When I was in high school I and my classmates survived the Cuban missile crisis. We practiced sitting in the hallway of W. B. Ray High School and placing our heads between our knees in this misguided idea that this would allow us to survive the coming nuclear attack. Even with the possibility of a nuclear war with the Soviet Union, I was never afraid of the future of our constitutionally defined government.
Today, as you read this column, the 45th President of the United States will be sworn into office. When this event occurs, I will say I will become anxious about our country’s future. I am well aware that the majority of Erath county citizens voted for Mr. Trump and it is not his election that necessary makes me anxious about the future, it is his behavior and attitudes that are the cause of the anxiety.
Based on some of his tweets, he appears to distrust aspects of the government he will be leading. He has expressed doubts about the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. To me, presidential behavior does not suggest that you publically disagree with these agencies because you don’t agree with their intelligence findings. He appears to have a distrust of the media and I feel that this influences how the media reports on his activity. He angrily responds to those who criticize his words and behaviors such as calling Meryl Streep and over rated actor.
I am confident that other Presidents have been critical of aspects of the government, have not appreciated the coverage of the media, and disagreed with entertainers, but they did not publically complain about these disagreements. It was reported that Mr. Trump might close the press room in the White House. Our government can continue to function if we have a free press that hopefully objectively covers our governmental officials.
I have lived through other Republican administrations so my anxiety about the future is not related to the Republican Party being in charge of House and Senate or the fact that the President-elect ran as a Republican. The problem is I think he will do things that will make the country regret that he was elected. I have a friend that has been posting his fear and regrets about the election since November. Each day he posted another long essay about his displeasure with the election. When reading his posts, I decided that I would try to let it go and move on.
Then I hear of the possibility of President-elect Trump having hired Russian prostitutes while on business trips to Moscow. Then there is the possibility that the Russian government tried to manipulate the election. Then I read in the paper that even before taking office he has angered the leaders of other countries that in some cases are our allies. These are the sources of my anxieties about a Trump presidency. I certainly hope that this is all much ado about nothing and I will look back with amusement at my feelings now that Mr. Trump has actually become the successful 45th President.
Bob Newby is an educator and Erath County resident. He is a member of the E-T's community columnists and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.