Democrats boycott inauguration, causes Trump uproar
February 14, 2017
Inaugurations are a time when the nation should come together, accept the person elected by the people and wish him well on the four years ensuing. However, when that person was elected excluding the support of the popular vote and including help from Russian hackers, attending the inauguration is not a necessity.
Many Americans feel personally victimized by Donald Trump’s words, actions and promises. He has a blatant disregard for political correctness, offending oppressed groups such as Muslims, blacks and women. Lawmakers including John Lewis, Keith Ellison and Nydia Velázquez boycotted the inauguration for various reasons, but they agree that Trump is not suitable for the presidency.
“Peaceful protest has been a powerful tool to communicate distress, so boycotting any inauguration is effective if the masses are truly unhappy with their situation,” junior Anna Lee said. “I also think anyone should be able to boycott any presidential inauguration because it doesn’t directly insult the president, but instead expresses contempt.”
Civil Rights Movement leader, Presidential Medal of Freedom winner and Georgia Representative John Lewis denied attending the inauguration after refusing to regard Trump as a “legitimate president” as a result of the Russian election-hacking.
According to CNN.com, Trump replied to Lewis saying, “All talk, talk, talk – no actions or results!”
These words, posted on Trump’s infamous Twitter account, are not only inaccurate, but hypocritical. Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s peaceful protests, Lewis became a Freedom Rider and co-organized the March on Washington in 1963, eventually becoming a congressman to make more change. His story is the definition of action, coming from sharecropping parentage to a member of the United States House of Representatives.
On the other hand, Trump uses his Twitter to talk, talk, talk, but he does not take action. His faulty plan for a wall bordering the U.S. and Mexico, which he famously claimed Mexico would fund, will now be paid for by the American people. While he claims that Mexico will repay Americans for the $10-12 billion project, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has repeatedly refused to shed a penny towards the wall.
In solidarity with Lewis, Minnesota Representative and Democratic National Committee Chairman candidate also boycotted the inauguration, stating that he, “Will not celebrate a man who preaches a politics of division and hate” according to huffingtonpost.com.
It is completely justified for Ellison, a black Muslim, to boycott Trump’s inauguration. In addition having the support of the Ku Klux Klan, Trump himself is racist, proven in his tireless questioning of former president Barack Obama’s birthplace and countless other examples.
Along with Lewis and Ellison, New York Representative Nydia Velázquez was not in attendance at Trump’s inauguration.
“I will not be attending inauguration of [Donald Trump] but WILL participate in the [Women’s March] on January 21,” Velásquez said on Twitter.
The Women’s March, a protest of Trump’s sexist attitude and plans to regulate women’s bodies, was far more popular than the previous day’s event. Though the National Parks Service does not tally crowd numbers, visual evidence proves that Trump’s inauguration hosted a fraction of those who marched with the Women’s March.
“The Women’s March was a chance for women and men to show their concern for political issues across the board, from abortion and women’s rights to concerns about immigration and the lives of people of color,” junior Grace Zimmer said. “I myself attended a sister march in St. Paul… it one of the most unifying events I have ever attended.
Some, like junior Noah Schraut, say that boycotting the inauguration is disrespectful to the country or the system by which it runs.
“We rely on fair elections in the U.S. and Trump was elected as president using a system that we’ve used for centuries. Trump did not take power in a literal coup and therefore, it is important to come together,” Schraut explained.
While it is respectful to honor the president elected by attending his or her inauguration, it is not necessary when the man being inaugurated does not represent the ideals of so many Americans. According to politico.com, Trump’s approval ratings were surveyed at a dismal 45 percent, the worst a president has seen at an inauguration.
California Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard justified the boycott of the inauguration precisely, saying, “I thought long and hard about attending the Inauguration because I value our democracy and respect the office of the presidency, regardless of party. However, the disparaging remarks the President-elect has made about many groups, including women, Mexicans, and Muslims, are deeply contrary to my values,” according to CNN.com.
The inauguration was justifiably boycotted by political figures who disagree with Trump’s racist, sexist, homophobic and xenophobic ideals, because many feel personally discriminated. Trump has received the message that his presidency will not be a popular one, which could indicate to him that his policies and ideas are faulty.