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Opinion: This is our country and our president whether we agree or not
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It’s hard to say when the concept started, though it’s roots likely are buried at the juncture of social media and political divide.

Maybe it was after George W. Bush’s controversial win over Al Gore that progressives and liberals posted the first meme saying: “Not My President!”

The contrarian thought certainly gained popularity during the Obama administration, as some of those on the traditionally conservative side of the political fence — some for political reasons, some because of race — frequently proclaimed: “Not My President!”

The uproar reached a crescendo during the current presidential administration, primarily from Democrats who were again quick to proclaim that Trump was “Not My President!” following his victory over Hillary Clinton in the Electoral College.

And already some who deny the credibility of his election to office are saying the same about Joe Biden, who doesn’t even assume the job until Wednesday. “Not My President!”

Except that they are all wrong. The person selected by the Electoral College to assume the presidency is very much “Our President,” whether we agree with him or not.

Until we as a nation can set aside the divisive political discord that has become so commonplace over the past 20 years, so as to once again unite as a people despite our differences, the destructive winds of societal suicide will continue to blow.

It has not always been this way. There was a time when people could disagree with the president and still accept the validity of his leadership. There was a time when the national good was more important than any political party. There was a time when those in government service could argue and debate issues without resorting to character assassination, personal attacks and demonization of those with differing opinions.

But that was then. This is now.

It is not melodramatic to say that the week to come is one of the most important in the history of our nation. We prepare to inaugurate a new president with thousands of law enforcement officers and military personnel on hand to provide security, not from some foreign threat, but from a fear of open rebellion from certain elements of the American people.

Unless there can be some reconciliation, some stepping back from the precipice of national disaster, it is hard to imagine that we can continue to exist as united states if the war for power and control continues to escalate.

Times editorial board

Staff members

  • Norman Baggs, general manager

  • Shannon Casas, editor in chief

Community members

  • Cheryl Brown

  • David George

  • Mandy Harris

  • Brent Hoffman

  • J.C. Smith

  • Tom Vivelo

Trump was just impeached for a second time. In retaliation, a congressional gadfly from Georgia has already said she will introduce an effort to impeach Biden as soon as he is sworn in. It has to stop.

President-elect Biden has, on more than one occasion, said there is a need for the nation to heal. There is no doubt that he is right, but whether those on either side of the tug-of-war for the soul of the country has the leadership and statesmanship to help make it happen remains to be seen.

On the national scene we have far too many people concerned with saying political things than with saying the right things. Too many concerned with being on the right side of their particular crowd than simply with being on the right side. Too many worried about standing for re-election instead of standing for what is right.

Is there a sadder governmental phrase than “voting was along party lines?” Allegiance to political parties is going to do to our nation what all the wars, enemies and terrorists have failed to do.

Our collective weakness isn’t the Democratic Party nor the Republican Party, but rather that those of us who should refuse to accept inappropriate behavior from members of both groups fail to make our voices heard.

We have a right to demand better behavior. We have a right to demand better government. We have a right to demand thoughtful debate of difficult topics. We have a right to demand transparency. We have a right to be heard.

As long as those on the fringes on both ends of the political spectrum have the loudest voices, the status is never going to change. Until some semblance of respect can be returned to the political system, those few existing voices of reason that can occasionally be heard will never resonate through the corridors of power.

As a nation we have to stop playing “whatabout?”

What about the riots last summer? What about the riots at the Capitol? What about the way Obama was treated? What about the way Trump was treated? What about aborted babies? What about mistreated immigrants? What about money wasted on the rainbow coalition? What about money wasted on military armaments? What about law and order? What about civil rights? What about cancel culture? What about lies? What about, what about, what about?

What about we all try to remember that despite our differences, despite political parties, despite the rhetoric of hate from all sides, we are supposed to be “One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Is that visionary dream too much for us to aspire to achieve? It didn’t used to be, back when whoever was president was “our president,” and we were a people united, even when we disagreed. 

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