The Peaceful Transfer of Power

Today is such a wonderful day! If you’ve read prior columns I’ve written, you know that I’m about as conservative as a Republican can be. But today is not at all about being a Republican. Today is far bigger than any political party can be.

Today, January 20, 2017, is Inauguration Day. For a political junkie, such as me, this is the equivalent to the football fan’s Super Bowl, and the baseball fan’s World Series. At my house, we will celebrate all day long. My son and I will stare at the TV much like football fans watch their teams. We’ll be out with friends tonight celebrating into the wee hours.

Of course, because I am a conservative Republican, and because my candidate won, I’m celebrating this day a little more than usual. You probably do the same when your team wins the World Series. But I hope you understand that I would celebrate this day regardless of who the winner of the election was. Today, every American was the winner, even if they don’t realize it.

Today, the peaceful transfer of power will take place in our nation’s capital. This is no small thing. To the contrary, this is a dream that people in other nation’s envy. Today in Washington DC, past presidents and their spouses, including Hilary Clinton, will be present to support the incoming administration. The men and women on the platform do not all align politically with the President-elect, but they do understand the process and importance of the inauguration.

Today, no one will be in fear of a rogue, and un-elected, general taking command of the government. There will be no hostile takeover of the White House. The incoming administration was elected in a free and fair process by the citizens of this nation. How many other nations in the world can celebrate those things? There are people around the world who have never witnessed the process of a free election, who’ve never had the opportunity to campaign for the candidate of their choice, who fear for their nation each time there is any conflict with their leaders. We don’t realize just how good we’ve got it as Americans.

Eight years ago, after drilling information regarding their government into their sweet heads, I wanted my students to see the Inauguration Day ceremony. Rather than meeting for class that day, we headed to one family’s home and watched the events together. It didn’t matter whether it was a Republican or Democrat. What mattered was that the American people had voted for a candidate and he was taking the oath of office to serve faithfully. Iraq, Iran, Cuba, China, North Korea, and Saudi Arabia, among others, should be so fortunate.

Inauguration Day is a beautiful thing. While you are watching the ceremony, regardless of your political affiliations, I encourage you to pause for a moment. Consider how different your life would be as a citizen of another nation. Would you get to elect your government? Could ruthless leaders be recalled? How would you be treated as a minority? Would a disagreement among leaders result in a civil war or great economic depression? If you think you’d be better off there, Delta is ready when you are. Good luck and Godspeed.

America is far from perfect. There are so many problems that it’s hard to determine how to start of list of them. Social issues, financial woes, leaders who lack integrity, and families that are broken into pieces only scratch the surface. Yet, those are problems that every other nation faces, too. But we’ve got one thing that many other nations do not – Inauguration Day – the peaceful transfer of power. Happy Inauguration Day, America!


~Temerity Dowell


PS –  As I write this, I’ve just learned that the newly elected leader of Gambia, a republic in West Africa, held their Inauguration Ceremony earlier today. The former president refused to attend and will not step down from his office due to election irregularities. United Airlines can take you there.


The Legitimate President

Normal:    adj. – conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected;  noun – the usual, average, or typical state or condition

Normalization:   noun – the process of bringing or returning something to a normal condition or state

Divisive:   adj. – tending to cause disagreement or hostility between people causing them to separate into different groups

(Hold on to these definitions. You’ll need them later.)


In reading the news today, I’ve learned that at least 28 members of congress have chosen not to attend the Presidential Inauguration of Donald J. Trump this Friday. Their comments indicate this is in support of fellow Congressman John Lewis, D-GA, regarding remarks he made indicating his belief that Trump was not “a legitimate president” that resulted in Trump’s Tweet advising the Congressman to worry about his own district. The 28 members are in a tizzy over this and have chosen to stay home Friday.

I can have fun with this for days!

Let’s begin with the article (linked below) from ABC News writer Jennifer Hansler. In paragraph four, she states that there are “messages of support for (Congressman) Lewis from both sides of the aisle.” Yet, in the entire article, only quotes from Democrats are cited. A list appears at the end of the article naming all 28 members who have decided not to attend the Inauguration ceremony – all Democrats. I’m waiting to see exactly what the “other side of the aisle” has to say.

Then we must consider Congressman Lewis’ “(il)legitimate president” remark. As a US Congressman, one would like to believe that Lewis is familiar with The Constitution, including Article II, Section 1, as well as Amendments XII and XXV. I say “would like to believe” since I personally know many junior high, high school, and former students who are, indeed, quite familiar with these points. These students also fully understand that the popular vote is irrelevant as it concerns the official outcome. Only the Electoral College is significant. And if you, like Congressman Lewis, don’t understand that, you probably don’t need to be a congressman. The Congressman has every right to dislike and disagree with President-Elect Trump, but unless he is just too stupid or stubborn to read and interpret The Constitution correctly, he has no foundation to call Trump anything other than “Mr. President-Elect.”

Finally, we must meditate on the words “normalization” and “divisive.” These terms have been batted about frequently. One source indicated that the word “divisive” is actually in the top 10% of words used today. How did that happen?

Consider what the words means (go ahead and look back at them, I’ll wait). If “normal” means a standard that you expect, and it is typical; and “normalization” means working to return the situation to that condition, then it’s no wonder that the situation is divisive and people are hostile toward others. The real question is, who is causing the division? If it is “normal” for congressmen to attend the Inauguration, isn’t it divisive to refuse to attend?

When Barack Obama took office, I had access to quality health care and insurance to cover my health care needs. My husband had a great job, and we lived comfortably. I was not afraid to drive into major cities, or anywhere else. Schools still taught children to compute mathematical equations efficiently and how to read a variety of writing styles. Americans could freely travel around the world without fear of impunity. That was normal.

For eight long and painful years, liberals have used the press and uneducated sheep to change our “normal” to something radically different. “Normal” has apparently taken on the definition of “if I want something the government must give it to me, even if it means they go into further debt.” It means “I don’t have to work or earn anything, I’m simply entitled to receive it.” Normal now implies that “if you don’t agree with everything I believe, you are wrong.” Now that so many are entrenched in this new version of normal, they are in great fear of losing it. They seem to have forgotten what a normal America once looked like.

That might make the reader think that those causing division are the ones seeking the older version of normal, but the opposite is actually true. When Obama won the presidency eight years ago, there was no significant boycott of the Inauguration. Even this conservative teacher sat with students as we watched the ceremonies. Congressmen of both parties were in attendance, and they continued to be at other significant events over the last eight years.

On Friday at noon EST, the president-elect will be sworn into office. This will take place at the same location it’s been held for decades. I didn’t agree with anything Barack Obama did as the president, but he was still my president. I chose not to be divisive. Like so many conservative friends, I remained vocal with my opinions and acted to bring about the principles in which I believe. I was not once pleased with the president, but I respected the office, if not the officer. Unfortunately, reporters such as Jennifer Hansler continue to perpetrate this division with their inaccurate statements. If you refuse to be there, Congressman Lewis and friends, who is really being divisive?


~Temerity Dowell