstrates his dedication to empowerment, equal rights, inclusion, and social justice while the other does not. One is a man of high moral character with an impeccable and unquestioned integrity. One of these men has a lifetime of service to disenfranchised communities, underserved and marginalized people, and the other does not. And yet, it seems the man about to lead the nation has strengths in other areas, most notable his business acumen, that do not require him to be open or without the “appearance” of wrongdoing. He does not have to be honest, temperate or circumspect in his pursuits, nor a leader beyond reproach. No. The standards formerly applied to others in high office and public service have been adjusted downward for this man, and the lines of what is acceptable, legal and tolerable in the name of political expediency and “making America great again” have clearly been blurred.
We have clearly taken steps forward in the context of our history as a nation. Progress has indeed been slow, and many might say CHANGE has been incremental. But, however sluggish or incremental that change has been, we cannot deny its importance to us, and impact on us. As we move into the next days, months or years of this new administration we recognize that the urgency of the moment requires our attention. We have a moral obligation to not allow the freedom and liberty we now enjoy as American citizens, to be in any way compromised, diminished or undermined by an Administration led by a man who has demonstrated the emotional capacity of an adolescent throwing a temper tantrum by way of social media. His propensity to pick fights and make policy through 140 character TWEETS, demean and denigrate the high office he is about to hold. No one is compelling the President-Elect to participate in this child-like behavior; he alone has demonstrated his unprecedented lack of self-control and immaturity. Although he too is a citizen and has every right to his 1st amendment right to freedom of speech, he must never allow his infamous reputation for self-promotion and self-preservation to trump his obligation to make the nation and the people of this nation his first priority.
He needs our prayers. The oath of office he is about to take by placing his hand on the Bible will be the most significant and consequential of his lifetime. Will that oath be as important to Donald Trump as the consequences of it will be for all of the citizens he swears to serve? I don’t know. 3 steps forward and 2 steps back is what I expect. I just hope and pray it’s only 2 steps and not a whole staircase.