WASHINGTON, DC— Congressman Jim Himes (CT-04) released the following statement on his decision to attend the inauguration on January 20th:
Like most voting Americans, I am gravely concerned with the coming Trump Presidency. Donald Trump has not shown the temperament, integrity or wisdom necessary to run a small town. But, because of the constitutional process by which we choose our President, he will legally assume that office on Friday.
I respect the decision of those who choose not to attend his Inauguration. Donald Trump has said and done nothing to earn the company and witness of my friend John Lewis. But I choose differently. Fifty five years ago, a young and idealistic President opened his inaugural address with the observation that an inauguration is "not a victory of party, but a celebration of freedom." Presidents Carter, Bush and Obama, Secretary Clinton, Senator Sanders and I will be there Friday not to celebrate an intemperate and cynical new President, but to witness a peaceful transfer of power nearly unique in human history. We will also be there as visible evidence that power is shared in our nation, and that President Trump will be checked and balanced by hundreds of people on that inaugural stage.
I have been as vocal a critic of President-elect Trump as anyone. If, as President, he persists in his desire to deny healthcare to millions of Americans, to dismantle the protections that keep Americans healthy and safe; if he continues to favor the wealthiest and luckiest at the expense of the unconnected and disenfranchised, I will oppose him. If he continues to attack the press, denigrate the courts, and ignore our constitutional guarantees in ways that fundamentally erode our democracy – if freedom and liberty are at stake, which they may very well be – I will not stop fighting.
As President John F. Kennedy said on that cold day 55 years ago, "only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink responsibility. I welcome it."