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The Only Bright Side of the Inauguration

January 20, 2017

Jose Luis Magana, Associated Press

Jose Luis Magana, Associated Press

At noon on January 20th, a high profile, previously prestigious event occurred; the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump. The future of America under the leadership of Donald Trump is currently shrouded in mystery, which could be seen as gloomy and troubling by some, or bright and reassuring by others.

What isn’t mysterious is the fact that Donald Trump made history as the least popular president in the past 40 years upon initial swear-in, as proven by an ABC poll. The poll shows that Trump’s transitional approval ratings are at 40%, compared to President Obama’s 2009 transitional ratings which were at 80%.

The poll also showed that, with regard to expectations of whether or not Trump will make the right decisions for the country, only 38% of people feel as though he will.

The true bright side of what some may consider a catastrophe is the strength and conviction with which people have come together to promote change in the wake of the election and the inauguration. Politicians and activists alike have urged us all to continue speaking against what we know is wrong, and to continue to push for positive change.

On the days leading up to the inauguration, 60+ members of congress announced that they would not be attending in support of activist Rep. John Lewis, who was attacked by the “President” over twitter.

As theatrically described by The New Yorker, a “gathering storm” of protests began brewing on the days leading up to the inauguration, as various organizations began promoting protests that would occur.

(Mic.com even provided a convenient map and schedule of the many protests that would occur.)

The most noted of which is the Women’s March on Washington on January 21st, which has its own Wikipedia page and website. Within 24 hours of it being announced on Facebook, 35,000 people pledged to attend, and its membership has increased exponentially since. The Women’s March on Washington boasts a slew of activists, authors, celebrities, and other prominent women as speakers at the rally.

The Women’s March, along with Black Lives Matter, the “Queer Dance Party at Mike Pence’s house” organized by WERK for Peace, climate based protests, anti-war based protests, and many more issue-focused protests weren’t organized for the simple sake of opposing Trump, but to bring attention to the causes that are at risk in the wake of his swearing-in.

Jesse Singal of New York magazine summed it up nicely by stating that the speed and fervor with which the protests were organized demonstrates a “mobilized a sense of shared anger and purpose that, if tapped effectively, could turn into a lasting movement capable of fighting back.”

Now, while it is an understatement to say that the 2016 election seemed entirely unreal, the sad truth to face is that this is our reality. With this truth, it is imperative to remember that we need to be the change we want to see in the world.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Meade, American cultural anthropologist

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