Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Voices from the Inaugural Crowd

Omri Nahmias, Washington, D. C.

The carnival atmosphere that gripped Washington in the days leading up to the transfer of power was either a celebration or a dirge. Mishpacha reports from Washington

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

 Mishpacha image

HOPE FOR THE FUTURE “He promised and hopefully, he will keep his word,” says Larry Cordero, an army veteran from San Antonio, Texas. “I think he will. We need to give him a chance. There are some people who won’t, but let’s hope those who do will prove them all wrong” (Photos: AP, Omri Nahmias)

I nauguration Day is always a staid and structured ceremony, complete with benedictions, administering the oath of office to the incoming president, and a 21-gun salute. Friday’s inauguration of Donald John Trump as America’s 45th president was no different, yet the carnival atmosphere that gripped Washington, D.C. in the days leading up to the transfer of power was either a celebration or a dirge, depending on which candidate you supported.

Groups of protestors, hoisting pro and anti-Trump placards, competed for attention on issues ranging from climate change and the environment to abortion to Obamacare.

In all, police granted an estimated 100 permits to protestors. Each group staked out a location or set up a tailgating party for their demonstration in the nation’s capital.

For most of the week, the competing sides stayed clear of each other and the atmosphere was even festive. Since demonstrators were kept at a distance from invited guests, one group, calling itself Bikers for Trump, built stands from which they could watch the swearing-in ceremony. Nobody bothered them, even when passersby took photos or just stood around to gaze.

But as the noon hour approached on Friday, the atmosphere became charged.

A group of anarchists shattered windows at iconic American businesses like Bank of America, McDonald’s, and Starbucks. Six police officers were injured in the melees and 217 demonstrators were arrested.

Seating for the inauguration was divided into two levels: a few hundred administration insiders and top supporters were seated on an upper level — including four former presidents. On the lower level sat tens of thousands of Main Street Americans, who hooted and hollered throughout the ceremony, including one man with a healthy set of lungs who shouted out his disgust for CNN — the network Trump loves to hate — every two minutes or so.

When Trump approached the podium to take the oath of office from Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, he did so to a smattering of both applause and boos, accompanied by some shouts of “not my president,” a sentiment reinforced by some 60 Congressional Democrats who boycotted the inauguration.

(L-R) Oded Revivi, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Benny Kashriel share common ground at an inaugural party

Even after the inauguration, tensions were evident when Trump supporters with credentials passed demonstrators who had set up shop at the intersection of E Street and 7th Street Southwest, where police had set up a security checkpoint for people entering the National Mall. 

The demonstrators who voted for the losing candidate still view Trump as an illegitimate president, whose path to the White House was paved by Russian government hacks and an FBI that released damaging information on Hillary Clinton in the final, crucial two weeks before the November 8 election.

Trump supporters view these protesters as sore losers who are undermining democracy. Yet even some on the winning side seem intent on rubbing it in, with souvenir booths still selling t-shirts with anti-Hillary slogans.

During the week, we took a sampling of some of these competing viewpoints, speaking to the man on the street, attending pro- and anti-Trump rallies — even an Obama going-away party. Each side is clearly still digesting the remains of a boisterous campaign and manning the barricades in expressing their views.

Related Stories

Israel on a Tightrope?

Ariel Ben Solomon

Barack Obama’s final slap-in-the face legacy won’t be so easy to untangle, according to Dr. Eran Ler...

Can Trump Topple Obama’s Legacy?

Binyamin Rose

Obama was long on well-intended vision but short on results. Donald Trump has promised — with the he...

Will Trump Keep Jerusalem Promise?

Binyamin Rose

Deputy FM Tzipi Hotovely to Mishpacha: “We’re getting good indications”

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
What’s in a Name?
Shoshana Friedman “What does Writer X have to say this week?”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals
Four Walls Coming Full Circle
Eytan Kobre All the while, there’s been a relationship in the offing...
And Yet We Smile
Yisroel Besser We are the nation that toils to be happy at all costs
Out of This World
Rabbi Henoch Plotnick Dirshu Hashem b’himatzo — we are in Hashem’s company now...
Steven and Jonathan Litton
Rachel Bachrach The co-owners of Litton Sukkah, based in Lawrence, NY
Tali Messing
Moe Mernick Tali Messing, engineering manager at Facebook Tel Aviv
Sick Note
Jacob L. Freedman “Of course, Dr. Freedman. Machul, machul, machul”
Avoiding Health Columns Can Be Good for You
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Only one reliable guide for good health: our Torah
Endnote: Side Notes
Riki Goldstein Most Jewish music industry entertainers have side profes...
Me, Myself, and Why
Faigy Peritzman Where there’s no heart and no love, there’s no point
Can’t Do It Without You
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When you step up to the plate, you build your home team
Eternal Joy
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz The joy of Succos is the fruit of spiritual victory
The Appraiser: Part III
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Make sure your child knows his strengths
Hidden Special Needs
Rena Shechter You won’t see his special needs, but don’t deny them
Dear Wealthy Friend
Anonymous There’s no need for guilt. I am truly happy for you