This past Friday, January 20, I had the absolute honor of traveling to Washington D.C. to witness in person the inauguration of our 45th president, Donald Trump. It was an extraordinary experience that I believe every American voter should experience in person at least once during his or her lifetime. Here are some of my thoughts that I want to share about the event itself.
When we left in the morning for the capital, there was certainly a feeling of excitement around the city. We were able to walk to the Capitol and to the gates where we could enter the viewing areas.
Two things immediately caught my attention on the way over. The first was the heavy amount of security. The National Guard, Capitol Police, Secret Service, ATF and Homeland Security, at the very least, were out in full force for the day. I felt these men and women did a fantastic job protecting the Capitol and its surroundings. With all of the hype around such a big event and the attention it draws, there is certainly a high amount of concern of danger in the city. The men and women assigned to protect the city and its citizens on this day were calm, collected and helpful to anyone that needed it, whether it was directions or answers to simple questions. They did their jobs dutifully and without any view of frustration, boredom, or regret. To these men and women, it wasn't about Democrats and Republicans, it was about being Americans. I am extremely grateful for their hard work, dedication and professionalism on this day.
The second thing I noticed, as I briefly touched on, was the excitement and the atmosphere. It is fair to say that a majority of those who attended the ceremony were supporters of President Trump or, at the very least, the Republican Party. If you watch and believe the media these days, you would then believe that these individuals are middle-aged white men from the south who are racist, sexist,homophobic, and in possession of too few brain cells. From what I saw, there were no signs whatsoever of the above. What I did see, however, were average Americans who were proud and excited to see the peaceful transition of power and the change of leadership in our nation. At no point did I hear or see anyone bashing President Obama or the Democratic Party. The only statements I witnessed were made in support of the nation or of President Trump, not against any group or individual.
Neither did I see the protestors and rioters the media claimed to be so prevalent on this day. In our travels to the inauguration, during the inauguration and afterwards, I did not at any point see any protestors or rioters. The media led many to believe that the city was burning; that is simply not true.
I would also like to address the controversy over the crowd who attended the inauguration. I can confirm two things. One, the media did fabricate the crowd size, showing a picture of early on before most people arrived (I know this because I saw the photo on social media after we were settled into our viewing area around 11 AM). Two, the attendance numbers were not the biggest in history, but there was a significant amount of people in attendance. I hope we can stop arguing over this now.
In regards to the violent protestors and rioters, I will say the following: Their actions did nothing but delegitimize their own movements and actions. By burning cars and smashing businesses, they only proved why President Trump won. People are fed up with people acting as these protestors do when they don't get their way. Americans no longer want to listen to those who respond with violence. Yes, there are bad apples on both sides of the political spectrum, but they are a small minority. We should neither give in to them nor prop up their actions.
Regarding the other types of protestors, those who showed up and acted peacefully, especially the women's march the next day, there are a few things I'd like to say. First, I absolutely respect your right to protest. Second, I applaud you for protesting peacefully and avoiding violence and arrest. Third, I still have no clue as to why you are protesting except that you don't like President Trump and Republicans. That's all I have to say on that for now.
Overall, this was a fantastic experience that I felt absolutely honored to be apart of. I was never a huge supporter of Donald Trump, but I felt the energy behind his campaign during my visit there and I was able to understand why the American people voted for him as president. He isn't perfect, but neither is anyone else. Trump did, however, come in during a time when people were fed up with being put down for their views, and stated that he would be their voice. This resonated with a lot of good, hard working Americans. It was an honor to be there for such a historic event and I only hope that, no matter what you think about a certain president, you too will have the opportunity to attend a Presidential Inauguration.