By Kathy Aoki
Co-Chair of AABA’s Newsletter Committee
For someone who holds an intense job, Donald John Trump seems to be cool, calm and collective but what he is really thinking and feeling is a mystery. As Trump was sworn in on January 20, 2017 as the 45th president of the United States of America, he held the lowest approval rating of any new president.
It was a glorious day for Trump and his family, friends, donors, and millions of voters who believe he will bring change in our country. But, the Republican Party is still fractured; protests occurred throughout the nation and a few blocks away from the inaugural festivities and a divided nation waits to see what happens next.
In Trump’s short, dark and agenda driven inaugural speech, I still felt trepidation because he gave no vision for the future or how he will bring divided nation together, Yes, Trump ambitious agenda includes rebuilding America, creating more jobs, eliminating Islamic terrorists and “ transferring power from Washington, D.C., and giving it back to you, the people.”
Trump’s address seemed geared for his supporters especially when he said,
“…hear these words:
Your will never be ignored again.
Your voice, your hopes, and your dreams will define our American destiny. And your courage and goodness and love will forever guide us along the way.
Together, we will make America strong again.
We will make America wealthy again.
We will make American proud again
We will make America safe again.
And yes, together we will make America great again.”
Since I have been alive and able to vote in presidential elections, I never remember any president doing everything the entire nation approves of. Trump is very confident in what he does and I know likes to win. But, when Trump said, “I will fight for you with every breath in my body -- and I will never, ever let you down,” I already felt let down because no president can keep all his promises no matter how sincere he is or how hard he tries.
Trump has an ambitious agenda which I doubt can be accomplished in four years and probably will cost more than anticipated. Yes, I am willing to give Trump a chance because whether I like it or not he is my president. I am happy people protested and there was a successful women’s march because everyone has a right to express their opinions and their voices should be heard. No, this will not change Trump being president but he cannot ignore these issues. Healing a divided nation will take time but nothing changes unless Trump starts to take action and show the nation what he can do about it.
Personally, I get tired of Trump and his inner circle blaming the media for misreporting information and should accept the fact less people were in attendance at the inauguration than expected. Protests were held all over the country and in the world. Trump should understand his words and tweets can have serious ramifications since he is not an ordinary citizen.
When Senator Paul Ryan was asked in an interview on “60 Minutes” if Trump understands the difference of being the CEO of the Trump Organization and being the president of the United States, Ryan responded that Trump knows the difference. I wonder if Trump has really aligned himself away from his business so there are no conflicts of interest involved here.
This presidency is also different because there will be no First Lady in the White House at this time. It’s understandable why Melania Trump wants to stay in New York with her son while he finishes his school year. But, who will fill-in for Mrs. Trump? Ivanka Trump already said “she is not the first lady.”
Trump does not plan to release his taxes because they are still being audited and supposedly the issue “was litigated during the election.” But, there is a campaign to get Trump to release his taxes because many Americans feel they have a right to know this information. What does Trump have to hide?
At the inauguration there were four past presidents and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Despite losing to Trump, Clinton showed much class attending an event which she had hoped to have been sworn-in as our first woman president.
As January 2017 comes to a close, my daily life goes on and I hold my breath to see what Trump will do next. Only three of his cabinet members have been confirmed at this time and I wait to see whom Trump will pick to fill the Supreme Court seat held by Antonin Scalia.
Although I thought Senator Charles Schumer (D-New York) gave an interesting address, I especially liked the message Rabbi Marvin Hier gave during the benediction. Hier, the dean and founder of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, words gave me something to reflect upon more than what I heard in Trump’s inaugural address.
“The freedoms we enjoy are not granted in perpetuity, but must be reclaimed in each generation. As our ancestors have planted for us so we must plant for others,” said Heir.