January 20, 2017 10:30 AM
Eight years ago, I begrudgingly watched from a conference room at Dalton State College as a junior senator from Illinois take the oath of office to become the 44th President of the United States. It was my last semester of my undergraduate career as I would graduate in May of 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems.
The economy was suffering from the housing market collapse of 2008. Dalton, being the “Carpet Capital of the World”, was hit especially hard with unemployment rising above 10%. We were in the throes of the Great Recession, and our fresh President was coming off an election promising “Hope and Change” to a disillusioned electorate. A campaign mantra that had a hollow ring to it to most conservatives.
Admittedly, I rolled my eyes through most of his inauguration ceremony wondering to myself: “does he know what he’s getting himself into?” I was concerned for myself. I was about to enter a job market that had seemingly dried up and seriously wondered what my chances were to start my career after college.
There was a lot of concern about President Barack Obama’s liberal policies. Worry about his administration “coming to take our guns” caused gun and ammunition purchases to soar. President Obama also felt like his election allowed him to strong-arm Congress and, especially, Republicans. As Kyle Wingfield points out, his legacy was doomed right out of the gate by coming in as a conqueror rather than as an agent of change willing to work with the majority and minority with these words: “I won.”
Today, I will watch a well-known businessman with no previous experience as an elected official take the oath of office by saying that he will “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States”. I will be witnessing the peaceful transfer of power as Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th President of the United States at the office where I was hired just a few months after President Obama took office.
We have slowly recovered from the Great Recession over the past eight years, but I would say that has more to do with the resiliency of the American people versus what one President has done. America has, as we have in the past, endured and adapted to new challenges. Despite the fear and concern of his more liberal beliefs, we didn’t turn into “a communist state” under President Obama. I don’t believe that we will turn into “a fascist state” as a lot of liberals are bemoaning since the election. In short, we will be fine.
The America people are strong, and I hope President Trump respects our strength and enters into office with humility and a willingness to work with both parties in order to serve his country. We begin a new chapter in the “Great Experiment” by transitioning power from one person, and party, to another in a peaceful manner, but we should remember that “We The People” author the book–those that we elect are the scribes.