I viewed the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the 45th president of the United States at Temple University. I went there because I wanted to watch the inaugural address on a big screen.
There was a small turnout of students, faculty and staff for the event. Still, I expected the post-inaugural discussion to be heated. It wasn’t. One student expressed concern that President Trump did not mention climate change. When a faculty member questioned his pledge to put “America first,” there was pushback. A student asked: What’s wrong with an American president putting America first?
Indeed, Rev. Jesse Jackson told told an Atlanta television station:
The speech was full of hope and inclusion and he reached out to cities in a way they’ve not been reached out to for a long time. But with that must come a target, a timetable and a budget.
Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan said Trump declared his independence:
The inaugural address was utterly and uncompromisingly Trumpian. The man who ran is the man who’ll reign. It was plain, unfancy and blunt to the point of blistering. A little humility would have gone a long way, but that’s not the path he took. Nor did he attempt to reassure. It was pow, right in the face. Most important, he did not in any way align himself with the proud Democrats and Republicans arrayed around him. He looked out at the crowd and said he was allied with them.
He presented himself not as a Republican or a conservative but as a populist independent. The essential message: Remember those things I said in the campaign? I meant them. I meant it all.
It was an unmistakable indictment of almost everyone seated with him on the platform
Then a stark vow: “That all changes—starting right here and right now.” Jan. 20 “will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.”
President Trump may turn out be the disaster the mainstream legacy media and political establishment hope and expect. But apart from the #NotMyPresident and #NeverTrump crowd, Trump’s “blunt” speech was “a ray of light for millions.”
As an advocate for social justice, I celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. every day. On the official observance of his special day, I will join thousands for a ceremonial tapping of the Liberty Bell in his honor.
Afterwards, I’ll join the March for a Better America.
The march will begin at the slave quarters on Independence Mall and conclude at Mother Bethel AME Church, where POWER: An Interfaith Movement will unveil their 21st Century Declaration of Rights. They will call on elected officials, community leaders and ordinary citizens to support human rights. It sounds like a party for a drum major for justice.
Happy birthday, Dr. King.
Tomorrow, January 10th at 9:00pm ET, President Barack Obama will go to his adopted hometown and deliver his farewell address.
In an email message, President Obama said:
In 1796, as George Washington set the precedent for a peaceful, democratic transfer of power, he also set a precedent by penning a farewell address to the American people. And over the 220 years since, many American presidents have followed his lead.
On Tuesday, January 10, I’ll go home to Chicago to say my grateful farewell to you, even if you can’t be there in person.
I’m just beginning to write my remarks. But I’m thinking about them as a chance to say thank you for this amazing journey, to celebrate the ways you’ve changed this country for the better these past eight years, and to offer some thoughts on where we all go from here.
Since 2009, we’ve faced our fair share of challenges, and come through them stronger. That’s because we have never let go of a belief that has guided us ever since our founding—our conviction that, together, we can change this country for the better.
So I hope you’ll join me one last time.
You can join him via livestream here. For African Americans, Barack Obama’s parting will be such sweet sorrow.
The Electoral College meets today in state capitols and the District of Columbia. You wouldn’t know it from all the fake news about the popular vote, but since 1804, the winner of the presidential election is the candidate who gets a majority of the electoral votes.
In the wake of Donald Trump’s shocking victory over Hillary Clinton, Hollywood celebrities have become, um, “experts” on the Electoral College.
Get over it, says Washington Post editorial writer Charles Lane:
Her 2.8 million popular-vote margin is one of the largest for the electoral-college loser in American history, or will be, once the electoral votes are officially cast on Monday. Still, it is fallacious to invoke this statistical byproduct of Nov. 8 to question the legitimacy of Trump’s victory — as opposed to that victory’s desirability, which is questionable indeed.
As all concerned knew going in, the object of the presidential election game is to win the most electoral votes in what are essentially 51 state-level contests (the District included), just as the object of football is to score the most points. Gridiron teams would play differently under instructions to maximize yardage; candidates would campaign differently if maximizing national popular votes were the prime directive.
Aiming for 270 electoral votes out of 538, both Clinton and Trump focused on 13 swing states; Trump won that contest-within-a-contest by 816,000 votes.
Today the Electoral College Class of 2016 – 306 Republicans and 232 Democrats – officially votes to elect Donald J. Trump as president. Hillary can claim her “Most Popular” trophy as she exits the stage.