Peaceful changes

Published 5:50 am Saturday, January 21, 2017

I don’t care who you are, and how you voted, but if Friday’s inauguration didn’t give you a sense of pride, then I’m not sure you’re living in the right country.

We live in the United States, which is one of the few nations that has always had free and open elections. We pride ourselves on the peaceable transition of power, even from such polar opposites as Democrat Barack Obama to Republican Donald Trump.

I know that we take such things for granted, but there are still places on this globe where that peaceful change of power would never have happened. There are nations where government and regime change come only at the end of a gun or bayonet, and not after a vote of the people.

In the Broadway hit musical Hamilton, the character of King George III even remarks at this revolutionary (no pun intended) new form of government in the number, “I Know Him.”

King George III: “They say

George Washington’s yielding his power and stepping away

‘Zat true?

I wasn’t aware that was something a person could do

I’m perplexed

Are they gonna keep on replacing whoever’s in charge?

If so, who’s next?

There’s nobody else in their country who looms quite as large …”

Of course, ol’ Georgie was referring to John Adams, the first of more than 40 successors to our original first president Washington. As a king typically rules for a lifetime, George III was certainly baffled at the idea that anyone would ever succeed a ruler.

And yet, it is what our country has done, and will likely continue to do for many years to come. Certainly other nations have modeled their governments after the American form of democracy, but there is a reason that former president Reagan called the U.S. “that shining city upon a hill.” We are, and should continue to be, the model for freedom-loving people all across this globe.

Friday’s peaceful transition of power is an example of that American beacon, and we should all be proud of it. I’m sure there were many who cried, or shouted in fits of anger at Friday’s inauguration, and seeing the candidate they despised take the mantle of governing the largest free nation on earth.

But I hope they don’t take for granted the fact that they were free to do so.

Justin Schuver is the publisher and editor of The Daily News. You can email him at or call him at 985-732-2565, ext. 305.