Inauguration Day should be off limits for protests

Editorial by Ken Vance
Editorial by Ken Vance

Since November’s General Election, half of the country has gone to painstaking levels to let the other half know of their displeasure with Donald Trump’s victory in the battle, and I do mean battle, for president of the United States.

Ken Vance, Editor
Ken Vance, Editor

I have absolutely no problem with those who didn’t vote for Trump or who are disappointed that he’s on the verge of becoming our 45th president. I don’t ask for the sympathy of others when my candidate doesn’t win. It’s not fun. It’s humbling. But, I deal with it. But, thankfully we live in a country where free speech is protected, even speech expressing displeasure of our highest elected official.

So, take your shots at Trump. He’s fair game. And, I admit he brings a lot of it on himself. The one thing I ask, is please try to make the distinction between attacking the man and attacking the office of president. I believe there is a big difference between the two.

There are some glorious things that distinguishes our country from many others around the world. The fact that we have, in most cases, respected the office of president even when we don’t respect the person is one of those things. Another is our peaceful transition of power. The bottom line is some things should be sacred, even when it comes to the often despicable world of politics.

Inauguration Day is one of those things that should remain sacred. It’s not a time to make political statements. The world is watching. It’s not a coronation of Donald Trump. It’s the culmination of the peaceful transition of power between one president and the next. And, it’s time for us to stand in awe and respect for the office of president, regardless if it’s Donald Trump receiving the oath of office or Barack Obama.

Reports are that 60 men and women of Congress have plans to boycott Friday’s Inauguration. I find that to be disgusting. I believe it shows they are unfit to be an elected official. If a member of Congress can’t show respect for the office of president, in my opinion, they’re not fulfilling their duty to our country and the Constitution of the United States.

Go ahead and fight Trump every step of the way. Battle him and his policies. If he missteps as you predict, point it out. If he fails on the level that his critics suggest he will, hold him accountable. But, every step of the way, do so while at the same time respecting the office of president.

But, some will say he’s a misogynist and that’s so deplorable that disrespecting the office while disrespecting the man is justified. What about the fact that his opponent in the race for president is married to the most prolific misogynist to ever serve as president? No reasonable person, in my opinion, can make the claim that Trump’s transgressions against women are more egregious than that of Bill Clinton’s.

Others justify their boycott of Trump because he is a racist. I don’t believe that’s true. In fact, the Coalition of African American Pastors (CAAP) recently gathered in Washington, D.C. to formally “denounce racial over tones against President-elect Donald Trump and challenge other black leaders to cease pushing division among people of Color for political expediency,’’ as reported by Breitbart.

The group’s statement was delivered by Rev. Williams Owens who, as reported by Breitbart, believes that “leadership has to be proven.  The current path by Democrats and some Republicans is aimed strategically to disrupt, where in the end, it’s the citizenry that will lose; we need strong leadership to move America forward.’’

In short, respect the office even if you don’t respect the person. And, that should definitely include the Inauguration.

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About The Author

Ken Vance got his start in the newspaper industry in 1987 as a reporter at The Columbian Newspaper in Vancouver. Vance graduated from Stevenson High School in Stevenson, WA, and attended Clark College in Vancouver. He worked for The Columbian from 1987-2001. He was most recently a staff member of The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground, where he served as editor since 2010 and reporter since 2007. Vance’s work in the newspaper industry has won him multiple awards, including a first place award from the Society of Professional Journalists for in-depth reporting.

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