It’s a phrase that drives right wingers nuts. “Trump is not my President”. To be fair, I understand why. Many people use it to disrespect the man. Full disclosure, I don’t generally utter those words. However, they ring true to me. Are you offended by that? If so, allow me to explain.
In August of 1992, I arrived at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island for Boot Camp. I was assigned to Platoon 3116, Kilo Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion. Kilo Company had two series, each consisting of 6 platoons. Each platoon had 4 Drill Instructors. 3 regular, 1 senior. Hence, while I only had 4 Drill Instructors, there were 24 total in Kilo Company.
Kilo Company had a Company Commander. This was my Company Commander. However, 3rd Battalion has 3 other companies. They are India, Lima, and Mike Companies. Likewise, they too have Company Commanders. Not my Company Commanders. I only had one.
3rd Battalion is one of 4 Recruit Training Battalions on MCRD Parris Island. Each has a Battalion Commander. Only the 3rd Battalion Commander was mine. Moreover, this pattern continues up the chain of command. At the top, we have the Commander In Chief.
Bill Clinton was my President.
On December 18th 1992, I became a United States Marine when my platoon graduated boot camp. My Commander in Chief was George H. W. Bush. I liked President Bush. However, that isn’t why he was my President. It’s because he was at the top of my chain of command. Briefly.
In January of 1993, William Jefferson Clinton was sworn in as President. He became my new Commander in Chief. However, I didn’t like him. Nonetheless, he was my President. I had no choice in the matter. I was in boot camp when my fellow Americans selected him. Which leads me to my point.
Trump is not my President.
In 1996 I was honorably discharged. However, I still owed 4 years in the inactive reserves. Hence, in 2000 Bill Clinton stopped being my Commander in Chief and simply became The Commander in Chief. No longer was he my President. He was now simply The President of the United States.
You see, the President derives his power from the People. Our rights and privileges do not exist at his pleasure. He serves at ours. Hence, I am his citizen but he is not my President. I don’t take orders from him. He takes them from me… or else.
The Constitution gives me the authority to replace him. However, it does not give him the power to strip me of my citizenship. If he displeases me, I have the power and authority to replace him at the ballot box. If I displease him, he has the power and authority to rant against me on Twitter.
President Trump is not my President, he’s the President.
We don’t each get our own President. Moreover, since when did “conservatives” begin desiring an attachment to an authoritarian figurehead? I reject that notion. Hence, I do not call any President “my President”. My days of directly answering to the Chief Executive are over. Thus, my days of claiming such an attachment are over.
That said, I can understand one who voted for Trump saying “he’s my President”. However, I do not understand this sycophantic desire to force others to proclaim such an attachment. We are citizens, not subjects. It’s high time we proudly acted as such. Thus, no citizen outside of the President’s chain of command should be compelled to claim his direct authority over them. It should be sufficient to say that President Trump is the President, but he’s not my President.