I first became familiar with Donald Trump in 1983 when he purchased the New Jersey Generals franchise of the United States Football League (yes, I was such a sports rube that I actually followed the USFL its first couple of seasons).
When the USFL folded after the 1986 season, Trump remained a newsworthy figure. Despite entertainment outlets like TMZ and Perez Hilton not being around, Trump was a fixture in tabloid magazines (and the gossip pages of NYC's most prominent newspapers) due in large part to a massive real estate fortune with an ego to match. It also didn't hurt his tabloid cred that he was quite a ladies' man once it was revealed his marriage to first wife Ivana started to go south.
It was late 1987 (my freshman year of college) when I came across this edition of People magazine at my university's library.
This was the first time I had ever heard Trump's name in relation to running for President. Despite my being pretty much apolitical at that time in my life, my initial thought was "That guy for President?!?! Come on!"
Over the next several years, Trump remained in the public's consciousness for myriad reasons, whether it was his marriage to (and eventual divorce from) Marla Maples, bankruptcies, authoring of books, beginning his TV show The Apprentice, a third marriage, etc. Despite all that, I was 100% indifferent towards the man. If I were to go back in my blog archives, I could probably count on one hand (and still have a few fingers remaining) the number of blog posts I even mentioned Trump's name before July 2015.
But that all changed when Trump declared he was running for President as a Republican.
The only reason I paid the slightest attention to Trump's candidacy was due to the fact he was vying for the nomination of the party which always (at least since 1992) receives my vote for President. Other than that, I viewed his presence in the 2016 race as little more than a sideshow in the motif of Rev. Al Sharpton running as a Democrat POTUS candidate in 2004.
I don't need to rehash all that has occurred in the past year-and-a-half, as I've written plenty in that time frame. Suffice to say, January 20, 2017 has to be one of the more surreal days in my nearly 48 years on this planet. Yes, today is the day one Donald John Trump was inaugurated as our 45th President of the United States. I utter that phrase with sheer astonishment.
I've said many times that I am skeptical Trump will be an effective President. Nevertheless, I have taken a responsibility as a Christian patriot to pray fervently for all members of our three branches of government.
Godspeed, President Trump.