Yesterday marked the peaceful transition of power from one President to another. This inauguration was special to me because it was the first time in over 30 years I had the time to sit down and watch the whole thing from start to finish. To say this inauguration was different is an understatement. This inauguration, like the election, was divisive before it began. On one side, there are protests, fiery rhetoric, and all kinds of skirmishes on the social networking feeds. On the other side, condescension, claims of fake news, and all the rest.
I’m a firm believer that each President that has been elected has been the right President at the right time. Initially, none of us will know if this belief rings true, but I have looked at past Presidencies and have found that each person, holding this office, has done things that moved our country forward. Each President has dealt with the pressures of the office in his own unique way, right or wrong, and did what he thought was the best for the country, with all the information he had at the time.
President Obama represented a paradigm shift for the Oval Office. Besides being the first African-American President, he brought a tremendous mind to the office and demonstrated to some of the American public a revelation that families are the same regardless of race, religion, color, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and all the rest. It was easy to see that the President loved his family and did the best he could to get done what he believed was the best for the American People.
President Trump, like President Obama and the rest of the men who held this office, takes the reigns of the most powerful nation on this Earth. Like President Obama, he continues to add to the fabric of the American Story. He faces challenges like each President before him. His first day in office was met with protests across the planet and a very divided electorate. He, like any other President is being faced with the same things that any other President faced, a country worried about the future, concerned about the changes that may come, and the need to know they are safe.
When I look back at my 20-year career in the Army, I remembered the epiphany I had, when I realized that the people I came to know in places like Germany, South Korea, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, weren’t much different from me. Despite our differences, all the people I met had the same concerns. They wanted to be safe, to be loved, to be treated fairly, take care of their families, and hoped the world would be a better place for their kids, that they had it a little better than they did as parents. Is there anything different today in our country? No. People are afraid that they will lose something they had yesterday. They are fearful that the new President will take away things they had yesterday. In a nutshell, they are afraid of change.
President Trump’s candidacy, and now Presidency, has met with opposition that many say is unlike any in history. I would argue that probably is a little exaggerated. If you look at each man who has run for the office of President, each faced his own demons, the opposition of the other party, coupled with the many challenges the office presents all by itself, not to mention the forces outside of our country who are vying for supremacy in the ever-competitive world.
Will our new President do well? Will his Presidency be an absolute disaster? Will he divide our country more or find that balance to bring our country together? Will he achieve something great for the American People or will he fail miserably, demonstrating to the pundits of his Presidency that they were right about him all along? Only time will tell. Personally, I look forward to the changes and hope that our new President will succeed, just like I have hoped that previous Presidents would win and accomplish what they were voted into office to achieve. Again, I believe that everyone elected to this office is the right person at the right time. Will I be right? All I can do is hope.