Monday, January 23, 2017

Only In America

Vasu Reddy from Chicago

One of the most endearing and fascinating aspect of the American democracy is the peaceful transformation of power after each presidential electoral cycle.  When Trump was sworn in as 45th President of the USA on January 20, 2017, the democracy was in full display.  Watching the living past presidents (with the senior president Bush and Barbara Bush unable to attend due to illness, and writing a wonderful welcome letter to Trump), President and Mrs. Carter, President and Mrs. Bush, President and Mrs. Clinton, and the newest entrant into the select group of past presidents, President and Mrs. Obama; all of them in the most exclusive club on earth walking into the inauguration and participating in the swearing in ceremony of a man who they did not support.  Their respect is for the ceremony and respect to the constitution in peaceful transfer of power, and the 1/20/2017 ceremonies in Washington DC were something that is true to the American democracy since its inception.  Before I type anymore, I am not sure if this will be the norm after Trump and his time as the president of the United States.  As before the election, and while getting elected, and during transition, Trump and everyone who is around him, are really out of the ordinary individuals, each without remorse or any sense of humility or decency while speaking of anyone else in the world.  With what the public know of these people and what they have displayed so far, there is no reason to expect anything else.  They simply attack, blame and bitch about Obama or Hillary or everything else as dishonest.

Trump is the president and the country and its electoral process made him the president.  For four years he is the president until something unconstitutional is attributed (which requires a very high degree of abuse of power), and people who put him there and people who did not put him there will have to hail to the chief.

Americans are referred to as “the Ugly American”, in general reference around the world (me belonging to the ugly American) but it is more in the attitude because of the superiority of the nation on global stage, rather than a personal reference.  Trump and people surrounding him are fantastic examples of the universal belief, they personify the fact how the world sees us, Americans.

While we honor the election and electoral process, Trump is really surrounded by the biggest bigots in America.  To start with Ryan, McConnell, Republicans in house and senate, governors, his opponents in the primaries and their supporters, his VP, and all the republican smiling faces around him, standing with folded hands behind him after his election are the biggest negatives for Trump.  The Democratic Party is ideologically opposed to any Republican president and they are now in the minority, just as the Republicans were when President Obama was elected the first time.  The political ideology is always going to be prevalent, just that the hypocrisy of the Republicans is on full display.  Trump is only guilty of exploiting every negative aspect of the Republicans in the country, and just achieving what he started out to become the President, and he did.

The country runs primarily on work, hard work and democratic way of life.  There is a sense of change when power changes hands between Democrats and Republicans and now it is the turn of the Republicans.  They will push their agenda just as the Democrats would, and there should be no surprise.  The president has a great influence on the tone of the political agenda, and if the President and the congress belong to the same party, then the imprint of the party platform is on for two years, or until people voice opinions against the government.  This time Republicans and Democrats have their own agendas, and Trump has his own.  Welcome to a new America, but the country will survive and will do what is best for the nation.  President, Congress, Senate and even the Supreme Court, and any elected and appointed institution is temporary, the nation and people are paramount.

Although very unusual for America, the democracy was in full display on January 21, 2017, Saturday, just one day after swearing Trump as the President, millions of people around the country, in this case around the world took to the streets protesting the policies and rhetoric of Trump and his people.  Trump and his team in the mean time keep blaming everyone for their success.  What is heartening is the day after millions marched voice support for their rights, and they were all peaceful and they were all simply stating their rights in a democracy.  Trump and his cohorts were simply hurling insults at everyone and playing hurt about the media coverage.  The beauty of today is that whatever we say is etched in stone (especially if you are a politician who loves to tweet), and it only becomes obvious when you contradict yourselves.  The next almost four years will be full of these, no doubt.

We will be fine, we will survive this and any other administration and we will continue to lead the world.  Democracy has a way of self correction and self indulgence, and no matter how individuals try to deviate the democracy, it will follow the course of freedom.

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