I always felt a little bit bad for monarchs.
From the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC to the Houses of Lancaster and York that fought to the death over the throne in 15th century England, history’s full of examples of violent transfers of power. Granted, much of this bloodshed isn’t necessarily surprising given the way they governed, but I’ve digressed. This sort violent chaos was one of the many things we decided to try and change when this country was founded. We decided to do things differently. We put limits on the power that our leaders could wield; we put elements in place to peacefully remove the leader if they overstepped their bounds; and we put a structure in place to fairly elect new leaders every few years.
And given that we’re not a monolithic nation (and certainly not monolithic in ideas), someone’s going to be disappointed every time an election rolls around.
Believe me, I know.
And I’ll stand up ‘til the cows come home for a person’s right to disagree, demonstrate, and otherwise exhibit frustration with the way a leader governs.
But today isn’t about who got elected.
Today is about how we have transferred power time and again without incident. Donald Trump isn’t assuming the highest office of the nation because he offed the last guy. He’s assuming office because he was chosen, and for many people, because Hillary Clinton was just that bad—embodying tired politics and tired ideas.
Still, according to Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), “we have nothing to celebrate on Jan 20. Instead of attending, I will be organizing.” She’s joined by 60+ members of Congress, spurred on by Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) who deemed the Trump presidency illegitimate.
They’re not going for a host of reasons: the Russians hacked the election; Trump is a racist; Trump is a bigot; Trump is hate incarnate.
And while I’ll readily admit Trump’s personal morality has often left much to be desired, the political claims of Nazi-like oppression and racist hatred are beyond the pale.
(Side note: I’m always amazed at how conveniently these same people forget that the idol of American Progressivism—Franklin Delano Roosevelt—actually rounded up Japanese Americans during World War II and actually put them in camps. Like, actually did it. Last time I checked all Donald Trump has ever talked about doing is holding people accountable to our immigration laws and ensuring that we don’t import Islamic terror. Quick, cue the Hitler comparisons.)
So let’s look at just a few of the people protesting this peaceful transfer of power. What have they done for the American people? A quick perusal of the list and I find politicians who have left their districts impoverished and crime-ridden; politicians who actively support radical Islamic organizations; politicians riddled with scandal.
These are opportunists. I don’t for one minute believe that these people are serious in their claims; they saw an opportunity to hitch their wagons to a former civil rights leader’s ridiculous claim that this is not a “legitimate” presidency.
And with that, we’ll start with John Lewis:
His was the interview heard round the world … or the halls of Congress, at least, when he told the press he wouldn’t attend the inauguration—spawning a movement in Washington. Back home, however, Lewis’ constituents benefit from Lewis’ “work” in the form of violence, failing schools, and poverty. Yes, he did very good things. But very good things do not negate very bad things. As Dr. Tina Trent (a former liberal activist and former constituent of Lewis’) put it:
“While John Lewis spent the last 50 years growing rich and influential by repeating the same speech about being beat up on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama in 1965, the people living in the crime-ridden parts of his district have spent the 50 years since then being subjected daily to violent crimes and threats of crime at least as bad and frequently far worse than what Lewis experienced, day after day, week after week, year after year – decade after decade, unabated.”
How so, you might ask? Dr. Trent continues: “For decades in Congress, John Lewis opposed every piece of criminal justice or welfare reform legislation that would make the people of his district safer, more self-reliant, and more prosperous.”
Oh yeah, and he’s a liar. Yeah, I said it. He claimed this was the “first ceremony he would not attend since coming to Washington,” when in fact he pulled the same stunt in 2001. Where I come from, I don’t care who you are or what you did—that’s a bald face lie… and it’s one that launched an embarrassing movement.
“I will not celebrate a man who preaches a politics of division and hate. I won’t be attending Donald Trump’s inauguration.”
If there’s anyone who has a long and sordid history trafficking in “division and hate,” it’s Minnesota’s Keith Ellison. As The Daily Caller rightly puts it, “Ellison has never genuinely repudiated his past anti-Semitism or his close association with the terror-tied Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) or its co-founder, Nihad Awad, who has publicly supported Islamic terrorism.”
As I personally learned from Abdirizak Bihi, Director of the Somali Advocacy Center in Minneapolis, CAIR has worked hard to shut him down, a Somali-American combating homegrown terror here in Minnesota.
So yes, Rep. Ellison, by all means—tell us what it means to preach a politics of division and hate.
“…The reason I’m not going is that I cannot bring myself to justify morally or intellectually the immense power we are placing in that man’s hands. I could not look at my wife, my daughters, my grandson in the eye if I sat there and attend [the inauguration]…”
I’ve got just one question. Rep. Gutiérrez, do tell me: you can look the American people “in the eye” after, since 2010, funneling over $300,000 in campaign funds to your wife and daughters?
Rep. José Serrano of New York’s 15th (previously known as the 16th) district has represented the poorest district in the U.S. for the last 27 years. In those 27 years, his big accomplishments include changing the names of three post offices in the Bronx, and designating June 10-16 1991 as “Pediatric AIDS Awareness Week.”
Yup, because nothing says “regard for one’s constituents” like working to rename post offices in the Bronx.
You know what else screams “regard for one’s constituents”? Publicly applauding President Obama’s pardon of a man who led a violent anarchist organization (Armed Forces of National Liberation) “responsible for more than 120 bombings between 1974 and 1983 in a wave of senseless destruction that killed six and injured dozens.”
“I never ever contemplated attending the inauguration or any activities associated w/ @realDonaldTrump. I wouldn’t waste my time.”
And it’s valuable time, indeed. Time spent profiting from federal bailout money, helping her family profit through legislation, skirting federal election rules, and going to Cuba to visit her Black Panther, cop-killing fugitive friend Assata Shakur. But yes, lecture the country on how you can’t “respect” the incoming president because of how big of a lying, cheating, sleazy slob he is.
Are you seeing a pattern here?
Yes, by all means, let’s judge this president by his actions. But, Congressmen and women, that also means we get to judge you by yours.
Mary Ramirez is a full-time writer, creator of www.afuturefree.com (a political commentary blog), and contributor to The Chris Salcedo Show (TheBlaze Radio Network, M-F, 3-5. ET). She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org; or on Twitter: @AFutureFree