At seven o’clock this morning, a moving van will open its doors on the west side of the south lawn of the White House and workers will begin carting out the personal belongings of President Obama. Thirty minutes later another moving van will pull up on the east side of the south lawn and begin unloading the personal belongings of President Trump. The Map Room will serve as the holding area for the Obama’s belongings and the China Room will serve as the holding area for the Trump’s belongings.
Upstairs, White House staff will say goodbye to one presidential family and welcome another. Barbara Bush once noted that the White House staff is so efficient that on the day President Nixon left the White House via a helicopter on the south lawn, there were still Nixon family photographs all over the walls. Ten minutes later, upon walking back into the White House, there was no trace of the Nixon family. Ford family photographs were everywhere as if they had always been there.
Transitions are one of the least appreciated parts of our American democracy (“We are a republic,” chants someone missing the point). The voters voted, the protestors protested, and the transition still happened without tanks in the street or shots being fired. Contrast this transition with that of Gambia. The President of Gambia, who once promised to serve a billion years, finally held elections. He lost. Now he is refusing to leave his office. Neighboring countries are considering sending in a military team to remove him. We will not have that happen here.
Still, this is kind of weird. Donald Trump is going to be the president of the United States. Even his most ardent supporters acknowledge it is a bit of an oddity. A television star best known for saying “you’re fired” will, at noon today, swear “that (he) will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States, and will to the best of (his) ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States” What a weird world we live in now.
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There are those who will continue to oppose Donald Trump just as there were those who opposed Barack Obama. Both sides will resort to “they started it” as the side that once opposed big government spending now spends and the side that supported big government spending now suddenly worries about the national debt. The transition from one administration of one party to that of another brings with it hypocrisy and double standards that will be fun to watch and point out.
Many of us who did not care for President Obama continued to keep him and Vice President Biden in our prayers. I hope those who do not care for President Trump will do the same. The next four years will be some of the most unusual in American history and there is much at stake in world history right now. It is as if this past election year has been a foreshock of some great earthquake to come. Globally, people are restless and leaders seem either oblivious or aloof. Meanwhile, in the shadows, bad men plot to do terrible things.
We can only wish the president success in his chief job, preserving the Constitution, and wish him well otherwise. Some will hope he fails because, in their minds, his failure is a prerequisite to the nation succeeding. Some felt that way about President Obama. The only sure thing moving forward is that at noon today Donald Trump will be president of the United States.
Erick Erickson is a Fox News contributor and radio talk show host in Atlanta.