New Year, New President

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It’s a time in our lives when we seek to answer those existential questions about the true meaning of our existences. We have not given up on our search for answers to those imponderable questions, but in the meantime, we want to focus on the positives in our lives while sending you this post-holiday message and continuing to wish you and your family all of the very best in this new year. While our President-elect was not our choice, we want to wish him every success and the same to Secretary Hillary Clinton. Likewise, we are immensely thankful for the incredible service that President Barack Obama, his wife Michelle and Vice President Joe Biden have given to this country. What we still find in some of our officials is a lifelong commitment to make the world a better place.

This past year we visited Cuba with a distinguished group of attorneys. We came away with respect for the revolutionaries there in 1959 who were not unlike our founders in 1776. But at the same time, Socialism and an embargo have taken a great toll on the Cuban people who, while proud of their heritage, yearn for an influx of capitalism and the freedoms which we enjoy in this country.

For many, faith is the most important part of their lives. This past year we have seen divisiveness between races and rancor directed at certain religious groups and immigrants. Now that the incendiary rhetoric of a presidential campaign is behind us, we are hopeful that it will stay there, never again rearing its ugliness. The uncontrolled anger of the electorate during this campaign can be ameliorated by the president-elect reaching out to those feeling alienated and disenfranchised. When the President-elect said in his acceptance speech that he wants to re-build the inner cities, those words were commendable as was his acknowledgement of President Obama’s “great achievements” and his expression that he was honored to meet with the President and will seek his counsel in the future.

Mr. Trump and his team have shown themselves to be courageous, smart and independent. These qualities may enable them to recognize that there is a substantial problem of climate change which will require the collaborative work of all countries of the world to combat this environmental problem. The President-elect’s strong suit will no doubt be economic growth which must in all cases be balanced against the need for a clean environment. The mean spirits that we occasionally saw during the campaign will hopefully be replaced by compassion and objective analysis. The President-elect can break the gridlock in Washington that held back the Obama administration if he is able as the new leader of the radical right, to overcome the racial bigotry which was at the core of resistance by Congress.

At the same time the attitudes of people in the blue states are very different from those of the people in the South and Midwest. Bringing these conflicting ideals together will be a challenge but one thing should be very clear. That is when the President-elect takes his oath of office, he will be swearing “to uphold, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.”

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