We’re going to survive this, people
This month we will inaugurate a new president.
This has been done 44 previous times, and for the most part, we have survived ALL of them.
I have been told though, from some VERY reliable sources on MSNBC, that this is the one that will probably “do us in.”
Not just “do us in,” but “pack-up-the-kids, arrange-to-water-the-outdoor-plants-and-stop-the-newspaper” kind of “do us in.”
Now, the “storm-is-a-coming” crowd has told me in no uncertain terms that shortly, civil rights, reproductive rights and every other hard-fought liberty will soon to be replaced, as the orange-tinged billionaire tweets his way to a most excellent America. The new America comes complete with a tremendous new Statue of Liberty dipped in gold and modeled after Vanna White, and a complex system of regional reality-based beauty pageants will replace Congress (maybe not a terrible thing, on second thought).
However, luckily for me, just before I was ready to roll away to my new Canadian wonderland with Cher, Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber, I clicked over to Fox News and found out I didn’t have to leave after all.
High-paying, low-skill manufacturing jobs were coming back, schools would be improving, costing less and coming with coupons for free car washes, and I won’t have to lock my door anymore because only really terrific people would be coming across the wall to America.
Now truthfully, I was a bit confused. It was like I wasn’t sure which part of Oz I was going to be living in under the Great and All Powerful. Would it be the part where the evil trees and flying monkeys throw apples at you, or the part where I get a fabulous pair of ruby pumps and houses fall on those who try to sneak into the Emerald City without a green card?
So I decided to do the only thing I could think of — which is nothing at all.
I thought I would just kind of lie back and watch what happens, hoping the new president will look at the truths we all hold as self-evident. I think when you strip away all of the rhetoric, we have some fundamental areas that we can all agree on, and I believe President Trump will too.
We need security from threats, both foreign and domestic. We need all people to be treated equally, regardless of race, religion or gender. We need people to be able to engage in all forms of free speech, whether they are popular or not, AND be able to protect ourselves from a government that would limit those rights without due process. We need to respect the rule of law and make sure it is applied justly, without prejudice. Respect religions, but not elevate one over another, and for God’s sake, learn how to laugh at the concept that every day, 330 million people try to find a way to make it all work.
We also need to realize that we are not defined by who we voted for and that we still have far more in common with our neighbor than could ever separate us. An awful lot of people did not vote for the new president, but under the process that we have used for about 240 years, he is still the president, like it or not.
I guess that means we are all going to have to take a deep breath and see what happens, so try to stay informed.
Look, you never know what is going to happen. One day William Henry Harrison was standing on the steps of the Capitol taking the oath of office in 1841 and 31 days later, John Tyler was the new president — and America somehow survived.
By Todd Lancaster
Todd writes local sports for a living, but would rather be collecting and playing vintage guitars. Follow him on Twitter at @blasterdog.