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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Inauguration Day 2017


So tomorrow is the 20th of January, 2017, otherwise known as Inauguration Day.  Would that I were in a celebratory mood; alas that is not the case. 

Chicago
I am not a young woman anymore.  I spend little time thinking about career, now that it is almost certainly in my past, and much more time thinking about what the world will look like for my children and theirs. Over the past several years I have grown to have hope that we are figuring out how to take care of our land and our people.  I have witnessed many things of which I can be proud.  
Central Park, NYC

I have found reason to believe that there is a place for everyone in this country; that the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness really DOES belong to all of us, that no one of us is more important than the others, and that regard for the life of all people is important.  To that end, all of us must have access to health care as a basic human right.  
Duluth, MN

I have gained hope that wars will never again be launched without earnest consideration and input of the wisest among us. I reason that since I knew instinctively that war with Iraq would not produce the desired result, surely those among us who are better educated than I foresaw the debacle of the past 16 years.  I have trusted that those people have been consulted regularly over the past eight years to maneuver the intricacy of foreign relationships, and to avoid unnecessary wars
FDR's words on war

I have seen refugees of war-torn and destitute countries find homes within our borders. I have seen evidence that people of diverse religions can support one another and bond together in communities.  

Visitors to NYC
I have seen girls and young women seeking out the education and positions that best suit their interests, talents and drives.  I have seen proof that we are coming to believe that two people who care deeply for one another deserve the sanction of their relationship in our society, regardless of their genders.
Research in the Arctic

I have been relieved to see science resume the position of relevance that it must have, for our future on this planet; that countries around the world have begun to pull together to do what we can to slow the effects of our industrialization and population growth.  I have begun to hope that we would not lose our coastal cities to rising waters.  
Picnic in Maine

We need to figure out how to continue to feed us all without depleting everything around us in the process. I want Americans to continue to preserve natural beauty on this continent for our descendants.
Columbia River Valley, Oregon

But….I’ve also seen many things that as an American, do not make me proud.  As my husband and I travel around the country, I have seen evidence of unbelievable wealth.  
Newport, RI

With all the wealth of our nation, I just can’t help but ask why still so many of us struggle to survive here?  Why do we continue to build single homes that could house multiple families and that use the energy of a dozen smaller homes?  

Graffiti NYC

Why is it that the privileged and wealthy are exempted from many of the struggles that the rest of us share;  exempted from worry about affording health care, affording education, affording housing and safe neighborhoods, “exempted” from criminal prosecution sometimes.  
Wisdom of FDR:  No country however rich can afford the waste of its human resources.

Sadly, I have witnessed a decline in relationships between those that we ought to be able to trust to protect us, and those who most need that protection.  I have witnessed increased fear of those in positions of authority.  And fear of random armed people among us.  Guns in the hands of people who are not hunters—at least not hunters of animals.  
Site of John Lennon's murder

I have seen that those who are perceived as “different” by those in power, too often have little or no voice. Racial slurs and words of hatred spewed toward others have been resurrected from dark places within us that I had thought were withering away from the bright light of justice and common decency.  I had thought that the past decade saw us moving together as a people. I was wrong.
FDR Memorial.  "The test of our progress is.....whether we provide enough for those who have too little."

Tomorrow Americans shall inaugurate a new president; a president who has not shown a genuine interest in the welfare of this country’s people, nor even a serious interest in shouldering the responsibility of the presidency.  
Trump event during election 

We have found a president who may just be the best example that we could have conjured, to exemplify the drive for personal wealth and power above all other considerations—above honesty, respect, certainly above community and country.  A person who even before inauguration has led the charge to keep racism, xenophobia, arrogance, blatant hatred and fear alive and well within our land.  
A Connecticut superfund site

My fear is that within the next four years, this “leader” and his ill-chosen wealthy cronies will have gutted the functions of the very institutions and agencies which have been established for our people’s protections: Health & Human Services, Education, Justice, Environmental Protection, and on and on.  

"We must scrupulously guard the civil rights.....of all citizens.....oppression, any injustice, any hatred, is a wedge designed to attack our civilization."  FDR 
I hope my fear is unwarranted.  I hope that our nation will not have slipped back 50 years in four years’ time. My fear is that a careless comment or intentional insult from the man we will be obligated to refer to as “president” will launch us into an even more dangerous place than where we’ve been.  

FDR warning to be aware of government by a handful of rulers.
I left the country today, not to avoid the inauguration, but I would not have watched it anyway.  I WOULD however, have liked to participate in the March on Washington on the 21st.  If my readers would be so kind, would you do me the honor of posting how you spend your Inauguration Day 2017 and the day after?  I’ll be thinking of all of us tomorrow. 

From the Little Bahama Bank of the Abacos, I am—
a Sad but Determined American.  






2 comments:

Mark Bennett said...

Robyn and I were anchored in the Bay of Islands in NZ, sheltering from a northerly gale. We follow US news assiduously, and feel both apprehensive and powerless. Many times over the past year, I have wished I was back in the States to work for Bernie's campaign, or at least against Trump. Choices made long ago, though, directed our path elsewhere. On a lighter note, Robyn's getting good at catching snapper for dinner.

Ardys said...

Thank you for your response. Apprehensive and powerless. That's a good description for me too.