As I was watching the inauguration of the 45th president of United States, a couple of things hit me: This was the peaceful transition from one leader to another, and there was neither armed revolution nor attempt to assassinate the previous leader. Members of the new administration were coming in armed with briefcases, not bullets.
As I watched the various individuals come in, some famous, some important and others completely unknown to many, I was again reminded that these people were there because the American people, through a peaceful revolution – exercising their constitutionally protected right to vote – sent them there. If there were ever a national experience to illustrate the genius of our Founding Fathers and the system of government they created for us, this election and inauguration were it.
Many elections and inaugurations have come and gone, but to my way of thinking, this particular election has significantly reinforced the value of our Constitution and the rule of law that commends our nation to the world. Protests and displeasure notwithstanding, the wonder of our governing system is something worth contemplation. We should never lose sight of this gift and should be grateful always to be born in such a country as America.
People from all across the 50 states, from top political leaders to my grandson, as a media personality, were there to witness the new president take the oath of office to serve the American people. Yes, the military was there in force, but servicemen and women all had on dress uniforms and, with the exception of the required security forces, were unarmed.
As I watched, I was also reminded that this is the president of the United States. I looked up that word, “united”: joined together politically, for a common purpose, or by common feelings. Isn’t that the essence of America’s greatness – joined together politically for a common purpose? What is that political purpose, and have we somehow lost sight of the end result of that “common purpose”?
As I contemplated this, I could not help but be reminded of the number of American elected representatives not attending the inauguration of our 45th president. If they have the best interests of those they represent at heart, should they not be actively involved in aligning with the incoming president to secure and ensure the best results for those they represent? Otherwise, to what are they primarily committed? Their own personal displeasure or political party?
It was greatly disappointing to observe how many legislators did not have the insight or understanding to grasp what was really taking place during Friday’s changing of the guard. One wonders how they ever got elected to their positions of leadership if their decision to absent themselves from the democratic process was based on such a limited knowledge base. Their constituents should take notice.
Let me ask you, in your honest – not political – opinion: What do you think Abraham Lincoln meant when he made the statement, “government of the people, for the people, by the people shall not perish …”? And why do you think we have three separate but equal branches of government? On whose shoulders rests the responsibility for the implementation of said government? Should a congressman or senator spend decades in government service without the knowledge, consent and permission of the governed?
What do you think the Founders had in mind when they declared independence from the British? More of the same? Being ruled by an elite minority in Washington? Or being served by public servants who are there at the will, and with the approval, of “We, the People”?
As I watched Donald J. Trump being sworn in as our next president, and all the hoopla accompanying his inauguration, I was acutely aware that this man was there because the American system of government was in full operation. Without the gift of a republic form of government, we would not be the nation that we are today.
The people have spoken and not a shot was fired. That is, indeed, something to celebrate. So, the end result on Jan. 20 was as Lincoln envisioned: government of the people and by the people.