Just Me: Notes from a Political Junkie

A Watch and Wait Moment

Admittedly, it has taken me a few weeks to get grounded. Living up to my own standard of total objectivity is quite a challenge! I couldn’t resist getting in my two cents. At the least I had to give it a try.

Stage One: Inauguration Day: A Wait and See Moment

For scholars of Modern Political Theory, the inaugural address became the foundation for identifying and understanding the 45th President’s mission. Using the analytical formula (presented in numerous class sessions); these scholars focused on connecting the new president’s philosophical perspective (more on that in weeks to come) with both mission identification and the identification of probable strategies and tactics. In the process, I changed places with them and became their student. Thanks to their guidance and instruction, I was given a map through the nuances of facial expression, body language, gestures and applause variations. Did I pass? I’m not sure. Something tells me my grades like those of President Trump’s are still out.

Yet, ironically, I was more impressed with them, than I was with the inaugural address itself. But, it’s not mid-term yet . . . so, it is far too early for me or President Trump to make preparations or to hit the campaign trail for the next term.

Stage Two: Cabinet Nominations

Keeping an open mind, I decided my best bet was to focus on the nomination of Betsy DeVos to the Department of Education. Getting to the point. I was unimpressed and disappointed. At the least, my hope was for an Education Secretary who would bring more to the table than a pleasant demeanor, extraordinary wealth and an allegiance to private schools and academies.

Admittedly, at this point in the system, I am conflicted and confused. Does the new appointee have any experience with or knowledge of public education? What is her perspective on rural education? Will any attention be given to the specific problems of poor communities? What are the plans for the existing school systems? Repair the system — how? Replace it — at what cost? Details are needed. Then too, her inability to distinguish between educational proficiency and growth was of real concern. Maybe, in the first developmental stages of her agenda, she should “educate” herself. Not a criticism . . . I’m just saying.

Final Stop: The Supreme Court Nomination

Perhaps this should have been my first stop. March is right around the corner. Even though there is not much time for exploration, there is time for a reality check. Here’s a sample:

Since Justice Antonin Scalia was an originalist and a textualist; it comes as no surprise that his shoes would be filled by a judge with the same philosophical perspective. Judge Neil M. Gorsuch is reputed to satisfy this requirement. But, does that mean he can’t be objective? In the midst of a contentious political environment, this concern is natural. Since the court’s agenda is likely to be filled with a wide range of social issues (abortion, gay rights and gun control to name a few); the expectations of Judge Gorsuch are high. It is also expected the Court will have to address issues related to the separation of powers. Something tells me our President will need to be made aware of the boundaries of presidential power. Perhaps Judge Gorsuch will provide the necessary reality check.

All things considered — is “the best yet to come?” Let’s hope so since this is definitely not the end.