Last Friday, I had the opportunity to watch the Presidential Inauguration in its entirety, and pride swelled within me as all the patriotic music filled the air.
Myriad dignitaries filed in and filled the seats to observe or participate in the ceremonies. And many a seat held common people like me, and like you—the people referred to in the constitution, including the rich, the poor, and all those in between. We, the people, in other words—the smartest ones, the most ignorant, and all the rest. No one emphasized a party. That had come during the campaign. Far too much of it, as a matter of fact, but as former Vice-President Biden said, “It’s over now.” The time has come to move on with life. No matter the reason that the people chose the current president, he is our president, whether we voted for or against him. To want him to fail is like wanting the pilot of an airplane on which we are passengers to fail. If he fails, we all go down together. We all need to give him a chance to prove himself. This I believe.
I further believe that we people in these United States of America have a right to peaceful protest if we choose, even when vast numbers of our fellow citizens disagree with us. One of the greatest marks of civilization is being able to disagree without fighting. For example, the women’s march on Saturday was peaceful, even though I cannot see what the current administration has done since taking office to offend the participants. To protest what might happen seems pointless to me. I think it would have been more productive to wait for some specific offence to complain about. We do not, however, have the right to riot or damage other people’s property because we disagree with public policy. People who riot should bear the full retribution of the law that they earn with their behavior. We cannot tolerate anarchy, no matter what reason the rioters use. Rioting must have consequences.