Don’t let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief, shining moment that was known as Camelot.
Some people have asked why this election has affected me to such an extent that friendships have become strained and I’ve said farewell to Facebook. Many people vote on one single issue failing to consider the consequences of other initiatives that could pass and adversely affect members of their family, or they simply vote red or blue based on long-held family tradition.
Although I was raised in a conservative military family, I grew up and was exposed to more schools of thought by traveling to other countries, reading, and a general curiosity about the world.
As the years went by, my dad and I engaged in political discussions, and he was still a conservative but respected that I could argue my point intelligently. We always ended with an agreement to disagree and then move on to a recent interesting book.
I am proud to live in a country that elected Obama and Biden to two terms. They were a good team and were able to succeed with some of their initiatives. However, congress has fundamentally changed in the last few decades–extreme polarization at the expense of the American people.
While many are happy that the Republicans have control of the Senate, House, Judiciary, and Executive branches, things won’t be able slip through quietly. Social media spreads information immediately, and the congressional office phone lines will be overwhelmed, like the ethics committee move tried at a closed session at 1:30 AM in early January (eliminating the only independent ethics oversight committee, while their approval ratings are at an all-time low).
Initially, my friends tried the rationale “don’t worry, he’ll hire competent (the best!) people.” I’ll be interested in their thoughts as his cabinet take control of the departments they have openly hated for years. Like Rick Perry heading up the department he wanted to eliminate (but he couldn’t remember during the presidential debate that third “E”). The Energy Department controls the safely of our nuclear weapons. Our last Secretary was a Nuclear Physicist.
I’ve always believed how you run your campaign is how you’ll run the White House when you win the election. It proved to be correct in Obama’s White House. They were very organized and efficient, and well prepared on day one. Trump isn’t even sure which day counts as day one–you don’t get Saturdays and Sundays off. Trump’s campaign was loose, disjointed, unprepared, no consistent statement, and that’s what we’ll see in the next White House.
How effective will a cabinet Secretary be when Trump can kill their strategy with one ill-timed tweet? He may agree with his Secretary, but five minutes later get an alternate opinion, and then tweet that undermining his own Secretary. People in general don’t do well with uncertainty – financial markets are the same.
They always say you don’t know what you had until it’s gone. For many of us, we knew just what we had with Obama and felt lucky for the time we had it. Many of us didn’t agree with every decision he made, but you could be confident he methodically and intelligently based it on available information and had the best interest of our country as his major focus. Going forward, it’s clear we need to continue supporting investigative journalism to keep the politicians in check, like PBS, NPR, ProPublica, Sunlight Foundation, The Guardian, The Washington Post, and your local newspaper. Personally, I don’t trust television news anymore. It’s all about ratings, and non-stop talk to fill the news cycle. The best coverage I’ve seen on TV is PBS, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (TBS), The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. Stephen Colbert’s opening monologues have also been entertaining.
Let’s say goodbye to the Obamas (for now). I’m thankful he’s not going far.
Pete Souza’s great pictures from Obama’s terms in office: https://www.obamalibrary.gov/photos-videos