Trump haters out in force on Friday

Published 10:28 am Tuesday, January 17, 2017

When Donald Trump raises his right hand this Friday (Jan. 20) and utters the words, “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” we, as a nation, will formally have our 45th president.

At no time, at least during my 63 years on Earth, have we witnessed a more contentious era of politics. Without a doubt, Donald Trump has the opportunity to become the most hated president ever.

The majority of those casting a ballot back in November did not do so for Mr. Trump. But yet he is our president, based on how our Electoral College works.

I did not vote for Barack Obama during either of his successful bids for the White House. Was hate the reason….no. I’m not a liberal, so I do not vote for liberals….plain and simple. However, I do respect the office of POTUS. Barack Obama, just like those that occupied the Oval Office before him, was my president.

How will Mr. Trump fair as POTUS? That answer remains unclear, at least in my eyes. There are those already saying he will be the worst among any of his 44 predecessors.

This we do know….Mr. Trump is not a politician; nor he is a Washington insider. He’s a businessman. He knows how to make deals.

We have seen where career politicians have taken this country….down the tube, hard and fast. It was time for a change. Is Donald Trump the answer to end our slide? Let’s give him a chance and see if he leads us on the right road.

What we will witness this Friday is another chapter in the history of one of the world’s greatest spectacles….a presidential inauguration. It’s seeped in tradition, with a few curveballs along the way.

Did you know that other than the Chancellor of New York State administering the very first oath of office (to President George Washington in 1789), there are only a handful of times when that oath was not given by a standing member of the US Supreme Court?

Since the 1797 inauguration of John Adams it has become customary for the new president to be sworn into office by the Supreme Court’s Chief Justice. There have been exceptions. William Cranch, chief judge of the U.S. Circuit Court, administered the oath of office to John Tyler in 1841 when he succeeded to the presidency upon William Henry Harrison’s death, and to Millard Fillmore in 1851 when Zachary Taylor died.

In 1923, upon being informed of Warren Harding’s death, while visiting his family home in Plymouth Notch, Vermont, Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as president by his father, John Calvin Coolidge, Sr., a notary public.

Perhaps the most remembered oath was given by Federal Judge Sarah T. Hughes. She administered the oath of office to Lyndon B. Johnson aboard Air Force One after John F. Kennedy’s assassination on Nov. 22, 1963.

Only twice has a presidential inauguration been moved indoors due to the bitter winter cold – 1909 (William Howard Taft) and 1985 (Ronald Reagan).

Speaking of Taft (our nation’s 27th President: 1909-1913), he is in the history books as the only man to ever be POTUS and, later in life, Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court.

Barack Obama is scheduled to attend Trump’s inauguration, but there have been notable “absentees” during previous transfers of power.

John Adams, still smarting over the outcome of the election, did not remain in Washington to witness the inauguration of Thomas Jefferson, his successor. In 1829, John Quincy Adams also left town, unwilling to be present to see Andrew Jackson’s accession to the White House. In 1869, Andrew Johnson was angrily conducting a cabinet meeting even as his successor, Ulysses S. Grant, was being inaugurated. Woodrow Wilson oddly did not attend Warren G. Harding’s 1921 inauguration (though he rode to the Capitol with him), nor did Richard Nixon attend Gerald Ford’s 1974 inauguration (having left Washington, D.C., prior to his resignation taking effect).

I feel certain there are millions of Americans who wish Donald J. Trump will not show up this Friday in Washington, DC.

Cal Bryant is Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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