By Dhara Patel, National News Writer
November 8, 2016 decided that Donald J. Trump would be the 45th President of the United States; December 20, 2016 confirmed Trump’s ascent. The 2016 election came with its fair share of disapproval and upheaval culminating with Trump’s inauguration on Friday.
Days before the inauguration, there were talks of boycotting the historic event. Not limited to just citizens, many lawmakers decided to join the protest. This was further exacerbated when John Lewis, a democratic congressman from Georgia, told the public that he viewed Trump’s succession as “illegitimate” due to Russia’s interference.
In retaliation to Lewis’s statement, according to the Washington Post, Trump tweeted that Lewis is “all talk, talk, talk” and should “finally focus on the burning and crime infested inner-cities.” Many lawmakers were appalled at Trump’s rhetoric against Lewis, a man that was a leading civil rights activist in the 1960s. He marched in Selma, Alabama where the troops attacked the protestors. Lewis along his fellow colleagues did not attend the inauguration.
Trump’s inauguration was not the spectacle he and his team had hoped it would be. During former President Obama’s first inauguration in 2009, there was an estimated 1.8 million people at the ceremony. Trump’s inauguration team estimated that there would be around 700,000 people attending the ceremony. According the Thing Progress, the Metro system had about 200,000 swipes of entering D.C. for the inauguration.
While there is no concrete number of how many people went on the Friday past, there are pictures circulated all over the internet depicting the stark contrast between the 2009 inauguration and the 2017 ceremony.
Trump was officially sworn in around 12:00 pm on Friday. In his speech, he stressed that this new beginning is not about a transfer of power from one party to another, rather a transfer from the government to the people. While not clarifying which policies are in store for the American people in the future, Trump promised to bring back jobs, borders, money, and dreams. He further promised, “From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this moment on, it’s going to be America first… America will start winning again, winning like never before.”
Lawmakers were not the only one vehemently opposing Trump’s succession. On January 21, 2016, millions of women flocked the streets across the nation to protest for their rights.
Ashley Judd, an actress and leading women’s rights activist, ignited the crowd in Washington D.C. fighting for equality for both genders and all races.
While D.C. only expected 200,000 people to show, Daily News recorded an influx of more than half a million protestors participating in the fight; more than double the crowd at Trump’s inauguration that took place just the day before. Many of the signs held by the protestors had a lay on the words about the rhetoric Trump used regarding women during a 2005 interview with Billy Bush.
Washington D.C. is not the only place where people are marching. Many major cities including Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago are experiencing massive crowds. Even local towns such as Little Ferry, NJ have the Women’s March. The mission of Women’s March, according to their website, is in recognition that the “rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us.”
Their advocacy extends to other vulnerable communities including minorities, immigrants, LGBTQIA, and the handicapped. The march hopes to send a tantalizing and provoking message to our government: “Women’s rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among is defending all of us… Hear our voice.”
Trump’s first day in office has started off in the direction he may have not been prepared for. Lawmakers, along with millions of Americans, convey historically low approval ratings for the new president at just 44 percent, according to NBC News.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, January 24th print edition.
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