Today, January 20, 2017, Donald J. Trump will place his hand on the Lincoln Bible, and take the oath of office to become the 45th President of the United States.
Exactly 8 years ago, I wrote a similar post to this one, regarding the 44th President, Barack H. Obama, that can be read here.
There is a lot of similarities in my feelings regarding these two men, even though those opinions are separated by 8 years, large policy difference, and two completely different political parties.
This is what I said about Obama at the time:
I for one did not support the election of Mr. Obama. That said, even for me this moment is one to behold. Unlike many minorities, I have always believed in my heart that I would see a member of a racial minority elected president; I only wish it were a Republican! I never had a doubt in my mind that this would happen in my lifetime, unlike many in our society and in the mainstream media who proclaimed they never believed it would happen. Maybe it is a generational difference; I think most in my generation are proud, but not surprised, that we elected an African American President. I think there is also a divide among African Americans and the rest of American society. My African American friends still believe Obama’s election is surreal, that it can’t be happening. This is even more so with older African Americans, especially those that lived through the civil rights era of the 1960s. But ultimately, most people I know, even most Republicans who don’t support Mr. Obama’s policies, are proud that we were able to elect an African American to lead us.
Even now, after all the disunity that Mr. Obama caused with his policies over 8 years, I feel very much the same way. Obama’s legacy may be damaged, but the fact the US was able to elect a minority to the highest job in the land is something that shows the continual maturity of our great nation.
I concluded my piece about Obama’s Inauguration this way:
Don’t get me wrong. Mr. Obama is the American President. He is my president. I wish him no ill; in fact, if he does spectacularly, I will seriously consider voting for him in 4 years. But that does not mean that he should not be criticized. In fact, it is patriotic to criticize anyone and everyone who you disagree with politically. The political dialogue improves the country.
So, on this historic day, I wish Barack and Michelle Obama, and their two lovely daughters, all the congratulations and best wishes in the world. They will need our best wishes for what lies before them. And I hope Americans remember that the political fight is what makes us the greatest democracy in the world. I will fully support Mr. Obama when I agree with him, and fight tooth and nail when I don’t. I don’t think President Obama would want to have it any other way. As my hero, and Barrack Obama’s, Abraham Lincoln wrote to Horace Greeley on August 22, 1862,
I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views…I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men, everywhere, could be free.
Again, the similarities to today are stunning. I did not support Mr. Trump, but he is still my president. I wish him the best, and if the does a superb job, I will seriously consider voting for him in 4 years. Note that Mr. Obama was not able to achieve that goal, as I voted for Mitt Romney in 2012.
I hold to the standard that it is patriotic to criticize any person in power, and the more dialogue and discussion we have, the stronger this nation will be. I hope that Trump and the Republican party, who defended dissent for 8 years, holds to that philosophy.
And finally, I wish Donald Trump and his entire family congratulations, and nothing but the best wishes for the years to come.