United States: The Power of the Presidency


Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States on January 20, 2017. 

The majority of American citizens did not vote for Donald Trump; nevertheless, he is our president. He is our president because the Electoral College (which, at the very least, needs tweaking; or, in the opinion of many, needs to be abolished) awarded Trump 304 of its 538 votes.

Donald Trump Takes Oath of Office
Like many Americans, I boycotted the inauguration of President Trump. I did not go to Washington, DC. I turned my televisions to stations that did not broadcast the inauguration.

I chose to peacefully protest the installation of a man who was not elected by the people to the highest office of the land. I chose not to watch a man, who bragged about sexually assaulting women and who talks about women as if they are objects, as he was being installed as the President of the United States.  I chose to boycott a man who demeans and bullies American citizens who dare disagree with him. I chose to boycott a man who has so little knowledge of the history of this country and his countrymen that he has insulted John McCain, a Gold Star family, and John Lewis. Not only did he insult them, he has refused to apologize or reach out to these national heroes.  It should be noted that after insulting John Lewis, Trump invited Steve Harvey and Martin Luther King, III to Trump Tower, which seems to me to indicate that Trump thinks Black people are interchangeable. So, I chose to boycott Trump’s inauguration. I chose to boycott a man who seems to be intent on destroying our free press. I chose to boycott a serial adulterer, who tried to humiliate Hillary Clinton for being the wife of one man. I chose to boycott the installation to office of a man whose election was, reportedly, aided by a foreign power. I chose to boycott the installation of Donald Trump to the position of Commander-In-Chief; because Trump, according to all reports,  does not pay any taxes to support our military nor our veterans.

But, Donald Trump is the President of the United States. So, I listened to a tape of the inaugural address. During that address, President Trump proclaimed that he is going to “return the power to the people.”

Donald Trump’s Inaugural Address

As the protesters have taken to the streets today, January 21, 2017, the people are sending President Trump (as well as those legislators who sought, through gerrymandering, to dilute the power of the people) a message. President Trump,  “we the people” did not give you our power and you do not have a mandate. We have a voice, and we are going to continue using it. You need to listen to us, because we will not be quiet.

America Ferrera Speaks at Women’s March
Women’s March on Washington, DC
Ashley Judd’s Speech to Women’s March

John Lewis Speaks Out in Atlanta

This is only the beginning! People, who are not legitimately represented by those who seek to govern them, will continue to rise up. We respect the Office of the President.  However, the President must earn our respect.

IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING

On Sunday afternoon, I went to the movie theater to see “The 15:17 To Paris.” There was a young guy & his girlfriend in front of me at the ticket window. The guy, wearing a holstered gun on his hip, was waiting for the ticket agent to finish his conversation on the office phone and verify that he could, indeed, wear his holstered gun into the theater. After the ticket agent finished his phone conversation, he explained to the young male customer (the gunslinger) that since North Carolina is a concealed carry state, he could take his gun into the movie theater. ( I wanted to speak up and say that the pistol was not concealed, because I could see it. But, I decided to zip my lips. ) The potential movie goer explained that he wanted to take the gun inside with him because he didn’t want to leave it in the car with his young child. (I sifted through lots of questions at that point; but, still, I zipped my lips.). The ticket agent—a young Black guy—remained calm, said “no problem” to the potential movie goer(whose cut-off blue jeans’ shorts wearing girlfriend stood quietly by, holding his hand ). The potential movie goer asked the ticket agent which movie had a lot of violence. The agent said something like there are a lot of good movies. The potential movie goer pressed the agent for the name of the movie with “ like a lot of violence.” Seemingly, dissatisfied with the agent’s responses, potential movie goer wandered away, holding the hand of his true love, mumbling that he would have to think about it.

I stepped up to the ticket window and asked for a ticket to “The 15:17 To Paris.” I whispered to the agent, that if the young gunslinger should return to buy a ticket to let me know so I could leave the theater; or, better yet, sell him a ticket to something else. The agent laughed and explained to me that in a concealed carry state, the gunslinger has a right to carry his gun wherever he wants. I replied that I don’t care where he carries his gun, I just want to know if he’s in the theater with me so that I can leave. The ticket agent suggested that I sit up high in the theater. He seemed pretty smart to me, so I followed his advice, determined to keep my eye on people coming in to see my chosen movie.

Unfortunately, although “The 15:17 To Paris” has gotten bad reviews from professional movie critics; I got so caught up in the movie, I have no idea if the gunslinger and his girlfriend decided to come into the theater or not.

Today as I watch the news reports of the school shooting in Broward County, Florida, I am struck that the best advice that our leaders and politicians seem to have is: “If you see something, say something.”

So, I want to say something:

1. Take the high ground

2. Look for the exits

3. Listen to young people

5. Vote against any politician supported by the NRA.

And, ignore the movie critics when you choose a movie!

Health Care Matters #STAYWOKE

The Republicans(RyanCare / TrumpCare) are working on a compromise plan to garner enough votes to repeal & replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). This compromise, it seems, would not even leave us with Obamacare Lite, because they are talking about repealing 10 essential elements of the ACA (Obamacare). The list of essential services that they will get rid of can be found here 

Essential Elements of the Affordable Care Act

There Goes Our HealthCare

In Case You Missed It The Senate voted 51 to 48:

 1. To end coverage for preexisting conditions, veterans benefits, and aid to rural hospitals.

 2. To remove discrimination protection for women in healthcare.

 3. Against the provision allowing children to remain on their parent’s insurance till the age of 26.

 4. To cut off funding for the Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

 5. Against ACA contraceptive coverage and maternity care provision.

 6. To direct committees to send budget legislation to defund and repeal the Affordable Care Act.

 For those who get health insurance through work, no pre-existing conditions. Lifetime caps for coverage are back for everyone.

 Real actions are being taken that will affect more than just the 20-30 million people who will lose their health care coverage and the 3 million people who will lose their jobs.

 Despite their assertions of this being an action to “repeal and replace,” no viable alternative plan has been proposed.

 The House votes Friday.

 As of this moment, no replacement exists.

 Apparently, Speaker Ryan has had his phones cut off because of the volume of calls, so here is his mailing address:

 1233 Longworth HOB

 Washington, D.C. 20515

 Fax: (202) 225-3393