Saturday, 21 January 2017

Obama: epoch, period or comma?

Will ye no come back again

I watched the whole of the Presidential inauguration ceremony and like many others, I was struck by the contrast between the magnanimity and graciousness of the Obamas as they slipped away and the insolitous barbed comments and barely concealed arrogance of President Trump. The way they respectively greeted the assembled guests: the great, the good and the bad could not have provided a sharper contrast in style.

The Obamas even had an infectious friendship with George and Laura Bush as well as the Clintons that looked genuine. Barack Obama spoke to the guests as he entered and left the proceedings, meanwhile Donald Trump patted them on the back whilst turning away. Melanie Trump wore Ralph Lauren, Michelle Obama wore her emotions. The half empty streets down Pennsylvanian Avenue were not just because of the rain. They showed the hard core of Trump supporters and according to best estimates, not the facts claimed by Trump's Press secretary, Sean Spicer, there were far fewer present than at any recent inauguration.

As he bade farewell to his staff before leaving by helicopter, Obama told them: "Our democracy is not the buildings." "It's you, being willing to listen to each other and argue with each other and come together and knock on doors and make phone calls and treat people with respect. And that doesn't end, this is just a little pit stop." “This is not a period,” he said. “This is a comma in the continuing story of building America.”

I just hope that he is right, the prospect of Humpty Trumpty sitting on his wall before his great fall has the sort of resonance that is appealing. I doubt that all of GOPs men would rush to put him together again.

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