This was entirely predictable to me. If you go back and review some of my earliest posts concerning the last election you may find that I said from the very beginning of this most unique and controversial period a Trump presidency would fundamentally change what it means to be American. Well, it has and continues to do so. And, now, we struggle with the choices we have made.
Now, depending on your Point of View, what is happening is either the answer to all of your prayers or the end of civilization as we know it. The opinions are as diametrically opposed as the vision of the future each camp holds. I will not judge those POV's but, rather, offer them as choices.
Those who share their vision of America as embodied by the man they elected President, Donald Trump, is of a BIG America, one of power and authority. It is America First. And, they mean that in every sense of the word. We carry a Big Stick in the world and we should use it to further American influence. Those who do not realize or fail to accept this are subject to the consequences that come with resistance. No apologies for being powerful and using the authority that comes with it will be offered. Anything less will be interpreted as weakness and, therefore, unacceptable. Our Ambassador to the United Nations has already made that clear in an early address to that international body. We have the Bully Pulpit and intend to use it.
The Executive Orders issued so far by President Trump have also suggested his preference for a mostly white, Christian nation. Building a wall at the border with Mexico and his immigration ban from seven predominantly Muslim countries are clear indications of those intentions. The President has said, and many believe, that this will make us safer.
Under this vision, the separation between Church and State will be blurred, if not completely eliminated. To favor the growth of business, environmental regulation will be rolled back, even to the peril of the safety of our air and drinking water. The Freedom of the Press (guaranteed by the 1st Amendment) will be curtailed. Public education will be compromised. And, a woman's Right to Choose will be in jeopardy. Again, many believe this "step back" is one that will ultimately bring us forward.
And, there are other indicators as to this vision.
Mr. Trump's elevation of Stephen K. Bannon to a unique status as a most trusted adviser and shaper of national policy is a most telling example. Mr. Bannon's most recent position with Breibart News and the programming he created there tells you everything you need to now about him. The comments that he has made in recent interviews reinforce this vision of a "different" American from the one it had been. He has clearly stated that he believes in a Leninistic vision of the future where everything is torn apart only to be rebuilt in The Party's image - HIS party's image! And, most of Mr. Trump's cabinet picks share this philosophy.
In fairness, Mr. Trump promised changed, millions supported him, and they are getting it. Certainly, most of his followers are unshakable in their support. And, why shouldn't they be? They voted for him for the very reasons I listed above. They are not afraid. They are exactly where they wanted to be.
But, there are others, tens of millions of others, who do not share that vision.
It's funny, but most Trump supporters see themselves of wanting a return to a traditional America - to Make America Great Again. But, what they want is in direct opposition to what those in the other camp see as the REAL American values. These people see an America that does its part as a leader in International Policy without having to resort to force or threats. They want immigration reform but do not see banning certain ethnic or religious backgrounds as a viable option. The want reasonable environmental regulation that protects citizens from harm while not crippling small businesses and punishes large scale polluters. They want a multi-cultural society where ALL people are created equal. They want an unfettered press that is responsible to the truth and not "alternative facts". And, they want the truest form of freedom - one that keeps the government out of their most intimate choices.
Again, I have attempted not to judge but, rather, to present. It is not necessarily wrong to want a strong American. It's our choice on how we get there that will make the difference. Most have already made it. Let's see where it leads us . . .
* The opinion expressed are strictly my own and do not necessarily reflect those of any other individual or entity.