Presidential inauguration controversial yet historical
President Donald Trump's inauguration, while controversial, was a historical event that even his critics viewed.
January 25, 2017
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After the election that shook the nation, it was made official on Friday January 20th, 2017. Donald J. Trump became the 45th president of the United States of America.
For an entire year, the campaign run by President Trump was a controversial one at best. From the insults directed at different minorities to the promises to build a wall, the American people, both Democrat and Republican, gave Trump all of the attention he needed to secure his spot as the next president of the United States. Due to Trump’s controversy, the inauguration wasn’t going to be the most popular according to social studies teacher Jon Edstrom.
“It will probably be the least watched [presidential inauguration] in recent history,” said Edstrom. “So many people are not supportive of him [President Trump] and definitely won’t watch it.”
However, while Edstrom believed that many wouldn’t be watching the inauguration, he himself did watch the ceremony, mainly because of his interest in politics as a social studies teacher.
“I’ve watched most of the inaugurations of people I’ve voted for, but I’ve also watched those of people I didn’t vote for,” said Edstrom. “I am fine watching all inaugurations, but I think that for a lot of people, this one is turning them off.”
Edstrom’s desire to watch the inauguration, despite not being a Trump fan, was shared by senior Zachariah Alrefai, a Muslim student who believed that the inauguration was something important for all people to watch.
“I mean, there’s really no reason not to watch it,” said Alrefai. “He is the president of the United States and we are citizens, so really we should watch it. Plus, it’s definitely going to be entertaining.”
America is going through turmoil according to many citizens, and Alrefai is among them. His ethnicity and religion are two reasons Alrefai says that he is worried. However, Alrefai still watched the inauguration willingly.
“I don’t like Trump,” said Alrefai. “As a Muslim, I am kind of afraid and, I feel like the country is going to go down. But it’s still a historic moment, and regardless of who is getting elected, it’s still good to watch. At least you’re not forced to watch it. If this was Syria, you probably would be.”
The Trump inauguration seemed to be extremely unpopular compared to President Obama’s 2009 inauguration, with an estimated 1.8 million attending the latter and a significantly lower number (despite no estimate provided at time) attending President Trump’s. However, Edstrom does believe that if Trump was elected, there are enough people to watch it.
“Clearly there are divisions of our country that are being revealed in levels that are much greater than people anticipated,” said Edstrom. “I thought for sure Trump would not be elected, so I guess I underestimated the anger and ignorance of many Americans.”
Edstrom explained that by ignorance, he means that voters didn’t think about all of President Trump’s policies before voting.
“When I say ignorance, I mean they are voting against their own interests,” said Edstrom. “They are putting their anger over things like immigration over their own future, and that shocks me.”
Edstrom continued, emphasizing what he believes will occur during Trump’s presidency. He also explained why he believed that the American people seemed ignorant in his opinion.
“I think their [the American people] anger is misguided,” said Edstrom. “Many of the voters that voted for Trump are going to rely on social security and Medicare and similar things someday, but the person they voted for wants to eliminate, or severely scale back, those vital things. People who may not have retirement money need that, but we voted for someone who wants to eliminate them.”
However, despite what Edstrom’s opinion on Trump himself is, he does hope that President Trump will do well by America, but also is cautious about the future.
“I thought better of the American people,” said Edstrom. “People have a right to their opinion over policies and about what direction they think the country should go in. What I’m talking about is, people are willing to vote somebody in, who, in my opinion, does not show great character and who has done more, in my opinion, to divide the country than to unite the country. I am hopeful, but at the same time, fearful about the future.”