Friday, January 20, 2017

America Great Again?

In advance of the Donald J Trump inauguration, you can observe a variety of sentiments, perspectives and emotions... especially on social media. You will find everything from Trump cheerleaders on one end of the spectrum, to die hard liberals on the other end who believe civilization is on the verge of collapsing. The rest of America falls somewhere in between these extremes. I have not heard this discussed anywhere else.

First let me disclose how I have approached this entire election cycle. Donald Trump was not my choice in the primary. I have very serious concerns about who Trump is and what he has done over the course of his life. I am a radio talk show host in the reddest of regions within a Red State and I have plenty of battle scars from my refusal to jump on board the "Trump Train".

I have made it clear for years that my ultimate loyalty is not to a party or a personality and that position has been sorely tested in this election cycle. I have characterized the Presidential options on November 8th as a choice between 'criminal' and 'crazy'. I opted for crazy and crazy won.

My decision was to give Mr. Trump a chance. He has made some extraordinary promises for his first hundred days. I'm willing to give him an opportunity to rise to the challenge of leading the Free World. My appeal to you is to do the same. But there's more.

To the people I would call 'Kool-Aid drinkers'; you know who you are. You are the people who really would stand with Mr. Trump even if he shot someone in broad daylight on 5th Avenue. Get a hold of yourself and your idolatry. Mr. Trump is not God and he will not make America great again. Further, those of you who have made it a practice of posting rude remarks on social media, either defending the President elect or attacking his alleged adversaries, it is time for you to take responsibility for adding to the toxic environment that is undermining our country. Stop! In fact, the less you say or do, the better. Let President Trump's administration stand or fall on its own merit.

To those of you who have Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS); you know who you are. You keep posting the end of the world messages and links from the liberal media and Hollywood left about Trump ending our democracy. For the record, we are not a Democracy, we are a Republic. Relax! The sun will still rise on January 21st, and many days thereafter. Our nation is not defined by one man with a title and position. Trump fanatics, you need to remember this too.

Do I have reservations and concerns about a Trump presidency? Absolutely. But will I pray for this man? Absolutely. Will I call him out when he is wrong? Absolutely.

For all of us, this is my greatest burden: that we recognize America is about "We the People"… not "they the government". It is ceding more and more power to people in Washington that has gotten us into this trouble in the first place. It is time for all of us to recapture the spirit of our Founders who envisioned a country based on self-government. This is what we have lost. We refuse to govern ourselves. The result is we engage in these mindless battles over who will rule over us. If we governed ourselves and less power was centralized in Washington, the stakes in these elections would never be so high.

What matters is this: you and I working hard; building strong families and extended families; learning how to operate in an atmosphere of mutuality in our neighborhoods and communities; and working together to bring people along who may be falling behind. This is called civilized society, which is not now, nor has it ever been built by politicians. Building America has little to do with government, much less centralized government in Washington, D.C. The question is, are we willing to self govern or will we simply take the lazy way out and look to unreliable politicians who keep building upon their illicit shrines of big government and big corporations to enslave all of us? For the record BOTH political parties are about big government and big corporations.

So the choice is ours. If we want a country that is great and good, it is time for us to pick up the mantle of local leadership and BE the people we need to be. This means prioritizing kindness, care and generosity with each other (people we know and relate to every day); and stop depending on strangers most of us will never meet or know to do something they will NEVER accomplish.

Vince Coakley is host of the Vince Coakley Radio Program, 10am to Noon M-F on 106.3, WORD, Greenville, SC

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