Thoughts on Inauguration Day

It happened. The twitter avatar of @POTUS is a smiling Donald Trump. *shivers*

But what shocked me the most that day happened right after: anti-Trump protesters took to the streets of D.C., vandalizing and terrorizing, smashing the windows of a local Starbucks (Really, Starbucks?). Major social and political battles in the U.S. haven’t been won through violence since the Civil War. Peaceful protests led to women’s suffrage, civil rights and the legalization of gay marriage. Those are our precedents. That is our standard. It hurts me to consider what this election has done to our country, both on the left and the right. It hurts me to imagine what this presidency might bring.

Even as a women whose #pussygrabsback, as a self-righteous liberal millennial who cried on election night, I’m in disbelief. The whole #notmypresident movement is bogus. He is our president. Yes, I am one of the 65 million Americans who didn’t vote for him on November 11, but he is the president of our democracy, one grounded in the people’s will and the ballot box.

Senator Roy Burnett said it best in his opening remarks. “We are here today not to celebrate victory, but to celebrate democracy and its peaceful transfer of power.”

———————–

No inauguration speech should end with a campaign slogan. The last thing we need to hear is more political rhetoric, especially after this bitterly divided election. Trump’s “my way or the highway” attitude shouldn’t have seeped into his speech as much as it did. And his “unique” appeal, or unprecedented rise to power, is no excuse.

But now that I think about it, my criticism reflects something both parties struggled with during the entire race: What does a “presidential” nominee look like?

The GOP struggled to unite behind Trump because of his offensive words and crass tweets; he simply wasn’t “presidential” enough. Newcomer Bernie Sanders’ far-left populist agenda shocked all Democrats. Some got fired up to support him; others ran the other way to more predictable Hillary Clinton.

If I’m upset about Trump’s inauguration speech because it violated the status quo of being apolitical,  I’ve got no case. He campaigned on anti-establishment ideals, to drain the swamp in favor of the average Joe (aka white working-class males). By straying from traditional pomp and circumstance, his speech fit snugly into his vision of American politics.

But that’s not it. Trump’s words offended me today because they failed to address or even acknowledge all Americans, especially those (the majority of our country) who didn’t vote for him. He said nothing about women, beyond protecting “our mothers and children” from inner-city plight. He said nothing about immigrants, beyond “bring back our borders.” He said nothing about racism, sexism or bigotry, beyond patriotism leaving “no room for prejudice” (fact check: Hitler preached nationalism and planned mass genocide). Even in revamping our economy, Trump ranted about factory and construction jobs, but had no words for those seeking jobs in green energy, international business, journalism – anything else!

What the hell, man. And the Women’s March in D.C. (and sister marches all over the WORLD) is happening tomorrow. It’s not just a coincidence they’ve been planned for the day after the inauguration. The least you could’ve done is use the word “women” in your speech, not just call us “mothers” for our child-bearing capacities. Unless, of course, that’s all we are to you.

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