It’s Inauguration Day And, Yes, I Am Watching

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I wasn’t going to watch it– the swearing in. And for my political science-loving heart, that’s saying a lot. For nearly two years, I watched with insatiable curiosity as the presidential primaries turned into an angry and bitter general election. It turned people off, I know; but not me. I lapped up nearly every moment, setting my DVR to watch every minute of every debate. I watched both conventions with eager anticipation, weighing the political cost of each speaker and misstep in my head. I digested every article on the candidates I could find, eventually finding the nerve to write my own for public consumption. And, being overseas on the day of the election, I woke at the crack of dawn so that I wouldn’t miss a single minute of election day coverage. So how could I not watch the swearing in of our next president?

Easy: It makes me sick to my stomach.

And no, this isn’t about being a sore loser. My candidate has lost before and this acute despair—melodramatic though it may sound—has never been an issue.

I feel sick to my stomach because, even though I respect our democracy and the procedures it enumerates that have brought us to this legitimate outcome, I can’t help but think that the man taking over its reigns does not. The flippancy with which he has undermined our military, discredited our intelligence agencies, and disregarded decorum has proven this. We, as a collective, are nothing more than another notch on his belt. And, sorry puritanical conservatives, he has a lot of those—baby hands and combover notwithstanding. We are nothing special.

I feel sick to my stomach because this will likely be the first president my daughter remembers— a man who brags about sexual assault and regularly objectifies women. Surely, we can’t expect a grown man who openly degrades women as fat, ugly, and dogs, to suddenly change into the sort of role model our little girls deserve. I already mourn for the day that he nonchalantly values a female world leader on the basis of her looks or sexual prowess. He won’t think twice about it. He won’t even notice. But she will, my daughter. And I will be there to pick up the pieces.

This is the first president that my son will likely remember, as well—a man who shrugs off the concept of consent as political correctness run amok. It’s just locker room talk, snowflakes. Take it easy. Except, someday, that little boy of mine will engage in locker room talk. I shudder that this man’s example will make it less likely that such talk revolves around college acceptance letters. This man is not worthy of emulation, but I will raise my son to be a true man in spite of it.

I feel sick to my stomach because I am a military spouse. My husband is about to serve at the whim of a man who tweets at the whim of his ego. No matter how many times I hear a conservative scream, “Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi!” I will never be comfortable with dismissing a candidate with human flaws for a man who lacks the sober mindset of a statesman. “Blow up the establishment,” they say. “Give a businessman with literally zero understanding of geopolitics command of the greatest military on Earth!” they say. Well, cool. I’m super glad you came up with with a half-baked rationale for seating instability with power just to win an election. But you know what? Your “blow it all up” mentality has a very literal meaning for military families. Chew on that for a minute.

Yes, my stomach is sick to the core. No, I don’t want to watch this man take over the responsibilities of the highest office in the land, corrupting it with his infantile grievances and misplaced arrogance. But I will. I will watch Donald Trump become our 45th president. My heart will ache, every inch of my skin will crawl. But I will do it.

I will do it because she is doing it.

Hillary Clinton—who won the vote of the people, endured every false attack, and fought to the bitter end. Hillary Clinton will not only watch, she will be there. Good God.

If she can swallow every ounce of her undoubtedly monumental pain to be an example for our nation, then surely I can follow her example and swallow my pain, as well. I will watch because it is my civic responsibility to take interest in the handing over of power. I will watch because my patriotism demands it. And I will watch because I am still with her.

Donald Trump may not have the celebrity-filled inauguration his vanity-driven-heart desperately requires. But he will have an audience, of that he can be sure. We are all Dorothy’s daughter today. We will watch every heartbreaking moment of this presidency and, in doing so, we will take up her mantle. We will be her voice; we will take up her causes; we will follow in her footsteps.

Oh, there will be an audience watching today, Donald Trump. And we will keep watching. Our eyes are on you. We are coming for you. With our voices, our strength, our determination, and yes, our femininity, we are coming for you. We are watching you today, Mr. President; but, from here on out, you had better keep your eyes on us.

  • C
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7 thoughts on “It’s Inauguration Day And, Yes, I Am Watching

  1. I hear you. And I also respect and have compassion for what you and your husband endure in the military life for all of us. I hope the protests gave your heart hope like they did mine, the unity we feel, the actions poised to put this man to the fire of our voice while holding him accountable. As a parent I was/am angry as well. I really loved your post and I want to share it with others on my site.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am from a long line of military service, Dad, brother, uncle, and uncles and grandfathers back to the Civil War. I am well aware of the tacit expectation that we will keep any negative comments about our nation or its leadership inside family walls, so I applaud the courage of this post. And yes, his “blow it all up” mentality has a very literal meaning for military families – for all of us, actually, when you think about it.

    I did not have the stomach to watch, and still do not. I had enough trouble reading the press about the event as the day wore on. Even as I disapprove of violent protests, I am a big supporter of peaceful marches, gatherings and [especially in the case of THIS administration] boycotts. If corporate capitalism is what’s most important as they set policy, then let’s hit ’em in the wallet.

    I have sworn to join the women’s protest actions in response to those of this man who is now installed as our country’s leader – no presence at work, no “expected” family chores simply because we are female, and absolutely NO money spent, even and especially online – for the entire weekend.

    The point? A show of force: Don’t even TRY it! Women can and WILL shut down this country if you don’t respect our voices, our persons, our needs, and those of our collective children. BEGINNING with affordable preventative health care.

    The very idea that this man proposes to overturn the ACA *before* he has a better plan in place, *including* a respectable transition period (just because he said he would) is unconscionable. Another notch in his belt?

    Putting a candidate forward as Sec. of Education who has NO awareness of what’s involved, who made no attempt to backfill her ignorance for her own confirmation hearing, and who has lobbied for a redistribution of funding to favor private schools (despite the reality that she donated millions to his campaign), is beyond disgraceful. And this, before he even took office!

    We cannot let this self-aggrandizing bully govern unopposed. And we must express our disapproval and disdain LOUDLY and publicly — or else we will have contributed to what will most certainly follow.

    And if too few of us joined this particular boycott, we must organize another – as many as it takes to gather a movement that can no longer be ignored.

    I jumped over from Tammy’s reblog, btw, and I am extremely glad I did. Thank you for adding your voice in this most excellent post.
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

    Like

    1. I agree wholeheartedly. And it has taken me a long time to find my voice as a military spouse but the reality is that many spouses speak quite freely about their political views as long as they are conservative. It’s as if everyone just assumes you are so there is no taboo about talking politics… unless you’re a Democrat. I’ve decided that, while my husband has an obligation to remain neutral and not voice an opinion, I am not. And I am just as outraged as you are about Betsy DeVos. As a middle school teacher, I am floored by her nomination and find her to be grossly unqualified. We must all keep speaking out without reprieve. This is going to be a long 4 years! -C

      Liked by 1 person

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