Approximately half of America is excited. Approximately half of America is disappointed or worried. This is normal. It happens every four years in this country, and that right there is something to celebrate.
We may be used to it, but it is worth remembering that the peaceful transfer of power is a historical aberration. Throughout most of human history, and in much of the world today, political power is only transferred after the death of the previous leader, be it by natural causes or violence.
We frequently talk about the American experiment in democracy. Despite it having existed our entire lives, we should recognize that it is in fact still an experiment. Democracy is incredibly hard work and can collapse at any time. Love him or hate him, Trump’s inauguration is a reminder that the experiment goes on.
At 12:01 today, America will have five living former presidents. That’s five men who were all once the most powerful person in the world, and today are private citizens after willingly surrendering power. Regardless of your politics, all Americans should stand in awe of that amazing phenomenon.