The events of Jan. 6. and this entire week, and honestly since and before the November election, are not normal.
From your birth in 2010 until today, you’ve seen some wonderful moments in humanity and sat by my side watching horrific events on the news.
We’ve discussed Sandy Hook. The Boston Marathon. Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump. I’ve tried to pass on my passion for politics and news to you in a responsible way, while also not keeping the best and worst news from your eyes and ears.
But these acts in our government, Adaline, are not normal.
Our President is the President of all. Agree or disagree. Policies aside. We don’t always get to be led by those we voted for. But we must be respectful of the office and the countless energy, efforts and enthusiasm that brought this great Democracy to birth.
In the years ahead, you’ll learn more in depth about the Revolutionary War, George Washington, John Adams and our founders. You’ll learn why the rule of law is vital to our country. You’ll experience firsthand the majesty of inspired leaders and the fallacy of elected officials who don’t respect the Constitution or even the very Bible they’ve laid their hands upon.
And you learn that taking an oath comes with it a greater responsibility than I can possibly express.
You’ll look back on today and know this truth, too: what’s happening is simply not normal.
This is a country founded on truths, by leaders who could look beyond their generation. Who respected not only the office they held, but the positions of those around them. And of us, the voters. The common man.
We should be so fortunate to one day meet our Presidents, Addy. I’ve met three. And I hope to meet more.
And if the day comes that you get to sit with a President, I want you to know that the man or woman you’re sharing a moment with has perhaps the greatest weight and most wonderful opportunities upon their shoulders. And that they should be trusted. Trusted with your life. With my life. With the lives of our families and neighbors.
But Addy, the man, this President, has lost that trust. That confidence we so badly yearn for as Americans.
What he’s doing isn’t normal. How he’s acting isn’t normal.
And it’s OK to say that. It’s appropriate to question it. And I damn sure want you to feel comfortable asking “why?”
When I was born, Richard Nixon was our President, but by the date of my birth, his days were numbered. After his resignation, Gerald Ford was sworn in, followed by Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan (I’ll fill you in on what a ‘Reagan Democrat’ is and why Geraldine Ferraro was important), George Herbert Walker Bush, Bill Clinton, Bush’s son, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and now Donald Trump.
Joe Biden is our President now. As a journalist, I met him at a cattle auction in Dunlap, Iowa in 2007 when I ruined a brand new pair of shoes to get inside on a muddy day. He’ll serve a term or two and then we will elect another President. And another. And another.
What you’re seeing today and what you’ve seen this week isn’t normal. It’s dangerous. But our country will heal from this abnormality.
We have to rely on our President to respect not only the rule of law, but every voter and every citizen of this great country.
And that includes you, Addy.