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Why I Won’t Be Watching Trump’s Inauguration

I’ve been contemplating whether or not to write another political post. Should I or shouldn’t I? And what do I say at this point anyway? I shared my feelings of disappointment about the recent election result in an earlier post. Here it is over two months later, and maybe I should be feeling better about things, but I’m not. What about you?

I’ve been fairly successful at tuning out most political news coverage since election day. It’s too upsetting for a lot of reasons for me to watch. So yes, I’ve mostly kept my head in the sand regarding political news coverage of late, perhaps some sort of self-preservation tactic.

After the above-mentioned post, I received only one unfriendly email in which I was scolded and told I should stick to my topic – cancer.

Am I not allowed to write about any other topics I care about?

I was also warned, but only once or twice, that I should be prepared to lose plenty of readers. As far as I can tell, I only lost a handful, but of course, who really knows?

Most of you, my dear readers, were cordial even if you did not agree with me, so thank you. After all, I write for validation, yes, but I also write hoping to help those who do not agree with me better understand where some of the rest of us are coming from.

Isn’t this the whole point of writing and reading what others write, regardless of the topic?

Recently, like some of you probably did, I watched the Golden Globes awards show including Meryl Streep’s moving speech. Almost immediately after she gave it, the backlash (as well as the praise) began and Meryl was basically told the same thing I was told, stick to what you know, in her case, acting.

Interesting parallel, don’t you think?

And then she was chastised for lecturing from her “elite pulpit”.

Since when did speaking from the heart while defending human decency become elitism?

Regardless, thank you, Meryl, for giving me that little nudge to go ahead and write another political post. I was inspired by your words.

It’s my hope that no matter what your views are about our soon-to-be-new president, you would want to understand how those who do not share your views feel too. This goes for both sides of the aisle. We must try to understand one another. And yes, I know this can be hard. Really hard. As always, I welcome discussion here too.

Like some of you, I am still struggling to understand. And I remain quite troubled.

I am still troubled that Mr. Trump will be our president in the first place. I am troubled by many of his cabinet appointments. I am troubled by his many (and mounting) conflicts of interest. I am troubled by that whole Russian hacking thing and Trump’s seemingly too cozy relationship with Putin. I am troubled by certain continuing behaviors that seem anything but presidential. I am troubled by Supreme Court appointments likely coming whose views will probably not align with mine. I am troubled by the GOP’s zealous, irrational desire to repeal the Affordable Care Act and do so quickly without a good alternative plan ready to go. I am troubled by the political divisiveness that is so prevalent in Washington, D.C., across this country and even within my own extended family.

I have never felt this troubled after an election in which my candidate lost. Never. And I am not proud to live in a state now branded as one that determined, in a big way, the unexpected outcome of the recent election.

I could go on and on, but I won’t because what’s the point, right?

I wish I could talk about all this unrest with my dad. He was so wise about these things, too. 

Recently my favorite historian, son #one, reminded me this country has survived some less than stellar presidencies, in fact, some very less than stellar ones. Then out of curiosity, I asked him who would be on his list of the five worst presidents. It made for a very interesting discussion. His list included mostly the usual – Buchanan, Pierce, Johnson (Lincoln’s successor), Filmore, Harding (though he disputes this one a bit) and Coolidge. (Okay, that’s six). As you probably know, the top five presidents are generally thought to be Lincoln, FDR, Theodore Roosevelt, Washington and Jefferson, although the order sometimes gets shifted around a bit. Think Mount Rushmore for four of them.

I know son #one is right. We’ll survive. I’ll survive. But is this good enough? Maybe. Maybe not.

Survival is important, of course. But lots of damage can still be done even when one survives.

Think cancer and cancer treatment. Plenty of collateral damage can and does happen as a direct result of harsh treatments.

Another interesting parallel, right?

Right now my major areas of concern, politically speaking, revolve around the Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court, women’s reproductive rights (I don’t want to go backwards, damn it!), the environment and global warming, education and international affairs.

I want to be optimistic, but again, I’m struggling.

This is why on January 20th, barring any other big news event, I won’t be watching inauguration ceremonies and festivities like I always have in years gone by. I’m boycotting. It’s going to be my way of protesting. And yes, I realize no one but me, my family and maybe some of you will care, but that’s okay. Doing so is going to make me feel better. I just don’t feel like celebrating. I feel like being quiet.

There are various protest marches and rallies scheduled on and around Inauguration Day, and it is my hope they will all be peaceful and well-tolerated by everyone, regardless of political stance. After all, the right to peacefully protest is one of our fundamental liberties. Since I won’t be attending any of these planned events, my boycott will be my private protest.

When Mr. Trump is sworn in and becomes President Trump, I will try to keep an open mind and give him a chance. But I will not remain quiet and “stick to my topic” if I choose not to.

And then what?

I’m not sure. So much uncertainty is on the horizon. Things remain murky.

So, let’s try to come up with ideas for what I can do, what you can do, what any of us can do to become more politically involved, no matter what political party we are or are not affiliated with.

Because we all need to become more involved in determining who’s running our government and then holding them accountable, or at least I know I do.

I guess this is the silver lining in all this for me. (And I am not a fan of that whole silver lining concept).

So my next political post will include (hopefully) some concrete ideas for things we can all do to become more involved. If you have ideas, I would love to hear and share them.

Because if you live in America and no matter which party you align yourself with or which one is in charge at the moment, our government is exactly that – ours. 

President Barack Obama said it best in his farewell speech:

The most important office in a democracy:  Citizen.

President Obama, thank you for serving and thank you for continuing to inspire.

If you live in the US, how are you feeling now that Inauguration Day is here and do you plan to watch the coverage?

What ideas do you have to help us all become more involved and to hold elected officials more accountable?

If you live outside the US, how do you feel about our new President and what suggestions might you have regarding any of this?

Featured image above via washington.org (public domain)

 

Why I won't be watching Trump's Inauguration

Flag image via wikimedia commons.

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Becci

Monday 23rd of January 2017

Hi Nancy,

I am an Australian (ex breast cancer patient), living in Hong Kong. The day Trump won I cried out of fear first for your immigrants and minorities, then I cried out of fear for the world more generally. From a global perspective, I am extremely worried about him causing another global financial crisis or causing armed conflict. Like those of us who are afraid, I hope that my fears are unfounded. I have never been in the slightest bit concerned with who was in charge of the U.S. before, but Trump feels different, and dangerous to global stability (again I hope I'm wrong).

I have been getting a free ride off various newspaper's websites, so now I've subscribed to a couple of them as I think the press are going to need to get all the help they can get. I'm going to be more active communicating with elected officials in Australia - with positive feedback as well as voicing my disagreement if we take action in relation to this administration that I don't agree with. I'm going to more vocally support people who are standing up for what I see as right.

Finally - on protests. HK is a non democracy ruled by China which is presently split between citizens who are passionately fighting for democracy, and citizens very happy with the status quo. Unlike China, we have freedom of speech and a right to protest here - and it is used with great relish by the population (I'm sure China doesn't like it but they are stuck with it for a bit longer yet). The right to protest is very important to the well being of people in this society and peaceful protests have undoubtedly given the citizens here a voice on certain important issues, as well as sending a broader message to the world about the values of many of HK's citizens.

Good on you for speaking your mind thoughtfully and respectfully.

Nancy

Monday 23rd of January 2017

Becci, I appreciate hearing from someone who is living on the other side of the world. It is a global world and I'm concerned about what the rest of the world is thinking. There is so much uncertainty and there is definitely a ripple effect. I believe we'll be okay. I do. Our democracy is about the people; not one party, not one president, not one election cycle, not just this point in time. I think it's great you plan to be more active communicating with elected officials. I just got done calling one of mine regarding two cabinet picks I strongly oppose. It felt good to voice my opinion. I am glad you still have freedoms in HK. Those rights you mentioned are so important. Thank you for reading and sharing some perspectives.

Dino Myers

Sunday 22nd of January 2017

Nancy, I am sorry you are troubled by so many things about our new president. Now you know how the other half of us have felt for the past eight years. Yet we behaved with much more respect for the most part than we are seeing now with the protestors, the media and Hollywood. We look forward to the Supreme Court pendulum swinging back to the right and we know it will eventually swing the other way. I love most of his cabinet picks. I have not been this happy with a president since I voted for a Reagan in my first election when I was 20. I'm so happy to see a return to the conservative ideals in my lifetime. I am one who stopped following you and only saw this on another persons facebook. I am a woman, a physician, a breast cancer patient, a military wife and a Bible toting Christian and I'm ecstatic with this election. Trouble not your heart Nancy, I am sure this reprieve God is giving our country will not be long lived.

Nancy

Monday 23rd of January 2017

Dino, I appreciate your comments. I am very troubled indeed. President Trump's cabinet picks are in no way "draining the swamp". I take issue with you saying "your side" (sorry, that's a dumb phrase, but all I can think of right now) treated President Obama with respect. If you remember, there were members of Congress who openly stated their primary mission was to see P. Obama fail. And there were many horrible signs showing lynchings, suggestions he go back to Kenya, etc. And let's not forget that whole birther thing was started by you know who. So, I don't agree with that. You and I just don't see things the same way and I respect that. I'm disappointed to hear you stopped following me due to our political differences, but of course, that's your choice. Trying to understand viewpoints of those who do not agree with us, no matter what the topic, is so important, even more so these days. So again, thank you for sharing some of yours.

fran

Saturday 21st of January 2017

Trump is a brutish man. A throw-back to the times of the Barbarian. Never in the history of modern First World Nations has such a deficient, unintelligent, sexually depraved, small, pathetic and worthless man assumed the highest leadership post. I believe it is a failure of education, critical thinking and moral values. This is the Age of Darkness.

Nancy

Monday 23rd of January 2017

Fran, I cannot condone name calling. But I understand your frustration. I do. Also, I do not see any of this as a failure of education, if you mean the blaming the teachers. If you mean family, hmm...not sure. I do find it very troubling how Mr. Trump was given a free pass on so many things that for anyone else would never be tolerated. I don't get that, and I suppose you're right, this is a moral/values issue. Thank you for chiming in.

Scott Johnson

Saturday 21st of January 2017

Thanks again for this conversation Nancy. Didn't watch the inauguration but did read his speech and it seems the rest of the world is entirely responsible for all that's wrong with America. This sounds like a position of helplessness. As a dual Canadian /American citizen the Canadian half would like to apologize but the American half is no-way going accept any part of the blame. There must be some way for us to make this more complicated so we can actually work something out?

Nancy

Monday 23rd of January 2017

Scott, Thank you for being part of the discussion. We shall see what happens.

Cancer Curmudgeon

Friday 20th of January 2017

The funny thing is I never cared much about watching or not watching inaugurations. I watched Obama's first one because it was history (yes I voted Hillary in the primary that year, but ultimately have been quite happy about him as president, tho he was not liberal enough for me). Other than that, I was working and just too busy. This year tho' I am watching something else on purpose to bring his ratings down because that will hurt him and his feelings (it's why I watch SNL every week too, while it is on air, even if I don't care for the guests). That is key--to just tune out is not really a boycott--gotta know how ratings work. It is difficult at this time to keep politics off of a cancer blog. I have been struggling with it myself. I know some readers/FB people are very conservative. But at this point the personal is political for me. What is happening in Congress with ACA will impact me especially if I have a recurrence. I try not to keep harping on it, but it is the only thing on my mind these days--making it difficult to write about other things. Yes, Trump is my president no matter how much it makes me bristle. I don't go in for the "not my president" crap. But I'm not anxious to "let's all just get along" either. But this is MY country too, the classic Trump voter does not have exclusive rights to patriotism.

Nancy

Monday 23rd of January 2017

CC, The nature of politics these days is that it is personal. Some of the things on President Trump's agenda are very troubling and yes, the ACA is just one. And I can't just brush aside all the horrible things he said during the campaign. I know his supporters say they can, but I cannot. Many of my readers are conservative, too, but it's not about conservative vs liberal even, it goes much deeper. And I don't go in for that "not my president" stuff either. He is. Accepting that he won the election does not mean we must accept his agenda though. Opinions on the other side of the aisle matter, too, or at least I hope they do. We shall see what happens.

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