derek

Friday, we watched as one of the most divisive Presidents in American history left office to be replaced by one who — based on poll numbers alone — also looks to be one of the most divisive Presidents in American history.

There is a lot to be said about Donald J. Trump. He led quite possibly the most volatile Presidential campaign in history, won by a slim margin, and enters office with the lowest approval rating in the history of polling.

In Kansas and Geary County, Trump seems to be favored. The ideas and policies he promoted during his campaign and since his victory resonate with a majority of Kansans. There are detractors, to be sure. Whether they voice it or not, many people in Kansas, in Geary County and in Junction City disagree — some of them vehemently — with Donald Trump.

To them, I say this — root for America. Cheering for the failure of the President of the United States is cheering for the failure of the United States. I love my country and I’m proud to live here. I hope the next four years are as prosperous as can be.

That said, by no means is the Office of the President above reproach. When President Obama was first elected, a select group of liberals held the position that he was above criticism. Now, it appears a few conservatives feel the same way about President Trump.

This has never been true. Through checks and balances and the First Amendment, the Office of the President is designed for scrutiny. Every decision any President makes can and should be held to extreme account.

Every President — whether it be Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelt or even Bush and Obama — has had his feet held to the fire by the press, legislators and citizens. Trump should be no different.

“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public,” Theodore Roosevelt said.

It is the right of every American to stand up and voice opinions, whether they be in favor or against the policies of the President. But it is also the responsibility of every American to stand together, despite our differences, to keep our country strong.

Let us hope the next four years can be strong ones for America, but let us also stand vigilant to make certain we hold leaders to account and ensure we do our part for the greater good as well.

DEREK SMITH is the editor of the Junction City Daily Union.

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