"I, Donald John Trump do solemnly swear, that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
On January 20, 2017, the world’s greatest democracy peacefully handed power from one president to another. A reminder to the world that America remains a singular force for freedom and liberty.
The election of Trump disrupted what was arguably a Bush/Clinton Oligarchy. As Guardian columnist Hadley Freedman wrote during the 2016 campaign; "Should Hillary Clinton win the next election and get two terms, followed by Jeb Bush for the next two terms – a scenario that is far from impossible – the American presidency would have been controlled by two families for 44 years, with a brief Obama interlude. Rather knocks the Qin Dynasty (221BC-206 BC) into a cocked hat or, that is, a cocked crown." Not very democratic.
The Qin Dynasty can rest easy; we have "The Donald."
Many on the left and others opposed to the Trump regime remain in the early stages of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross' seven stages of grief. The grievances center on the "end of our democracy."
Nothing could be further from the truth.
For years, the criticism by media, good government advocates, and the public is that money is corrupting our campaigns and the "average" voter can't get his or her voice heard. The 2017 election put both complaints on their ear.
Bernie Sanders began his campaign with no money and took the Clinton effort to the wall. Donald Trump was outspent by all 16 GOP challengers and Hillary Clinton by significant margins.
A visit to a Sanders or Trump rally would disabuse you that the "average voter" was not being heard and represented.
In Connecticut, Democrats control all federal and state offices. Even with these significant advantages, Republicans made substantial gains, and Trump did better than expected. These results are not because of money or some non-democratic forces; it is the product of citizens expressing their concerns at the ballot box.
The 116th Congress, controlled by the Republicans, had an inauspicious start. In the dark of night, House Republicans voted in secret to weaken the powers (some say scuttle) of the Office of Congressional Ethics.
The New York Times reports the result of this act of hubris, "The day after House Republicans voted to eliminate an independent ethics body, members returned to work on Tuesday to find their offices inundated with angry missives from constituents amid a national uproar."
By noon President-elect Trump weighed in with a Tweet suggesting the Republican move was ham-handed, and they should concentrate "on tax reform, healthcare and so many other things of far greater importance!"
It was not Donald Trump that moved things; it was, democracy. Trump and his team should take note.
The wave of populism the Trump campaign rode in carving up 16 Republican candidates and dispatching Hillary Clinton was a volatile and pungent brew that fuels a vibrant Democracy.
"There are 13 counties in Wisconsin that have now voted for Obama twice, Republican Gov. Scott Walker three times, Senate Democrat Tammy Baldwin in 2012 and Senate Republican Ron Johnson in 2016 and now Donald Trump for president. Eleven of them are overwhelmingly white, mostly rural counties." (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Democracy is not static.
This past weekend, millions marched across the country and in many cities around the world objecting to the inauguration of Donald J. Trump. About 2,000 people gathered in subzero temperatures Saturday morning for the Fairbanks edition of the Women's March, joining events across the state, nation and around the world.
Even before Trump assumed office a grassroots organization,"Indivisible," which began as a "Google Doc", went viral, and hundreds of thousands of citizens are getting involved to challenge the Trump agenda. They are organizing and executing. Democracy in action.
I appreciate and concur with concerns about Trump's erratic behavior. But it is behavior that I am confident the Constitution will arrest.
Democracy is messy. It works best when its citizens are engaged. The evidence is that engagement is underway. An engagement that I am confident would not have materialized with a Bush or Clinton redux.
Ben Davol, is a freelance writer and an occasional contributor to The Day, lives in Stonington. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. His writing can be found at DromanaStrategies.