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Crying and Lying
By John-Walt Boatright — firstname.lastname@example.org
We have come to a phenomenon in our democratic society in which the peaceful transfer of power between presidents will take place. Through the years, bitter elections have come and gone, but the nation always unifies behind the newly elected president. It is a remarkable symbol of continuity of our nation’s leadership. Since 2000 though, it is noticeably not peaceful when a Republican takes office.
In 2000, tensions were naturally heightened as the results came down to the wire before the Supreme Court. Gore brought the case before the court, and he lost. Liberals cried foul. And then cried pettily for eight more years. They never got over it. “Bush’s fault!” became his or her angry response anytime someone showed some concern.
Republicans lost the 2008 election to a charismatic black man with a razor thin resume. But he looked, acted, sounded like change, so America chose him over a war hero with a centrist, 20-year record in the Senate. Republicans shook their heads, put on their big-boy pants, and went to work. Democrats fawned over a president they could finally connect with, and cried tears of euphoric joy for eight years. They would only dry up long enough to shout “Racist!” to anyone who may be against, or even questioned, an Obama policy.
Because the 2016 change “trumped” the 2008 change in magnitude and direction, those tears of joy have turned to tears of hurt and rage they’ve been steadily flowing ever since. Every name in the book labels Trump, and by extension, his supporters as racist, misogynist, bigot, xenophobe, sexist, rapist and more words I cannot recall or repeat. This reaction taints a ceremony intended to move the country forward.
Two instances of particular concern as we approach the inauguration – first, the troubling treatment of U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General, and two, the inauguration boycott. Underlying these confrontations are the problems forever ingrained in the liberal mind as the imaginary sin of conservatives.
The hearings of Jeff Sessions for Attorney General, and all of Trump’s Cabinet nominations, have been turned into witch hunts by Democrats. There are two components I find interesting in this context. First, the Senate has a rich history of collegiality and breeds cross-party friendships despite policy disagreements. This did not stop Democrats from conveniently accusing Sen. Sessions of veiled racism, not based on his twenty-year history in the upper chamber, but from uncorroborated hearsay thirty years ago. Secondly, Sen. Cory Booker broke long-held protocol by being the first senator in history to testify against another sitting senator. This is no doubt an early test for a 2020 run. Congressmen John Lewis and Cedric Richmond, other black legislators who do not know Sessions as a person, joined him. The media will talk about this until the cows come home, but they will not tell you a panel of three black former coworkers of Sen. Sessions spoke passionately in his behalf, attesting to his professional qualifications and his gracious character. If one levels a personal attack on another’s character, wouldn’t credibility lie with those with the most history with the accused?
At the time of this writing, more than twenty lawmakers have vowed to boycott the Trump inauguration. They released statements saying essentially they cannot stand to breathe the same air as Trump. If Hillary Clinton can suck it up and watch her former opponent become the 45th President, so can a few inconsequential legislators who falsely list tolerance on their resume in pursuit of their next government job. Since they voted and campaigned for Obama and Clinton, they would be wise to follow their leads.
Starting with this inauguration, let’s spend less time crying, and more time thinking and acting. Crying gets us nowhere.