Inauguration Day Thoughts

Stop reading this. Stop reading now. Unfriend me now. Unfollow me now. This blog post will neither gloat nor whine. This is not the blog post that you think. I am not a partisan. I am a pragmatist.

I admit that I'm a little bit of a political junkie. The first presidential inaugural I remember was in the 6th grade, when I was glued to the television watching Ronald Reagan, while the rest of the kids in the class were chatting at lunchtime. Fast forward to the 1992, when I was in college, and I remember seeing Bill Clinton & Al Gore exit the campaign bus in Youngstown, Ohio, and my friends and I were fascinated by the energy of the crowd. Fast forward again to 2009, when I watched the inauguration of Barack Obama on my computer screen, live video streaming as I was seeing patients that January day.

Now, it's January 20, 2017, and two simultaneous events will happen today, for which I will be very proud American. First, I have always been fascinated by the most peaceful transfer of power in the world. In many parts of the world, regime change sometimes involves the military, shots fired, and people killed. But, not in the United States where we have a presidential transition team, tradition and pageantry, honoring the past, and looking forward to the future.

The second event of which I will be most proud will be the great tradition of self expression and the right to protest. This week, in addition to news stories about the inauguration, there have also been stories about people who will be protesting the inauguration events. And, I have no problem with that. I'm proud that we have a country in which both events can occur at the same time. And, I have friends who will be participating in the inauguration, and I have friends who will be participating in the protests today, both in DC and on social media. Even though it seems like we're more divided than ever, my hope is that we can find common ground and some kind of civility will return to our nation.