1748 Inauguration Day -- Celebrating the Cons
They started small. First it was the God con. Two men and a woman, a diverse cross section of White American Christianity got up to speak. Each one at greater length than the previous. Wanted to make sure He got the message.
Two choirs and a soloist brought us the music con. One from the Missouri State University. Lotta clinkers, but in near- freezing temperature, expectable, though hard to listen to.
The second was the Mormon Tabernacle Choir which makes up in power and numbers any musical shortcomings. There are some folks in Salt Lake City who weren’t one bit pleased to send those hundreds of men and women to Washington Friday.
And finally a soloist, a woman singing the national anthem. Temperature and the rain took their toll on her, too.
Then, the diversity con. The lone clearly visible black face on the platform was that of Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. He administered the oath to the vice president. It’s the same oath you take when you work for the federal government as anything from floor sweeper to secretary of state or vice president. Since almost no one has ever heard Justice Thomas speak -- because he doesn’t -- people were impressed with his bass-baritone, more musical than the musicians.
Then Chief Justice John Roberts administered the presidential oath to the president elect.
Then the new president spoke. That was the real con. The biggest of them all.
The president’s speech was the least presidential in recent history and mercifully one of the shortest. In it he trashed his four most recent predecessors and all of congress, about which he was right.
One commentator called it his best-ever campaign speech. And while it was quieter than most of his others, it still was angry, demeaning, insulting and borderline barbaric.
Even worse, it was a 15 minute lie-a-thon, with cement bouquets designed to fool his followers into believing their lives would improve over his term.
Tell that to the 18 million people who are apt to lose health insurance. Tell that to the soldiers and sailors and marines and airmen and women who think they’re going to be defending our shores against potential enemies instead of far off lands where the enemies -- and the battles -- are real.
There’s a central flaw in the Make America Great Again racket. The America the new president wants to make great again is a nightmare fantasy, an impoverished, crime ridden, lawless, jobless land in which bread lines will soon appear and bridges will collapse and bury the homeless living beneath them.
There certainly are pockets of that and some are pretty deep. But this is not Greece and it is not Venezuela. So ask yourself how the similarities developed here and who is to blame.
Ask yourself who threw roadblocks in the path of the previous president. Ask yourself who you elected to state houses, legislatures, congress. These are the people who made the pockets possible.
Reminder: the new president won because of states where each vote counts more than yours and are cast not by real people, but by politicians.
-A hat tip to Tom Brokaw who tried mightily to say something that made him seem still relevant.
-“And where are the clowns/Send in the clowns? Don’t bother/they’re here.” --S. Sondheim
--All this fuss about “peaceful transition?” That’s something so ingrained and presumed here that it never had to be mentioned and never was until now. The campaign of 2016 raised serious doubts and serious well grounded fears.
--We learned something new about former President Obama during the inauguration ceremony. He has a talent we weren’t aware of. He can bite his tongue without any obvious outward sign and proved it time and again during the inaugural address.
Wessays (™) Insider: If the Times can do it, so can we. There’s discussion about Wednesday’s post. The debate raged all weekend: Should we comment on the weekend’s marches or should we just tweet. Stay tuned.
I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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