Friday, January 20, 2017

On the inauguration of a new president.

This is the second time that I've been in Washington on Inauguration Day. George W. Bush was sworn in as the 43rd President of the United States early in my last semester in college; I thought about making the trek from Georgetown to the Mall to witness the inauguration in person, but I ended up watching it on TV in my dorm room. Sixteen years later, living in Washington once again and having a second chance to attend a presidential inauguration, I decided to go.

Regardless of one's personal politics, all Americans have reason to be proud of the rituals that attend the inauguration of a new president, for they remind us that the peaceful transfer of power remains a hallmark of our political system. In a world where political change often comes about through violence and the shedding of blood, the extraordinary stability of American democracy is something for which we can be grateful.

Donald J. Trump has often courted controversy as a presidential candidate, and he may continue to do so as the 45th President of the United States; the fact that we have enjoyed a greater measure of stability than other nations does not mean that American politics are not contentious, or that national unity is easily restored after the rancor of a bitterly-contested election. What it does mean, however, is that our resilient Republic has the strength to persevere in spite of ongoing debates and divisions. On Inauguration Day, I thank God for that. AMDG.


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