On Friday, January 20, President 44 leaves office and President 45 is sworn in. The Obama era will officially be over. The Trump era will officially begin.
The Obamas brought grace, dignity, intelligence, and eloquence to the American public. We saw a model family grow up. They did normal things, like eating dinner at 6; school first for the children; mom rules; and grandmother keeps everything in order. How ordinary.
The policies and politics of Obama will be discussed for years to come. He saved the economy, he saved the auto industry, he was generous with the banking community, and he gave the nation health care, which made life better for 20 million people and even saved some lives along the way.
We had fun watching him. He and Michelle visited the late night talk shows; he was accessible to the news media answering the entire question and granting long interviews with no rules. He was on every news program.
The Obamas lived in the bubble well as they missed being ordinary and they rose to the occasion in full flavor.
In what became an eight-year contest of power, we saw President Obama work against a cabal of Republicans who were committed to assuring that his policy platforms as president were halted.
They were determined to hijack the president’s office no matter how beneficial Obama’s policies might have been for the American people. It was disrespectful and it was also racist. The President of the United States did not even get to put forth his nomination for the Supreme Court. Wrong.
We saw the First Lady become a voice in her own right and the American public fell in love with her, as she reached out to children and moms everywhere to promote her agenda on healthy living and fighting obesity.
Michelle became every woman. She even identified with single parents, although she was married. She kept it moving. You saw her safeguard her family and love her husband.
We even saw her hug a queen, who is actually untouchable by all protocols. We saw her cute in workout clothes and gardening and we saw her beautiful in the night at the state dinners in haute couture.
The Age of Trump
Now we enter a new era, the Age of Trump, and no one knows what to expect. He is not a Republican, he is not a Democrat. A new man, with his new party, takes the helm as the most powerful person in the world.
The new party is business. Trump comes to the White House as a businessman. He brings with him billionaire people. He insists on not showing his taxes, so that his wealth and debt cannot be traced or tracked, perhaps to foreign lands.
He says he will break tradition and might not live in the White House. His family will be part of his rule, just like a kingdom. His wife may not even assume First Lady duties; instead we may see First Daughter.
Trump will not sell his businesses; instead, he will turn the operations of his business empire over to his elder sons.
He will be King Twitter, commenting on all things that matter. He will be trending, as the media awaits his late night tweets for the early morning news.
Someone will have to take control of his freedom of speech because his randomness is just not presidential. He will change the workings and access of the press corp. He will be responsive to all things from the TV show to the movie star.
Trump is already at odds with the American intelligence community even before he takes office which is absolutely frightening. He has shown that he will be a free agent his own best friend and his own worst enemy.
He promises to be the most non-traditional president to ever occupy the seat, for better or worse. He will be besieged with government rules and protocols that he might just disregard.
Trump will look at government very differently than a traditional politician. His business insights might serve him well and his ideas on negotiation are in order.
He will try to run the government as a big business and it probably won’t work. He is used to being in charge and doing it his way, but at the end of the day, he will be forced to deal with a House and a Senate, though Republicans control both. Trump will probably exhaust the use of executive order.
To be a successful president, Trump will have to get control of his mouth. His candor will be too much for the American public in 2017.
The country is painfully divided. There is a lot of hatred in the world. It frightens. The tone of Trump’s campaign and Trump himself, have given white America permission to be overtly racist again. This is the fear.
What had been an honor for an entertainer to perform at the White House has been ruined. Performing at the President Trump inaugural on Friday has threatened entertainers’ careers.
Unorthodox Presidential Campaigns
Both the Obama and the Trump campaigns ran on the promise of change. Both ran on changing Washington. Both ran campaigns that became movements.Both ran against Hillary Clinton, and made her a loser twice for the historic bid of becoming the first woman POTUS.
The American public has responded to these unorthodox campaigns. This time around, the American public likes plain talk and families, so the power has shifted from the idealist to the realist.
The Obama campaign ran like a fairy tale about the American dream, as Barack made history in becoming the first African-American President. The Trump campaign ran like a reality TV show, as Trump took the bar room to Main Street.
Both guys stumped the press, telling us that mainstream media is out of touch with the man on the street.
A fatal error of the Clinton campaign was the assumption of the transfer of power from Obama to Hillary, the entitled-ness. I knew Hillary lost when Obama said if you want to preserve my legacy, vote for Hillary.
Basic politics says power does not transfer; votes are always earned. Hillary never asked for the vote. She simply presented herself, saying that she was the most qualified.
Trump knocked 18 opponents off the ballot one by one, by talking about them in ridicule, giving them nick names or just calling them out as losers.
He utilized bully tactics and no one could measure to him as they all played polite, traditional, civil politics and the press excused him because the ratings were good.
The Trump sting worked and provided a mountain of free press that translated to billions of dollars of free marketing for Trump the candidate. He won the election, even though he lost the popular vote by three million.
All of this is to say that we approach a new era of Americanism. I pray that we don’t enter World War III. I pray that a world leader doesn’t get the joke that is Trump and we enter the fight. Most of all, I pray that Trump stops tweeting.
The good news is that there is a division of power in the United States, and there will be some things with which even Trump will be forced to comply.
I predict President 45 will be in office for no longer than a year. His future is dim if he doesn’t conform. His business assets threaten conflict of interest, although he is exempt by the constitution from ownership of businesses. He might force the grounds for his own impeachment. That would be so Trump-like.