By: Nate Sikora – Staff Writer
We begin the new year in 2017 with a new president. Although I, along with most, wanted politics to be something to drop after the election ended, politics has seemingly been discussed more since Trump took the oath of office.
This increase in discussion is not surprising, but I write this article because I feel something different. I, along with millions of other Americans, feel like we as a country are collectively lost. It feels like we are going backwards.
We cannot physically see it yet, for nothing concrete has actually changed, but the threat of it happening is now a reality. Now that retroactive legislators run the show on the national stage and in a majority of states, it feels like citizens cannot do anything about it. The current feeling of powerlessness as Trump and similar politicians dismantle all rational government policies has angered millions.
The mass outrage in the inauguration of Trump seems ironic as those same people that are mad Trump became president should have been as mad during the general election campaign. Nevertheless, the decision has been made, and it is irreversible. That is democracy. It may not seem equal, but it is fair.
What faces the American people for the next four years and beyond will be nothing short of adversity. “Believe me,” we made a mistake in electing Donald Trump as president, and we will pay for that mistake. But submitting or giving up now that the election is over is not an option.
Progress is never linear. Just like former President Barack Obama said as he left the White House – sometimes the arc of progress doesn’t look so great. But we must continue.
A ham sandwich could have beaten Trump in the general election – at least the sandwich would not have had so many skeletons in the closet nor would have had a private email server.
To those who saw the flaws in Hillary Clinton and saw the flaws in the DNC, but voted for her anyways due to the drastic difference in the alternative choice, thank you for being rational. But casting one ballot and then calling it quits on politics is not an option.
Trying to return to business as usual since the election is over is not an option. Because of the election, business will not be usual even though the ridiculousness of our national politics has become normalized in the American consciousness.
We must recognize that this normalcy isn’t normal. Consciousness is a powerful thing, and it is vital in these trivial times of uncertainty. A large portion of the American people feel like they lost, some feel their way of life is now vulnerable, and rightfully so.
Those who say “a president cannot change much” never studied Richard Nixon. Even though the odds are not in the nation’s best interest (i.e. EPA gag rule, the Wall, etc), it is the job of citizens to hold their elected officials accountable.
Legislators are beholden to the people – by the consent of the governed and, boy, not many people consent. As the Trump Administration begins its work, I am reminded of a great quote from MLK, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of convenience and comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
Where will you stand?
Photo Courtesy of nytimes.com