Photo by Martha Washington
Just a few days, now. You too can be a witness to history, just like Martha Washington was when she took out her camera and snapped this picture of her husband taking the oath of office in April of 1789. Photohistorians are divided on whether she used a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye or her Sony RX 100.
We’ve come a long way since those primitive cameras. Remember, that up until 1902, a Brownie was the size of an orange crate and weighed 48 pounds.
But we also have come a long way since George Washington was president. Since then, we’ve had presidents who have led us into wars, justified and unjustified; into and out of economic crises. We’ve had presidents who sullied the environment and those who have tried to save it.
But in each case, the president has nurtured growth and stature; the wellbeing of its people filtered through their personal definitions of wellbeing.
At least that’s what we have had so far. Now, who knows?
The president elect has been variously on every side of every issue. He has worked to circumvent anything anyone else has accomplished and then reversed course.
We in the crystal ball business try to take his 70 years of past behavior and accurately forecast what the next presidency will bring. And we have no way of predicting that.
We use his pronouncements and proposals and retractions, his nominees for important government jobs and his reality TV show persona to come up with a workable theory of what he will or won’t do as president.
We parse his every statement and come up with a library of self cancelling contradictions. But he’ll be president and that means he can’t just sit there.
The pundit consensus seems to be that the next four years will be no fun. Will he name Vladimir Putin US Ambassador to Russia? Will he let the religious fanatics he’s criticized all his adult life but who voted for him run his administration and if he does… what will they do?
In any event, we’ll soon learn what “Great Again” looks feels and smells like. And even though past performance is no guarantee of the future, it’s easy and forgivable to be pessimistic.
“We feel the inauguration of a president is not a political event.” President Billy Hawkins of Talladega College attempting lamely to defend sending the historically black college’s marching band to play in the inaugural parade.
-How do you trust your own mind when you see the picture that’s developing before your very eyes?
-You can’t and the politicians are counting on that plus they’ll be perfectly happy to tell you what to think.
--Is the entire incoming administration unburdened by brains? Is there no one who will tell the Emperor that when he goes after congress it’ll get even? Waging war over Russian hacking and the value of the intelligence agencies is a fine way for a president-in-waiting to assure his own rough future.
I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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