Today, I watched what should always be — and thank God, was today — a celebration by all Americans of an event that for 240 years has occurred once every four years in this country. The focal point of the event itself is the inauguration of a newly-elected President, but the much more important part of the overall sequence of events is a celebration of the peaceful transition of power in this country.
In a way, this post might be considered an epilog to my recent post Illegitimate? Really?. I’m publishing it because it became even clearer to me today that the thoughts I expressed in that post need expansion on one point: that all Americans, regardless of their personal ideology, and regardless of whether their personal ideology is the same as that of the President or the “party in power”, should consider it their privilege to share in this celebration.
Interestingly, an article in the USA Today section of the [Nashville] Tennessean this morning was a reminder of why we should celebrate this event regardless of whether we are happy or disappointed with the results of the election that gave rise to it. I refer to this little “Briefs” item:
ETHIOPIA CELEBRATES TIMKAT
TROOPS ENTER GAMBIA TO FORCE OUT JAMMEH
A West African regional force charged into neighboring Gambia late Thursday to support the country’s newly inaugurated president, while longtime ruler Yahya Jammeh showed no sign of stepping down.
The troops moved in shortly after Adama Barrow was inaugurated at Gambia’s embassy in neighboring Senegal, after a final effort at diplomatic talks with Jammeh failed to secure his departure. His mandate expired at midnight. — The Associated Press
Think about that. Here, in America, despite some protests and voices of dissent, a peaceful transition of power has taken place today. No military was required to force the outgoing leader to relinquish that power. He did it voluntarily and graciously because that’s what we do in this great country.
About a third of the Democrats in the House of Representatives boycotted today’s inauguration event. I hope they realize how foolish they looked. To them, and to the Colin Kaepernicks and the property-destroying demonstrators [NOT the peaceful ones], a pox on all of them!
For whatever it’s worth, I would be writing these same thoughts if the shoe was on the other foot from my perspective — i.e., if Hillary Clinton had won the election [regardless, I might add, of whether by Electoral College only or by both it and the popular vote] and had been inaugurated today and a third of Republicans were boycotting this event [or any Republicans, for that matter].
When Democrats, and practically everybody in the media, were so clearly anticipating a Clinton victory last November, they were all with one voice in excoriating Donald Trump for not saying clearly that he would accept the results of the election “no matter what” — their mantra: “The peaceful transfer of power is a bedrock of our system of government”. Well, as Captain Picard [for those who are Star Trek fans will identify with] would say: “Make it so”!
Charles M. Jones