Normally, this space is reserved for our thoughts, as a newspaper, in not just our community, but in the country and world around us. However, we think it’s important to share some thoughts from others over the decades — especially those who had the honor of working inside the Oval Office.
Gerald Ford to Jimmy Carter: “Although there will continue to be disagreement over the best means to use in pursuing our goals, I want to assure you that you have my complete and wholehearted support as you take the oath of office this January. I also pledge to you that I, and all members of my administration, will do all that we can to assure that you begin your term as smoothly, and as effectively, as possible.”
Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan: “It is now apparent that the people have chosen you as the next president. I congratulate you, and pledge to you our full support and cooperation in bringing about an orderly transition of government in the weeks ahead.”
George H.W. Bush to Bill Clinton: “Here’s the way I see it, the way the country should see it: The people have spoken, and we respect the majesty of the democratic system. I want the country to know that our entire administration will work closely with his team to ensure the smooth transition of power. There is important work to be done, and America must always come first. So we will get behind this new president, and wish him well.”
Three presidents — two Republican, one Democratic — but all, in the end, Americans. Americans who love democracy so much, they peacefully give up their executive power so that the candidate the people have chosen can take it over.
We have an obvious dislike for our current president, not because of his politics — that’s something we would agree or disagree with, not like or dislike — but because of who he is as a person.
Donald Trump may call himself an American. And according to the law, he is indeed an American. But he certainly doesn’t act like one. Definitely not an American trusted with the people’s highest office.
The peaceful transfer of power is not a game. It’s not leverage in negotiation. It’s not even an option.
It’s clearly defined in the U.S. Constitution — the same Constitution each and every President of the United States swears an oath to before they are allowed to sit behind the Resolute Desk.
Does anyone think Bush wanted to go after just a single term? Or Carter? Or even Ford, after just two years?
No. But they did. Because the presidency is not about them. It’s about all of us. And we get to choose who leads us.