GARY SHIFFRIN: New President Must Prove Himself Productive, Peaceful For All Americans
By Gary Shiffrin // January 8, 2017
YOUR OPINION: 'these are indeed different times'
In the late 60s early 70s, I was a student at a small well respected college in New England called Springfield College. Actually Springfield was considered one of the top schools in the country for graduating physical education teachers and was also where basketball was founded by James Naismith.
I began my college studies in physical education but my love of history and government took hold and in my sophomore year I changed my major. I had four awesome years at Springfield although it was not exactly a peaceful time in our country.
We were dealing with the Vietnam War, racial inequality, the women’s rights movement, and a number of other social concerns. Like most college campuses we had our share of protests and even had a group take over our administrative building to show their displeasure.
In 1971 I graduated from Springfield and was very fortunate to land a teaching job in Florida at a school called Melbourne High School. Melbourne was quite a progressive school during the days that B.Frank Brown was the principal.
Considering the times we were living, teaching American History, Current Events, and Government was quite exciting and everyday there was yet something else to discuss and try to understand and learn.
I think what also laid the groundwork for my love of these subjects was the fact I was brought up in a military family as the son of a career Army officer. Patriotism and love of my country ran through my blood!
As a student of history and the political process, we have never seen anyone like Donald Trump. We have never had a person run for the presidency of our country who was a bully, used inflammatory rhetoric, mocked and made fun of the handicapped, attacked women, called United States Senators clowns, and so much more. If I was still in the classroom I would have had a very difficult time trying to explain Mr. Trump to my students.
In the many years I have been involved in the political process (I have been a voter for close to 50 years) I have never voted party line. I have voted for the person who I thought would do the best for our country and our people.
As a Democrat, voting for Nixon was a stretch but there was no way I could vote for George McGovern. I did say I was the son of a career Army officer, didn’t I?
But regardless of whom I voted for I was brought up to believe that the will of the people had to be respected and I was certainly a proponent that he was OUR president and should be respected and supported. The Commander-in-Chief certainly deserved all of our support.
And so now enters Donald Trump! Everything I have stated prior to this, for the very first time, is going to become very challenging.
As a student of history and the political process, we have never seen anyone like Donald Trump. We have never had a person run for the presidency of our country who was a bully, used inflammatory rhetoric, mocked and made fun of the handicapped, attacked women, called United States Senators clowns, and so much more.
If I was still in the classroom I would have had a very difficult time trying to explain Mr. Trump to my students.
But, obviously, the American people are very angry about the direction our country is going and have looked to someone who does not even come close to resembling any president we have ever had in the White House. On January 20, 2017, once again the smooth peaceful transition of power will take place from one president to another. Our new president will be Donald Trump.
Being an optimist, I have to hope and pray that our new President and those he surrounds himself with will lead our country in a positive direction that will be productive and peaceful for all Americans.
But, I am going to have to see a different Donald Trump before I will call him my President. I never thought I would ever say that about a United States president but these are indeed different times and certainly a New World!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gary Shiffrin retired in 2013 after a long and outstanding career with the Brevard County Public Schools that spaned 42 years, and several schools.
He was the principal of Merritt Island High for 10 years, and before that Shiffrin spent 14 years, 10 of them as principal, at Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Merritt Island. For six years, he was assistant principal at Cocoa Beach High School.
Shiffrin served at Stone Junior High School for a year just after he had left Melbourne High School, where he started his teaching duties as an educator and coach.
Also a coach and athletic director, Shiffrin served as the commissioner of the Cape Coast Conference for 23 years and was the Space Coast’s representative on the FHSAA assembly. He was inducted in the Florida High School Athletic Hall of Fame last April.
In addition to being a regular columnist, Shiffrin covers education and prep sports for Space Coast Daily.