I turned on the TV. I probably shouldn’t have, but I did
I pulled up Facebook on my phone. I probably shouldn’t have, but I did.
I have been working late hours during the past several weeks, ensuring that the incoming administration has every bit of information at its disposal to do its job. I’ve seen fencing and bleachers and extra security around my office. I knew this day was coming for a long time. After all, a new President would be inaugurated, no matter who got elected.
So why am I sitting here in tears?
I had to explore my thoughts on this a little, which is primarily why I’m writing this post. On my phone (so don’t get all upset with any autocorrect errors). On my couch. In my pajamas.
Look, I’m not upset about who won. Trump legitimately won this election, and I sincerely hope he is a successful President.
Eight years ago I wasn’t upset with who won. I sincerely hoped Obama would succeed as well.
What upset me – and what upsets me today – is the pettiness, the ugliness, the nauseating drama that has accompanied this process – the process of a peaceful transfer of power in the strongest, greatest country in the world.
Eight years ago, I remember the savage gloating, the racist orgies of Obama supporters after he won the election.
Some fired gunshots, a felon accused cops of arresting him “because a black man won for president” and a teenager standing with throngs of passionate revelers used the opportunity to slap a police officer, Cook County prosecutors said.
“White bitches. F— McCain. You white police can’t do nothing,” 19-year-old Celita Hart taunted officers as she stood with a throng of Obama supporters in the 6900 block of South Western Avenue, Assistant State’s Attorney Lorraine Scaduto said in a court Wednesday. At some point, authorities said, Hart left the crowd, which had been chanting “Obama, Obama,” walked up to a squad car, and smacked a male officer in the face.
On the right, we had the moron birthers, extremist protesters, claiming Obama was the anti-Christ, and the creepy Klansmen, chiming in to somehow delegitimize the President.
Fast forward to today…
My social media feed is filled with bitterness and drama. There are links to stories about how much the inaugural concerts for Trump sucked compared with the ones for Obama. There are articles about how many evening gowns were sold, how big the crowds are, compared with Obama’s inauguration, and how morons are protesting – some violently – prompting crowd control measures, with one unhinged ignoramus setting himself on fire – protesting a man who won the election fairly, and hasn’t even assumed office yet!
I have to say, I hate the ostentatious displays of entertainment, drama, vapid lies, and petty criticisms.
Maybe it’s the immigrant in me. I don’t know. But I always thought that the peaceful transfer of power in the world’s leading nation should be more serious, more solemn, more dignified and stately…
…instead of the monkey show of pretentious flamboyance it has become.
The position of President of the United States is the most critical one in the world. We are the world leader – both economically and in the security arena. We are a nation of millions that every four years gathers to select the person who will essentially lead the world.
And instead of conducting this heady transfer with a modicum of class, dignity, and sobriety…
…we see people screeching about how he’s not their President, how they’re going to march in protest, how many celebrities are attending the inauguration, how many gowns were sold for the inauguration events, how the inaugural concerts sucked, making snide remarks about setting their clocks back 300 years, and SETTING THEMSELVES ON FIRE in protest of the peaceful transfer of power that’s supposed to take place today. On fire!
Again, maybe it’s my immigrant mentality, but I’m finding myself thanking my lucky stars that were not Gambia, where the incumbent has decided he’s just not leaving, refusing to step down and allow his duly-elected successor to assume the office.
I’m finding myself longing for some dignity and some gravitas to the event.
I’m wishing for some humility, because leading the most powerful country in the world should be a solemn responsibility, and it should be a humbling experience to be elected to do so.
I’m yearning for something that has been long gone – a recognition that being elected to lead this country is an honor and a massive responsibility. That it’s not about one person. That it’s no longer about who won or lost, but about the gigantic load the President has to bear – for everyone.
I wish the gloating, the drama, the gnashing of teeth, and the petty, inconsequential nitpicking would give way to a solemn recognition that this is a momentous, critical event – no matter who won the election.
But instead, all I see is tacky, red baseball caps, hysterical, classless political cartoons depicting Trump giving a “Sieg heil” salute, instead of putting his hand in the Bible at his swearing in, and shrieking harpies focusing on the least consequential issues of this day.