A Time For Transition


Today the keys to our nation were passed from the 44th President of the United States to his successor.  Some of our citizens rejoice, while most of our citizens are experiencing a range of less than positive reactions.  Many are hoping for the best while expecting the worst. Some have determined that the only course of action is civil disobedience. Others share a collective sense of doom believing that our country may not survive.

Here is a post that was found on Facebook today in tribute to the outgoing president and his administration,

“Thank you, Barack Obama and the Obama Administration.

The past 8 years, including 15 months I spent on the campaign with you before your election, have been the best years of my life. From going to college in the nation’s capital, studying abroad, serving in the Peace Corps, starting a career, getting married, getting a graduate degree, moving to a new city, becoming a home owner, and everything in between, I have been very fortunate this past decade.

While only a sliver of this is directly attributed to you, I am thankful because you have not obstructed my path, despite having the power to do so. But more importantly, I am thankful because you have worked tirelessly to extend the same rights and opportunities that I have had to as many people as possible.”

The question to be answered as we travel forward along the democratic road is: Will the majority of the American people speak of the 45th President of the United States in such glowing terms on his way out the door, whatever day that might be? It must be noted that President Obama is leaving office with an approval rating of 63% , according to a CNN/ORC poll that was completed on January 17, 2017.

Looking at the evidence to date, the answer to the question above appears to be that the 45th President will not be viewed positively at the time of his exit. Judging from the lack of celebrity participation and from the shockingly low crowd at last night’s inauguration concert estimated to be 10,000 compared to the 2009 Obama inauguration concert which drew an estimated 400,000, the incoming President does not have the star power of his predecessor.

While President Obama came to oval office with an impressive 78% favorability rating, the 45th President enters office with an historically low 40% favorability rating. Then, there is the 2009 crowd estimate for the 2009 Obama inauguration suggesting a throng of roughly 1.8 million people attending.  While there are no official numbers yet on the estimated crowd attending today,

“The D.C. Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is planning for 800,000 to 900,000 people to attend the swearing-in ceremony and inaugural parade.”

Consider the promises already broken.  The new President is not draining the Washington swamp as promised. The administration instead is appointing advisers and attempting to construct a cabinet with no experience at the jobs they will now be tasked to perform, who are dedicated to the destruction of the agencies of government they will now lead. These same advisers are representing the wealthiest, most well connected lobbyists in America, most of whom were big donors to the campaign.

There is also the issue of the repeated campaign promise by the new President to repeal and replace the ACA, otherwise known in the conservative world as “Obamacare”. This promise was walked backed almost immediately following the election, with the new President Elect saying that he was open to leaving intact key parts of the ACA. Just five days ago, to the dismay of the Republican Congress, he pledged in an interview with the Washington Post that the not yet seen replacement plan would provide,

Insurance for everybody.”

That insurance for everybody pledge did not sit well with many Republicans and has since been walked back.  What the new President might eventually do about repealing the ACA with or without a replacement plan is anybody’s guess.  If there is repeal without replacement, access to healthcare will be taken away from approximately 18 million people the first year rising to 32 million within a decade. Mostly everyone’s costs would rise along with a loss of jobs perhaps in the hundreds of thousands.

The campaigner in chief promised on July 21, 2015 that if he did run for President,

“I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid.”

The pledge not to cut these essential programs that all working Americans pay for appears to have been false.  According to Mother Jones, the new administrations is planning to cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and everything other than defense by $10.5 trillion over the next decade.

The evidence is clear. The incoming 45th President of the United States is not a man of his word. The promises he made before election day, to date, have not matched the actions he has  taken. His ability to deliver on his many promises, like the promise of a border wall that Mexico would pay for, might prove to be insurmountable. We must all watch carefully what transpires as we travel together along the Democratic Road.

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