What is most important of this grand experiment, the United States? Not the election of the first president but the election of its second president. The peaceful transition of power is what will separate this country from every other country in the world.”
– attributed (perhaps falsely) to President George Washington, but you get the idea, right?
Hillary & Bill Clinton have announced that they will attend Donald J. Trump’s inauguration, as will George W. Bush. None of the three – two ex-presidents and the woman Trump defeated – supported Trump’s campaign.
My Facebook feed is full of outraged Democrats – particularly the ‘pantsuit’ crowd – horrified that Hillary is lending herself to ‘normalizing’ this untested loose cannon endorsed by both the American Nazi Party and the Ku Klux Klan, among other perceived horrors. And I get it, you’re mad. Good. But I’m not joining you if you refuse to call him the president. And I suggest it’s not your best play.
People, come on. The election is over. He is the president-elect. He will be your president. And, if you insist he’s “not my president,” explain to me how you’ll be perceived outside your own circle as any more credible (or mature) than when self-appointed birther Donald Trump denied Barack Obama’s legitimacy. This is peaceful transition of power time – see Washington, G. – and though she decided late, Hillary Clinton is correct to attend. Right thing to do. Classy thing. This is a woman who couldn’t get it together to make an election night concession speech before her loyal supporters, so congratulate her that she’s got the backbone to show up to pay respect to the White House she intended to serve. Nobody with any sense will conflate her presence with agreement with Trump’s policies – stated or pending. Do not confuse Clinton’s decision not to be a petulant child – or my or anyone else’s public recognition of a President Trump – as acceptance of whatever shit Trump and the Republicans intend to rain down on us. It isn’t. It’s simply honorable. Besides, if she shows up, she can throw shade at him with the press. And that would make my day. And yours.
Is your argument that the election was hacked? Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t. I don’t excuse electoral meddling whether we do it to some other country, or they do it to us. And I hope we all support honest journalistic and governmental investigation wherever it’s needed. And remember, Democrats – your house isn’t clean, so maybe dial back your outrage, or at least focus it. Pick your battles: stamp your foot and pretend Trump isn’t really president and you open us all to the criticism we’re too silly to take seriously. And we need everybody grown up and serious for Trump resistance. There’s work to do.
To oppose President Trump.
To mitigate the Republicans however possible.
To clean our own house.
To hear out our neighbors and co-workers.
To take back Congress.
And defeat the man who is in no way qualified to be president. And yet in 17 days, will be.
My 2 cents. Don’t mourn. Organize.
PHOTO: Alex Brandon/AP. Construction of the inauguration viewing stands, West Front, U.S. Capitol