February is known for many things: Aquarians, Black History Month, Valentine’s Day, and is the month reserved for a celebration of our U.S. Presidential history. Every year, most of us, if anything, revel in the three-or four-day weekend we get from celebrating President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday or the annual President’s Day celebration the third Monday of the month.
Did you know that U.S. Presidents have visited the area many times before?
Of course avid students and followers of local history know this well. Former president Obama visited in December 2015 a few weeks after the terrorist attack that hit San Bernardino’s Inland Regional Center.
Presidents George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan made appearances in San Bernardino in 2003, and 1988, respectively. Among the lesser known stops were made by Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 when he visited the now-razed Platt Building that was located downtown. Situated on the current site of the Rosa Parks Federal Building is the place where Johnson operated an elevator as a young man in the 1920’s. Presidents Eisenhower, Taft, and Theodore Roosevelt also enjoyed brief stays in the city. In fact Roosevelt was overheard to say in an old Sun article, which covered the event in 1903, that he would actually like to live in the city.
Oh how times have changed.
Could you imagine a President saying that nowadays? Now, don’t get offended, San Bernardino does have its woes (what city doesn’t) but I cannot imagine any politician saying that seriously about any city the likes of San Bernardino. No politician would speak so senselessly, right?
But then again…
Our current president has a way of saying things doesn’t he? He just spouts off like there is no tomorrow. As much as I respect our revered institution that is the office of the presidency, I am having struggles with what comes out of his mouth. Our president has taken senseless rhetoric to a new level. Given any opportunity to speak at a platform, presser, or on social media, he just cannot stop making it about himself.
His presidency is barely a month old and each day we have been confronted with the same foul-mouthed cycle: The press is dishonest, news is fake, He is ‘Making America Great Again’ (and again). Each day it seems, the president has invented a new fallacy or an alternative-fake fact.
This presidential month has been nothing to celebrate about, let me tell you. Many sound people face deportation and a ripping out of their livelihoods here in this otherwise great country; other heads of state shake their heads in disbelief (Sweden is the latest); people live in fear of what this country could become. Some noted experts say the President is a ‘world-class narcissist’, no not crazy or otherwise mentally ill; yet the concern remains valid that this leader of the free world has an arm’s-reach access to nuclear warheads.
Just the other day, people were out in protest to emphatically state that Trump ‘was not their president’. I’d like to know what world they are living in. I’m sorry to say this to the masses: but, yes, the man is our president. Unfortunately, the protests are a little too late. If people had turned out and voted like they protest, well just maybe…you know we might be in a completely different situation.
The last presidential visit of some substance to the area when Bill Clinton stopped by San Bernardino Valley College almost 22 years ago to the day. Times–they have indeed changed drastically.
I think I speak for many when I say, that Trump can stay away from the Inland Empire, however. No need to hear him mouth off insensibly from up close and personal. It’s bad enough when we cannot escape this daily and painful rhetoric on TV, the radio, or on Twitter. No, a presidential month, rather than a cause for celebration, is simply a reminder that we really don’t need any visits anytime soon.