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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

What Are You Doing on Inauguration Day?

What will you be doing on Jan. 20, inauguration day in the U.S.?

On that sad day, the United States will get a new president, elected by only a quarter of the population of the country. I refer to that day as coronation day, as the president-elect is already acting like a king whose country's laws do not apply to him and his family.

So it will indeed be a sad day for our nation and the world, to have as its leader someone who is more obsessed with beating Arnold Schwarzenegger's reality television show ratings than in getting national security briefings. This is someone who packed his only news conference with paid staff to cheer his answers and to boo reporters' questions. This is someone whose party meets in the middle of the night to begin the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act that provides health insurance to more than 20 million Americans, with absolutely no plan to replace it. This is someone who attacked via Twitter John Lewis, who nearly died in his fight for civil rights in the 1960s. This is someone who canceled his announced visit to the Smithsonian's Museum of African-American History on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

As I recently responded to someone on Facebook who asked how people plan to observe that day, I intend to wash socks, clean toilets, pick up dog poop from my yard, and perhaps read a book or watch a movie. Since the fuhrer-in-waiting is obsessed with ratings and having the biggest this or being the best that, I intend to join others who hope to make this the least-watched inaugural of recent times. My television set will be turned on to any channel that doesn't carry the inaugural. That way, statistics will show a larger number of viewers watching anything except the coronation.

But of course, he will lie, as he always does, and say his inaugural was the biggest and the best ever. After all, 'many people' will tell him that. He has already lied when he boasted that Washington, D.C.-area dress shops have sold out of ball gowns. In reality, the demand has been extremely low. A mere 200 buses have requested parking permits on Jan. 20, but 1,200 have requested permits for the following day, when the Women's March will take place.

His inauguration committee has been unable to get any A-list entertainers or performers to participate. The traditional parade will be extremely short due to the refusal of many organizations to take part. But of course, according to his people, that's to allow the new president to get right to work. But work on what? Dismantling the Affordable Care Act? Gutting Social Security and Medicare? Selling public lands to the highest bidder?

So on Jan. 20, I will join with many other Americans in refusing to watch, either on television or online, any part of the inaugural events. I will also stay away from Facebook on Jan. 20 to avoid seeing anything about the coronation. I will turn my profile photo black as a sign of mourning for our nation. Please join us in refusing to watch the coronation ceremony. It's a small sign of defiance, but if enough people speak up, perhaps we can in fact derail the fuhrer's plans.