Hypocrisy is a permanent bedfellow of politics.
We see it in action now as those who support President-elect Donald Trump decry the protestors who took to the streets to protest his victory.
Many of those who bitch and moan about those who claim Trump “is not my President” were screaming the loudest in protests eight years ago when Barack Obama became America’s first African-American leader of our nation.
The loudest of those who screamed and yelled formed the tea party, a faux grassroots organization funded by the billionaire Koch brothers. The tea party’s roots then, and now, preached racism and defiance of the man who won.
Protest is an American right. Without protest, many of the gains this nation has made over the years would not have occurred. Women won the right to vote through protests that led to a new Constitutional amendment. It took a civil war to give black slaves basic American rights and their fight for real equality continues to this day.
Republican leaders in 2008 promised to make life as difficult as it could be for the new President then, just as Democrats now hope to inflict as much political harm as possible on Trump in the coming weeks and months.
Republicans in 2008 vowed to make Obama a one-term President. Didn’t happen. Democrats today vow to get rid of Trump in four years, or earlier if they can find a successful way to impeach him. Time will tell is their promises become reality.
Trump, who lies more often than any incoming President in memory, called the protestors “paid thugs,” based on a discredited Tweet. Trump should know about discredit and lies on Twitter. He has been the author of many tweets that lacked truth.
In today’s contentious society, too many Americans seem to forget that we live in a nation created by revolution and founded on the notions of diversity and differences of opinion.
As an American, I don’t like it when someone burns the flag of our nation, but I it is legal to do so and is a desired form of protest by many. So I shake my head and walk away.
When a National Football League player dishonors our national anthem and refuses to stand, I don’t like his actions but I accept his right to protest. If a protestor shouts that Trump is “not my President,” he or she has that right to feel that way. Their opinions are not a license to deport them.
A federal judge in Texas recently presided over the swearing in of new American citizens, then told those who didn’t like Trump to “go back to the country of your birth” if they felt that way.
Reported The Washington Post:
“I can assure you that whether you voted for [Trump] or you did not vote for him, if you are a citizen of the United States, he is your president and he will be your president,” Judge John Primomo said, according to CBS affiliate KHOU. “And if you do not like that, you need to go to another country.”
The feds suspended Primomo and he chose to retire rather than face further punishment. A federal judge should recognize and enforce the laws that support non-violent protest, not use his personal feelings to admonish those who came to our country seeking a better life for themselves.
As a newspaperman who has spent more than half a century observing and writing about politics, I have seldom felt any President was “mine.” I don’t support candidates for office. I recognize the office of the President as an institution that is bigger than the individual who serves there on a temporary occupant: Nothing more.
Presidents come and go. America remains. Donald Trump will challenge beliefs and traditions during his term of office, be it four years or eight. His administration will most likely seek to reverse many of the advances in rights, tolerance and acceptances that preceded. Only time will tell if his party’s attempts to swing American back to the right succeed.
He was elected by less than 50 percent of those who voted. More Americans voted for Hillary Clinton than for him but he has the Electoral College votes to become President. He comes into office as the most disliked President ever, according to polls.
Trump promises to make life difficult for those of us who try and cover the news. So be it. Barack Obama was not a transparent president. George W. Bush hid many things. He lied openly about why we went to war with Iraq. Bill Clinton enjoyed oral sex while talking on the phone with word leaders. We covered them all and will cover Trump. All of our Presidents were less than what we needed to run a nation but they were all we had and America endured.
America matters. The temporary occupants of the White House are bit players, nothing more.
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