It was literally trash day on my street today and I couldn’t help but think of that metaphor as Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45 president of the United States. As good as the ceremonies were, the best thing for me was seeing Barack Obama whist away into the oblivion of the trash dump removed from the White House and left valueless with only his title as a former president remaining—which for him will soon be meaningless like a lot of the trash I put at the end of my driveway each week. It has been a good day as before the ceremonies even started we received these very nice inauguration glasses in the mail which we used during the swearing-in. Additionally my wife special ordered her favorite candy in the world, Divinity from Gatlinburg, Tennessee shipped to us just for this occasion to enjoy throughout the day. One of my daughters was able to come over to watch the main events as my wife and I ended the day at Uno’s in West Chester with friends and people who had been in the trenches with us for many years. The overall feeling about everything had that refreshing feeling you get when you take out the trash allowing you to separate from things you don’t want in your house—and Barack Obama for at least six years was one of those items I was so very happy to see put to the curb.
As I watched the events of the day I couldn’t help but think I was witnessing the physical manifestation of the song by Highly Suspect called “Hello, My Name is Human.” As Trump took the oath I kept hearing the lines, “I’m up off my knees, girl–I’m face to face with myself–I stole my power from the sun—I am more than just a man.” I do like that song! A lot. But particularly that third part of it where the narrative had eclipsed the terrestrial limits of human existence and moved beyond the limits of our experience—to become more than worldly limits allow. Literally, the trend of Washington D.C. culture has been for everyone to get on their knees and worship at the alters of the powerful—but with Trump—he came to town clearly larger than anybody and now literally he was looming over everything with a perspective that was more than human.
The trend continued in reverse as I reflected on the concert in front of the Lincoln Memorial which for me was deeply emotional because it had a theme that was very obvious. When 3 Doors Down sang Kryptonite as an obvious nod to Superman—the super hero, and that was followed by several acts featuring Ravi Drums performing some fabulous solo drum exhibitions I could see a not so subtle plot emerging—a message from Trump to the rest of us. Again, the theme was “solo” efforts at taking small things and overcoming limits to become bigger—like the Trump presidency. As I watched Ravi and the other acts I could literally hear the most diehard liberals from the entertainment community screaming at what they were seeing—the power of the individual being unleashed through the Executive Branch.
With Obama it was the theme of progressivism—we are all nothing unless we are united together—which is the trash we just kicked to the curb. As the presidents gathered to watch Trump take the oath the evidence was palatable. Trump’s inauguration speech was literally a symbol of mankind rising to some new individual height that stepped well beyond the limits of our past where we were all chained in bondage to the orders of our “betters.” Trump had arrived and not even past presidents sitting right next to him could eclipse that light he had gained from the metaphorical “sun.” Here was a man who had never been on his knees for anybody taking the Executive Office–who just 12 hours prior had brought Kellyanne Conway on stage to thank her for all her hard work and then called her “baby” as she stepped off the stage. The political left melted into oblivion. How could a man who was president of the United States be such a chauvinist—a capitalist loving monument of freedom who didn’t need any of them—the answer is that Trump was never a groveling fool begging for his way through life. He’s always been face to face with himself and that drives the order of the past insane.
Most of the European wars that have taken place since the Roman Empire left the shores of England were over the control of populations and what religion they would adhere to. Even when Catholics had their grip on England the Protestants led by Martin Luther were proposing that Rome was not in control of man’s connection to God which only increased as the printing press made personal Bibles more of a household item—decentralizing the church in ways they were never comfortable with. So wars would break out within countries and with other lands essentially to focus the efforts of nations on a unified religion. Even before the Roman Empire, it was these kinds of state sponsored challenges which inspired people to kneel before a king, a god, or an ancient past where these heroes paved the way for lesser people to exist. Then along came America to challenge all that but even then our European roots possessed many of the previous 44 presidents in ways that made them run the Executive Branch with more pomp than circumstance. A few former presidents touched the face of greatness (the sun) and generated their own otherworldly reference—but most were content to bow on their knees and face their god—and leave things there. Not Trump.
The Air Force One planes that Trump and his family departed from looked small—they didn’t fit his personality—just as the wide shots during the inauguration made the former presidents look like an old shoe that Trump had grown out of as a youth. Donald Trump is the oldest inaugurated president yet he looks and acts like a man of 35—he doesn’t seem elderly, feeble in any way, or even limited. He has unshakeable confidence and a belief in his ability to literally do anything. There has never been a president like that. This is a very new experience. But even as I say that, the whole event wasn’t about Trump—it was about us.
I have never enjoyed a firework display like I did the one at the Lincoln Memorial with the Trump family standing on the steps as the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” played. We don’t have a democracy—we have a republic and when the people who run that republic have never been on their knees in obligation to anything—and they expect to give the people of that republic the same transcendence—the human race just evolved from something that belongs in the trash to something of great value—an empty vessel ready to be filled with the succulence of Americanism spawned forth by the 45th president, just as the wonderful inauguration glass had brought me great joy and many fine wines during the swearing-in ceremony.
And as the garbage man came to pick up our trash in front of our house I listened to the song “Hello, I am Human” over and over as the lights from the truck lit up the early morning pre-dawn hours with promise—we were throwing out those days of kneeling before our “gods” our “betters” in Washington D.C. and we were as a nation facing ourselves—standing—with the power of the sun for literally the first time in human history and we were saying with a salute to the American flag—“Hello, we are now—human.”
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