Friday, November 25, 2016

Not My “My”

Protests against the election of Donald Trump (and everything that represents) are often linked to the words “not my president.”

I don’t used that phrase. I never have called Barack Obama “my president,” either.

It seems like a strange way to think about the presidency. The president is elected by (one hopes) a majority or at least a plurality of the voters, or even just 270 members of the unnecessary Electoral College.

That result doesn’t mean the president is “mine” or yours, or not yours, not mine, depending on which way we voted. Or that we should all buy in to backing the president because it’s “our” country.

I may have used the words “my country” at some point in my life, but if I did, it wasn’t in the sense that I would say “my sweater” or “my house.” A country is not something I feel I can possess or really even identify with. It’s too big, too multifarious, with too much history I regret or despise.

So you won’t find me saying Donald* “is not my president” any more than I have said Barack Obama “is my president.”


* I have decided to use Donald as the second reference for Donald Trump from now on. Since he insists on being called Mr. Trump by everyone who works with him, while not respecting anything about the norms of our civil society, the least I can do is deny him that courtesy.


Associated Press photo by Ted S. Warren

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