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What Happened to Dignity and Integrity?
While viewing the recent inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump I was deeply moved nearly to tears. I should emphasis these were not tears of joy but of foregone days regarding the administration of President Barack Obama. I could only watch in disbelief and harken back to the times when integrity, dignity and class reigned supreme in our government and ruled our land. No other president in my lifetime had exuded the class that the Obama presidency had shown during his eight years in office. Although many people disagreed with the policies championed by President Obama one could not argue with the manner in which he led. I truly feel in my heart that our country will take a step backward in regards to civility and tolerance under the Trump administration. Both friends and foes on the world stage will once again view the United States as an empire bent on political posturing and imposing its will on the world. In my view many of the bridges built and alliances forged will be dismantled and we will be right back where we were eight years ago before President Obama took office.
Regardless of race, political or religious affiliation, gender or socioeconomic status, we as citizens living within the borders of the United States the last eight years, have been witnesses to the brilliance of America’s first Black president. Under the Obama administration our nation witnessed a great recovery from the brink of an economic disaster that was heaped upon his shoulders as he took office. America’s banking system was in shambles and fears of another Depression were on the minds of most Americans. Through skillful negotiation he was able to save us from a meltdown and changed the environment of greed that was undeniable prevalent in the banking system. Seeing a broken healthcare system which plagued our nation President Obama remedied a solution that brought change to a process which systemically denied basic healthcare to a large segment of the population. Today over 20 million Americans have healthcare that they never had in their lifetimes all thanks to President Obama. On the world stage President Obama inherited a military bogged down in a quagmire on two fronts and vowed to bring our troops home. Even as he delivered on his promise to get us out of war President Obama was mocked and criticized.
No other President in history faced the opposition and sheer disrespect that Obama endured during his time in office. Throughout most of his two terms President Obama faced opposition with nearly all of the policies he wished to implement. But through it all Obama displayed an unwavering sense of strength and class. The public was able to see him as a family man with a strong black woman by his side serving as both a wife and confidant whom he leaned on heavily I’m sure during the challenging times of his presidency. Michelle Obama brought elegance and grace to the White House and became the “Mother to America” while championing causes in her own right. Getting Americans to eat healthy and exercise more so that we could live longer and have more productive lives were in the forefront of her beliefs for society. Putting the welfare of others has been a common trait in the White House for the last eight years. It has been a memorable occasion to have the Obama’s as America’s first couple living scandal free and promoting a strong sense of family and commitment to each other.
But alas, we have elected a man who has made it a point to be brash and provocative. Trump appears to take great pride in demeaning women, immigrants and the disabled and trampling under foot anyone who stands in opposition to his policies. President Trump’s seemingly unapologetic rhetoric stokes the flames of contempt ,fear and distrust among citizens and can only divide our nation and undo many of the gains made by his predecessor. In a book entitled “Nothing Personal” written by the great African-American poet and author James Baldwin and Richard Avedon, Baldwin states , “ If a society permits one portion of its citizenry to be menaced or destroyed, then very soon, no one in that society is safe. The forces thus released in the people can never be held in check, but run their devouring course, destroying the very foundations which it was imagined they would save. But we are unbelievably ignorant concerning what goes on in our country-to say nothing of what goes on in the rest of the world and appear to become too timid to question what we are told….our opulence is so pervasive that people who are afraid to lose whatever they think they have persuade themselves of the truth of a lie, and help disseminate it; and God help the innocent here, that man or woman who simply wants to love or be loved.”
May God bless and watch over us all –it looks like we’ll need it –Soon.
Carl U. Eggleston