The Transcendence of Inauguration Day

The U.S. Capitol during the inauguration ceremony on Friday. CreditChang W. Lee/The New York Times


I get emotional on Inauguration Day. I feel today the same way I did on this day in 2009, in 2005, and even in 2001 as I sat in a hospital with my wife while she recovered from a double mastectomy. I skipped school to watch the inaugurations in 1993 and 1997. I had the same emotions even then.

The emotion has nothing to do with party or president, but with our republic itself. Though a Republican, I was as eager to watch and have my child watch President Obama’s inauguration as I am to watch today. Our system is unique. We come together as a nation for a few hours on one day every four years to celebrate a republican tradition no nation on earth thought would work when George Washington rejected a crown in favor of temporary government housing.

I grew up in Dubai when Ronald Reagan was president. Keeping up with the American political system was a connection back home. There, we had a sheikh. There was a palace with regal pomp and circumstance. I remember the day Prince Charles rode by in a motorcade while visiting the country. I remember once meeting Margaret Thatcher. But none of that compares to the president of the United States. He was and is the leader of the free world and yet even with all the power of his office he is temporary and soon returns to the life he led.

When George W. Bush became president, some Republicans openly fretted that Bill Clinton might not vacate the White House. Some Democrats had the same worry in 2009. I know more than one Republican who expressed that fear after November. But that never happens. The better angels of our republic have always won out. Authority passes peacefully, though not always gracefully, as the people decide to go in different directions.

It really is extraordinary in the history of the world and even more so this year. Even President Trump’s most ardent supporters admit it is somewhat like the dog catching the car. Most of them did not expect it. But here we are and he is our president. I do not expect the partisan rancor to go away. I expect the Democrats to vote in lock step against Donald Trump as Republicans did with Barack Obama. When Republicans complain, Democrats will say they started it. Nothing much will change and where it does change I worry that it will be toward the cruder, more bombastic, and more vulgar.

But today we get to set it all aside for a few hours and enjoy a very American style of pomp and circumstance. There is no crown, just a man. He will eventually go away. The republic so many dismissed at its creation will stay. The people here rule and those people just let one man live in really nice public housing for a few years while he steers the ship.

Erick-Woods Erickson is the editor of the website the Resurgent and a talk-show host on radio station WSB.


About Uy Do

Banking System Analyst, former NTT data Global Marketing Dept Senior Analyst, Banking System Risk Specialist, HR Specialist
This entry was posted in Uncategorized, US economic, US economy, US President. Bookmark the permalink.

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