Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Eve of the Unknown in America

Mexican-American protestor in December
An America which voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton by over 3 million votes in the popular election is about to take a hard right tomorrow.

After watching the parade of ultra wealthy right-wing conservatives (some of whom haven't even been properly vetted) that will form the new cabinet face confirmation hearings these past two weeks, there's no telling where we're going to end up.

It's still pretty hard for me to put the word 'inauguration' and 'Trump' in the same sentence without shuddering, but here we are.

Poised on the eve of an inauguration ceremony where a man with the lowest approval rating of any incoming U.S. president in history will be sworn into office.

A few minutes ago I was looking at short video clip posted on Twitter by CNN's Jake Tapper.

There was no written commentary or anything, just a brief camera sweep from the stage of Trump's inauguration-eve concert held in front of the Lincoln Memorial, to the noticeably sparse crowds in attendance.

Sparse crowds show for Trump concert
No comment was really necessary.

Aside from a smattering of conspicuoulsy-seated military personnel (who were probably ordered to go) the turnout was pretty weak.

Tonight's affair was a far cry from the more than 500,000 who gathered at the Lincoln Memorial back on January 19, 2009 for Obama's hope-filled speech and musical performances from the likes of U2, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder and Beyonce Knowles the night before 44's historic inauguration.

Take a look at the photo above looking out from the front steps of the Lincoln Memorial as Trump's inauguration concert got underway this evening.

TMZ's Anthony Dominic shared photos of the underwhelming turnout posted on his Twitter account, including a comparison shot of Obama's inauguration when up to a million people filled that same area in 2009.

The mood of tonight's event took a starkly different tone than the excitement and hope that surrounded Obama's inauguration.

78-year-old actor Jon Voight took the stage to whine about the "barrage of lies" the notoriously truth-adverse PEOTUS has had to endure before insisting that "God answered all our prayers."

From the estimates I've read online, tonight's spotty attendance of approximately 10,000 people is a reflection not just of the notoriously weak musical lineup (Three Doors Down?), it's also a painful indicator of the overall lack of enthusiasm Americans are feeling for the inauguration of the orange-haired one tomorrow.

A scant 38% of Americans approve of this conniving PEOTUS, and if social media is any indicator, his inauguration tomorrow could be the first in history that's overshadowed by the millions of people, including at least 60 Democratic Congressmen and women, who will be either boycotting the ceremony tomorrow, or protesting it in some way.

Millions more (including me) will be taking part in various anti-Trump Women's Marches taking place in cities and towns around the nation on Saturday.

After listening to NPR throughout most of the day I came home from work, changed clothes, fed my cat and turned on WRTI for some soothing jazz.

Tonight I'm going to just try and stay positive to ward off this gloomy feeling of anxiety shared by millions of people around the globe.

Instead of getting bogged down by the unreleased tax returns, the flagrant conflict of interests represented by Trump's refusal to turn his businesses over to a blind trust, the parade of billionaires assuming cabinet leadership positions and the normalization of misogyny, bigotry and xenophobia, I'm going to take a page from President Obama's inauguration speech in 2009.

I'm going to remember that Democracy isn't easy, it's hard - and there's a lot of work ahead.

But I'm not alone and like President Obama, I've got hope - even on the eve of the unknown.

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