My Thoughts on Inauguration Day
Just hours away from the inauguration and the official oath of office of the country’s 45th president, I join many in a mix of feelings of shock, sadness, uncertainty and fear. I think most, regardless of political affiliation, can understand that. It happens anytime there’s a big change, a seemingly sudden shift.
What differentiates these emotions, my emotions, from mere feelings of change is the strong divisiveness, blame, meanness and in some cases, sheer hate, that has permeated the past 18 months. While I was concerned and scared of what a Trump presidency — hypothetical and far-fetched at the time — could mean to me (an immigrant, Hispanic woman, military wife; the list goes on…), I’m more disconcerted today not by his being elected (parts of America were heard loud and clear) but by what his election has already begun to do and can ultimately do for the American ethos. This is a country built on faith, hope, perseverance and freedoms. Unity.⠀⠀
We have begun to see, in harsh recent rhetoric, an erosion of that togetherness, of that inherent understanding that for better or worse, we’re in this together, bound to this country by residency, citizenry and/or heritage — hopefully, too, by love. Should we choose to forget that — to destroy that — not only will Trump’s agenda of racism, sexism, bigotry, et. al will have won, but so will the groups, both domestic and foreign, that seek to rattle our foundation, leaving us weak and vulnerable.⠀⠀⠀⠀
These are our States of America. Not by birth but by choice did I claim citizenship in this beautiful country, and I’ll be damned if I allow myself to be belittled by philosophies that are not my own and that are not this nation’s simply because of one man’s role. These are our UNITED States of America. We can and we shall protect and preserve our inalienable rights. We must.
Rather than spew out hateful words, rather than dwell on misery (which, yes, does love company), rather than harvest fear and disdain, rather than perpetuate divisiveness and accusations, harness your desire for a truly greater America by doing what we do best, as proven generation after generation: come together in times of adversity, show what we’re made of when it seems there’s little conviction left. Consider this my message to the American people (or something like that), an idealistic one perhaps.
Find your space in this vast democratic system and spread hope from your corner of the world, in whichever productive way you feel most comfortable. I have friends marching on Saturday in D.C., others participating in civic groups and local campaigns; the opportunities to get involved and outside of the social media bubble and above the underbelly blogs, thanks to this magnificent country of ours, really are endless, and they’re really quite powerful when we’re part of them together. This afternoon, as the new President is sworn in, let’s find some space in our hearts in which we can say, “Let’s do this. Let’s try our very, very best to do this.”