WASHINGTON (AP) — Pledging to empower America’s “forgotten men and women,” Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States Friday, taking command of a deeply divided nation and ushering in an unpredictable era in Washington. His victory gives Republicans control of the White House for the first time in eight years.
As I stepped out of my apartment doors this morning, the 45th president of the United States of America turned from a hypothetical legal assumption into a fact. Donald Trump is now president of the United States.
He’s the commander-in-chief of the world’s largest military force and 6,970 nuclear weapons (second in the world, after Russia’s 7,300). He’s in charge of a federal executive bureaucracy of 2.06 million employees. He’s the President.
I feel very strongly about Donald Trump. It’s nearly all negative. But regardless of how I feel, Donald Trump has been sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, and I cannot deny that the constitutional precedents for his election as President has been met.
Dick Durbin, my senator from Illinois, put this excellently in a Medium post.
My presence is an acknowledgement that once again America has achieved what so many nations have failed to do: peacefully transition to new leadership.
This is true. The model of American democracy only works when the people of the United States obey and respect the constitution and the rule of law of the United States.
Our society has a procedure for correcting problems in the laws than govern us, and it’s Congress, the constitutionally established federal legislative branch. Congress, along with our state legislatures, has the power to make laws, amend laws, and repeal laws, and it is responsible for doing so in a manner with the best interests of society in accordance with the requirements of our legal system and our Constitution.
My strong dislike for the Republican Party has been based on the blatant obstructionism of Republicans of any meaningful legislation because of their opposition to Barack Obama as our president. But if the Democratic Party does the same thing with Donald Trump in the Oval Office, then I will be sorely disappointed with all of our politicians, regardless of party affiliation, who represent us in Washington, D.C.
I can appreciate that some people felt as strongly about the election of Barack Obama eight years ago as I do now about the election of Donald Trump. But I value our country’s civics, governance, rule of law, and republican democracy far more than my strong dislike for the 45th president.
And so, in a manner similar to Dick Durbin, I accept the constitutional truth that Donald Trump is now president of the United States. I will support the President “when he is right, and I will oppose him with every fiber of my being when he is wrong.”