Civil Rights hero John Lewis has been the representative for the state of Georgia's Fifth Congressional District since 1987. He has taken a lot of tweet vitriol from the new president for announcing that he is boycotting today's inauguration.
Me too (along with several dozen additional federal legislators) which, since I live about 3,000 miles from Washington, D.C., just means I will not be watching on television.
In no way is that meant to scorn or disparage the office of the president nor do I believe – even with possible Russian interference in the November election and FBI director James Comey's reprehensible behavior toward Hillary Clinton – that Donald Trump should not be sworn in.
Alternately, Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland takes a different view. Yesterday, he told CNN reporter Chris Cuomo that while he believes others should boycott the inauguration if they want, he is attending the because he wants to be a witness to history.
Further, however, he told Cuomo that if the public knew what he and some colleagues had heard in the classified briefings about Russian interference in the election and other information, they might not attend the inauguration themselves. This six-minute exchange is a more informative interview than we usually get on cable television:
Note that Cummings says the information from those classified hearings will come out later.
We, the citizens of the United States, can respect the office of president while generally opposing the man himself – which is the intention of my personal boycott.
To tell the truth, however, I have a long-standing appointment and several errands that will take me away from home today for all but the oath of office so I didn't put a whole lot of thought into my boycott. I would not have missed President Barack Obama's inaugurations for anything; this one doesn't matter to me beyond the fear I feel for the future of our country and for us, the citizens of America.
Besides, what am I really missing. There will be more reporting than anyone needs of the inauguration address and since Trump disavows or changes his mind about everything he says faster than anyone can parse it, it doesn't really matter what he tells the nation today.
Apparently, a lot of people feel as I do about today's event. One website I ran across asked readers how they planned to spend the day, offering these four choices:
• Watching the ceremony
• Avoiding the spectacle
• Moving to Canada
I do recall reading news stories about how tens of thousands of Americans, on the day following the election in November, were Googling what is required to immigrate to Canada.
Remember when, a few weeks ago, I posted a Dr. Seuss parody titled How the Trump Stole America written by a North Carolina minister named John Pavlovitz?
He's had some thoughts about what dissenters can do on this inauguration day to resist. Here's the short version:
• Serve someone
• Financial activism
• Get your hands dirty
• Reach across a divide
• Reassure your children
• Cultivae gratitude
• Be visible
You can read Pavlovitz's full post with explanations of his 11 points at his website.
Since I am already committed for several hours today, I like the last one in that list for us - for elders - so we can store up a lot of energy for the long resistance we need to undertake starting now.
What are you doing today?