January 20, 2017 marked what I believe to be the 45th time (fact check me if you must)when the USA had a peaceful and orderly transfer of power. The transfer includes series of events loaded with history and tradition, performed with great pomp and circumstance. The administering of the Oath of Office is conducted in public and broadcast around the world by untold number of media outlets. It is a worldwide symbol depicting the strength of our nation.
I was one of hundreds of thousands of people that watched this event unfold on TV. The view was better, my living room was less crowded, and I saved a lot of time and money by staying home. Sadly about 50 of our elected officials decided to stay
home as well. They were engaged in a silent protest against President Donald Trump. We all have the right to our opinions, have the right to protest, and yes have the right to skip the inauguration.
While the official ceremony was taking place, a group of protesters were uniting elsewhere in Washington DC and in other locations around the nation. Not satisfied with a peaceful rally, violence prevailed resulting in about 200 people being arrested in Washington DC. The value of the damage caused has yet to be determined.
The same worldwide audience that witnessed the orderly and peaceful transfer of power witnessed the rioting, looting, and social unrest. The few people, comparatively speaking, that opted for violence are not representative of the majority of our nation. They however received too much press coverage for their actions. (That’s the way I see it)
I am left with unanswered questions?
- What did the violence prove?
- Is violence the change they care to see in our society?
- Did our elected officials prove anything by boycotting the inauguration?
- Did anyone think that their actions would force a change in our election process?
The USA is a great nation, one that I hope becomes greater and stronger. We are blessed to have the ability to speak our minds, guaranteed by our Constitution. However that does not mean that we are entitled to take actions that hurt and harm others, to cause physical damage to the property of otherswhile exercising our freedom of speech and our freedom to assemble.
I am not against debate, social discourse, protests, and boycotts. I think they can be very healthy, can be a great vehicle to initiate change. I am against violence and wanton destruction of property. As a matter of fact, as I am writing these words, thousands of women (men too) are congregating in Washington DC for a women’s rally. I laud them for all of their efforts, concerns, hopes, and dreams. I also hope that their efforts reap fruit.
I am deeply saddened by the politicians who showed disrespect for the presidency (too bad your candidate didn’t win). It is also sad to think that some people think that violence is a solution to any problem.
That’s the way I see it.