(image via wikimedia)
The day is finally here. For nearly two years or so the corporate media, Democrats and many Republicans thought this would be the day that another Clinton was sworn into the office of the presidency. I suppose there were some within the Republican establishment who thought today would be a day of celebration for yet another member of the Bush family. Instead of course they were all wrong. But why?
Today’s swearing in of President Donald Trump as the nation’s 45th President has its roots in a pivotal event which occurred on February 19th, 2009. That was the day CNBC TV commentator Rick Santelli took took to the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and gave an epic on air rant against government bailouts of risky undeserving behavior. Santelli’s speech was the impetus which led to the creation of the Tea Party movement.
A grassroots movement which swept across America and attracted scores of people who previously had never been involved in American politics. These “everyday” Americans got involved because they understood their best interests – for decades- were not being represented by Washington’s politicians and now for once they had an outlet to express their frustration. But whether or not the movement had the ability to achieve the change which its supporters sought was still a big unknown. The Tea Party movement, however, became the impetus which made possible the unlikely victory of a political outsider named Donald J. Trump to the highest office in the land. I suppose there is something fitting about a reality TV celebrity becoming President only after the winds of change were sewn into place by the words of a live TV commentator.
Today should be viewed as a day of victory celebration for right-of-center grassroots, anti-establishment politics made possible by the the Tea (acronym for “taxed enough already”) Party movement. Those millions of working class Americans who supported the Tea Party in various forms over the past seven years should take great pride in their in accomplishment on this Inauguration Day.
While I never expected this day to arrive I suppose in one sense we should have seen it coming all along. Corporate media, Democrats and the establishment in the Republican party did all they could to destroy the Tea Party, a sign they viewed it as a genuine threat. The media lied and branded it as being racist and made it the butt of jokes among Democrat followers. The Obama administration used the IRS as a political weapon and targeted various chapters for crippling audits all but shutting down operations. Several Republicans (see John Boehner) despised the Tea Party and did all they could to ignore or minimize the acknowledgment of its existence. But it survived. At least in the minds and hearts of its supporters.
None of this would have mattered of course if Donald Trump had not come along. Trump for all the lack of his political experience somehow had the political savvy to understand the political opportunity- but more importantly- how to tap into the energy and pent up frustration of the millions of Americans who felt disconnected from their elected officials. What is remarkable is not only that he understood that political landscape, but a man of his age and financial place in life was willing to take on the high risk – low probability of success, long term task of becoming America’s next President. A lesser person would have failed or quit long ago. Trump must have wanted it badly.
As I have written previously in time we will learn if the Trump administration will be a success or whether or not corporate media will gleefully tell us ‘I told you so’. But on this day at least, Rick Santelli along with millions of grassroots Americans should take pride and know that if it were not for their efforts another Clinton or Bush would be scheduled to be sworn in as America’s next President. We deserve better.