On Friday, January 20, 2017 the United States will once again observe the peaceful transfer of power from one presidential administration to the next. This will be the 58th such ritual in the history of our still-young nation, and for many reasons the 58th presidential inauguration also promises to be the kind of landmark moment that marks a period of significant change in politics, in policy, possibly in economics and the shape of our society, itself.
What does the Trinity community think of the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump and the issues surrounding his election and upcoming administration? As has happened across the years with many political administrations, Trinity also has some special connections with the incoming administration, notably in the role of Trinity Alumna Kellyanne Conway, Class of 1989, as Mr. Trump’s campaign manager — Kellyanne was the first woman ever to manage a successful presidential campaign — and soon to be as one of his top advisors, reportedly the highest ranking woman in the Trump White House. Just like the political leader she represents, Ms. Conway’s role has been provocative, and members of the Trinity family have a lot of opinions about how she might move forward in advising the new president. Our Trinity community, never shy in expressing ourselves, also has a lot of opinions and advice for the new president.
As we did throughout the presidential campaign, Trinity is now conducting straw polls to invite the expression of opinions about our new national leadership and the issues they must address. We have sent an initial survey to students, faculty and staff, and we have also invited alumnae to participate in the survey this time, an interesting addition to gauging the opinions of the Trinity family. Please check your email for links to the straw poll.
I’ll be providing snapshots of the straw poll opinions expressed by various Trinity constituencies throughout the next two weeks. Toward the end I will also provide a complete summary of the polls, which will remain open for additional comments throughout this period.
For this first glimpse into the poll, though it’s early, we have a number of responses from faculty, staff and students on campus. Here’s a preview of answers to one of the questions:
Q.4: What do you hope President Trump will say in his Inauguration Address? Please write a few sentences identifying the issues that are most important to you, and why.
A student writes: I hope he addresses issues like race, immigration,etc. But, I doubt it as he will most likely boast about doing things without an actual plan.
A faculty member writes: I would like to see him keep pace and consistent with his message. Just as he did in his acceptance speech – he will continue to hammer home the need for unity, whether the Democrats want to go along with the idea is strictly their choice, but it takes two to tango.
A student writes: My hope for President Trump is that he reassure the world that he has no plans to divide us. I also hope President Trump discuss his true agenda in regards to the Affordable Care Act. I would like him to stand firm and speak with truth.
A staff member writes: I have little hope that Trump will say anything good, as I do not believe he has the capacity for courage or conviction. However, I’d be pleased to hear that he is endorsing the ACA, DACA, and Black Lives Matter, will ensure access to women’s health care, will protect national parklands and Native American sacred sites, will strengthen Pell Grants and other forms of educational assistance.
A student writes: I hope he says, “I’m fired, I’m not qualified to be President”. Issues important to me are human and civil rights; judicial and tax reform; global trade and environmental science.
A staff member writes: I am hoping he works to bring people together.
A faculty member writes: I hope that President Trump will emphasize his pro-life agenda: that his administration will protect life at the beginning of conception.
A student writes: I hope he will be more compassionate with his views and show the audience that he stand with us, despite previous speeches.
A staff member writes: Nothing he says will undo the damage he’s done.
A faculty member writes: I hope he plans a speech that unites all of us. His campaign was so divisive that he has to let us know he is out of campaign mode about serving all of America.
This staff member wrote the most important paragraph in the speech she hopes he will give: “I am proud to your president, your leader and your civil servant. We live in a great country, the UNITED States of American, that proudly welcomes and embraces people of all faiths, all races, all abilities and disabilities, and all walks of life. This country, this democracy, is a nation of immigrants – my own mother and all of my grandparents were immigrants, coming to America to create a better life for themselves and for their families. I want this country to continue to welcome people from around the world with open arms. During my presidency, I want to improve economic opportunities and economic equality; to preserve and expand the civil right progress this country has made for the past 60 years; to continue the advancement of women and people of color; and to support the values of social justice and fairness. In the next four years, I will improve the quality of health care, reduce the cost of health care and ensure access to health care for every person. As your president, I am committed to making sure that Dreamer Scholars achieve their dream of earning a college degree, and going on to contribute their great talent and optimism to our country.” Why? Because I want the values of this country and the spirit of the people to flourish, not be extinguished.
What are your thoughts? Please check your email for the link to the straw poll, or you may add comments in the comments box below.
Watch this blog for more summaries of the Trinity community’s thoughts on the inauguration!