Wednesday, May 03, 2017

8 Years Later

Photo taken at Los Angeles International Airport

I began writing this post back in January, but I wanted to wait and see before I posted it. Now, I feel the time is right.

January 18, 2017
I had just landed at LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) And, as I was headed towards the sea of humanity assembled in the queues that constituted Customs & Immigration, I saw a portrait at the time of, President Obama. It really struck me and it stopped me.  Having President Obama and his family in the White House for eight years was a tremendous source of pride for me. I admired the grace, class, intelligence, and sense of humor with which former Pres. Obama and Michelle Obama served as President and First Lady. Every summer, when my family and I ventured into D.C., we always made a point of stopping by the White House to give a nod.

Being at LAX two days before the Inauguration took me back to eight years ago, when I traveled back to the U.S. for a conference and landed at Washington-Dulles Airport, shortly after former Pres. Obama had been inaugurated. I remember being heartily greeted by the immigration official who said, “Welcome back, son!” This welcoming spirit/vibe extended itself all throughout the airport. And, what really caught my eye that day back in 2009, was a video screen in the immigration hall with a diverse group of people saying, “Welcome!” This was much different from the vibe I had experienced previously throughout the early to mid 2000's when I had returned to the U.S. I admit, at the time, 2009, I was a little fearful of flying to the U.S. from the Middle East, (Where I was living at the time). Renditions were taking place at airports, especially to men of color and there was much fear and uncertainty. The welcoming vibe of the airport and the change of leadership in the White House at definitely quelled my apprehension at the time and for the next seven years.

Now, 8 years later, for many people, for many groups, fear and uncertainty have returned due to the change of leadership in the White House. I’m trying to remain optimistic and hope something and/or someone good will emerge out of the current political situation as it did with Pres. Obama emerging from Pres. Bush’s disastrous second term (Two wars, housing crisis, economic meltdown, and an extremely low approval rating of 22% when he departed office). I’ve already witnessed progress in the following:

-The firing of staff and new leadership at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) who I place a large part of blame towards how the election went down!

-Bases being energized as with the Women’s Marches, The Tax March, and March for Science.

Photo taken at Women's March, Santa Barbara, Ca.
-Witnessing constituents being fired up at town hall meetings with their respective elected officials.

-And, hopefully, we will see more viable third party candidates in the next Presidential election.

Photo taken at Women's March, Santa Barbara, Ca. 

For those of us who are not GOP supporters, we need to steal the GOP playbook of the past 8 years that rejected pretty much everything, and just said, "No" a lot! And, try to make Trump a one-term president as how famously Mitch McConnell said the goal was of the GOP when Pres. Obama was first elected.




Dick said...

Right on, my friend! As always, well worth reading.

Lisa Coffman said...

So true, brother. I'm praying 45's term is short and does no long term harm.