In his Nov. 15 column for The Washington Post, Garrison Keillor wrote this about President-elect Donald Trump:
“He will never be my president because he doesn’t read books, can’t write more than a sentence or two at a time, has no strong loyalties beyond himself, is more insular than any New Yorker I ever knew, and because I don’t see anything admirable or honorable about him. This sets him apart from other politicians. The disaffected white, blue-collar workers elected a Fifth Avenue tycoon to rescue them from the elitists — fine, I get that — but they could’ve chosen a better tycoon. One who served in the military or attends church or reads history, loves opera, sails a boat — something — anything — raises llamas, plays the oboe, runs a 5K race now and then, has close friends from childhood. I look at him and there’s nothing there.”
I don’t disagree with most of what Keillor writes in this column, but he is wrong on one count: Donald Trump will be our President. We may not be happy about it, but that’s where we are.
Trump doesn’t represent a single interest of mine, as far as I can tell. His appointments and nominees to this point prove that. This administration is shaping up to be a collection of individuals who care about the power they can wield over The Least of These. In their respective careers, none has indicated he cares one whit about the citizens of the United States who don’t look/think/act exactly as he (and in a smattering of cases, she) does.
He obviously does not believe in freedom of speech or freedom of the press as guaranteed in the First Amendment. He has shown that by saying individuals who burn our country’s flag should either lose their citizenship or be imprisoned. I don’t like flag-burners, but I do support their right to expression given to them by our Founding Fathers.
He also has already shown total disregard for the Fourth Estate — the established press — by thumbing his nose at its members. When what was The Birmingham News moved into its new building on the corner of Fourth Avenue North and 22nd Street, my favorite feature of that building (which is now an insurance company headquarters) was the lighted display of the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
I read — books, magazines, newspapers. I write — a lot and more than two sentences at a time. I am loyal to individuals and causes — and I know I have a network of loyal folks who will always have my back. I attend church on occasion, I love music, and I have good friends from childhood.
Do I have to support him? No. Do I have to defend him? No.
Trump does not represent who I am, but he will be my President.
Contributor Veronica Kennedy is a native of Anniston and a lifelong resident of Alabama. An award-winning journalist, she and her husband, Joey Kennedy — another Blue Southerner journalist — are animal rescue activists and lovers of pugs. They are the founders of Animal Advocates of Alabama.