Thursday, November 10, 2016

Yesterday's Election and the Cheapening of the Presidency

It's now a little more than the day following Trump's election.  It's late at night, or early in the next morning, about 24 hours after Trump was declared the President-elect.

And I'm thinking: What most bothers me about Trump's election to this office is how it cheapens the Presidency.  Maybe people felt that way when James Buchanan or Warren Harding was elected President.  I don't know, I wasn't around then, but those guys, and the worst of our Presidents, at least had a little experience in some kind of government job before their election.

Reagan was an entertainer for most of his life, but he was also Governor of California for two terms. Grant and Eisenhower were generals.  Woodrow Wilson was an academic for most of his life, but he was also Governor of New Jersey for two years before he was elected President.

And Trump?  No political office, no position of any public authority, elected or appointed, whatsoever. His complete credentials can be summed up as real estate tycoon and entertainer.  And as I told Eyewitness News in New York in the interview below, conducted earlier today, that's probably more than anything else what got him known and elected as President yesterday.

And that cheapens the office, whatever Trump's policies, whatever he may go on to do.   The Presidency for me, this day, and I'm guessing for every day forward, will never be the same - I'll never look at it, think of it, in the same way.   I'll think of it as something less than I've thought it my entire life.

Later today, Barack Obama, who will be the President to end the succession of people to the office with any credentials worthy of the office, will be meeting with Donald Trump, who has no credentials at all.   It will symbolize, as will the two of them on Inauguration Day, something very sad, the passing of the baton of American leadership to a place sharply downward and unimaginable until this year.

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