Redefining Patriotism: How I Felt Watching The Inauguration
January 20, 2017, marked a day of both endings and new beginnings. As we watched President-Elect Donald Trump be sworn in as the President of the United States, I felt what many Americans felt…the transition. I felt the transition of government as we observed the inauguration. It’s the end of an era, and a new chapter is beginning. Yes, we experienced joy as we said goodbye to eight long years of Barack Obama, but I felt something else…pride.
I felt proud. I felt like I could breathe. I hadn’t felt that defining moment of patriotism for a long time and had forgotten what it felt like. The Left has unfortunately redefined the definition of patriotism for many years, but it was particularly affected in the last eight years. Patriotism defined by the Left is the idea that when one loves, one agrees. It means to disagree with another human being is to demonstrate hate and bigotry. To love a gay man is to agree with his lifestyle, and if you don’t, it means you hate him. To love a Muslim is to agree with Islam, and if you don’t, you hate the Muslim. What I find ironic about this leftist approach to patriotism is that their version embodies the bigotry that they claim to fight. It shuts down your individuality as a free thinking American and tells who and what to love. It tells you that having an opinion or different point of view is to be “unpatriotic.” This demonstrates the hypocrisy of the leftist mantra…tolerance.
Please note, I did not start out supporting Donald Trump during the election. You may even call me a “cautious voter.” During the election, I found Donald Trump’s demeanor anything but presidential. I found many of his “promises” unrealistic. He didn’t embody what I would call conservatism, and this has continued to be my main concern going forward. So why did I vote for him? And why did I find myself feeling proud on the day of his inauguration?
While The Donald was indeed, brash, ungraceful and often, un-presidential, I came to grips with the fact that I could never vote for Hillary Clinton. I think many Americans experienced the same dilemma. I believe many were willing to ride the wave with Donald Trump and take a chance on the unknown, rather than choose Hillary and know full well what we were getting. This was the decision that I made as a voter. The media has painted a picture of America choosing a “misogynist, sexist bigot” over the first woman president. This is anything but true. The world didn’t choose Donald Trump. They rejected Hillary. They rejected corruption. They rejected the very familiar “Clinton climate” that has reigned in American government for decades.
Ultimately, what led many to their decision was choosing a new direction over a certain one. Hillary proved that money talks and that she was willing to sacrifice the sovereignty of this nation for a few bucks. This couldn’t have been easy for liberal voters. And that is the greatest dynamic of the election that will mock the Democratic party for years to come…the day of the election, Democrats went out and voted for Trump. This is the hardest truth they have had to face.
Last but not least, my pride. According to the media, there is nothing about Donald Trump that I should be proud of. Right? Wrong. You see, I’ve just spent the last eight years watching the first black president hold the highest office in the land. He achieved something as a black man in America that had never been achieved before. Why was I not proud of this accomplishment?
He used his position of power to blame his faults and disparities upon racism and white America. If racism was behind criticism of his presidency, then he would’ve never become president in the first place. Racism would never have allowed it, and yet he served, not one, but TWO terms. It was grossly negligent on his part for blaming white Americans for his failures. He fueled division by scolding Americans again and again for being individuals. He constantly complained about “who we are.” He upheld the militant, the hateful, the illegal, the Muslim and the LGBT community and scolded anyone who dared to oppose their beliefs or lifestyle.
For the first time in a very long time, Donald Trump, as brazen as he is, made Americans feel like they could be themselves without being punished for it. One could finally experience patriotism without having their wrist politically slapped by government. I felt unapologetic on January 20, 2017. I didn’t hang my head in shame for loving my country. I didn’t hang my head in shame for being a conservative. I didn’t hang my head in shame of being an American, and it felt pretty darn good. I have every intention of being objective during Donald Trump’s presidency. I plan to praise his highs and oppose his lows. And I’ll do it because that’s what a free thinking American does. You choose, and you do it unapologetically.