So today was a pretty big day in American political history. Today everything “changes starting right here and right now”. Today we saw Trump “transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the people”.
But what does this actually mean?
Well based on what we saw in the hours before and following Trump’s inauguration America is a hugely different country from 8 years ago.
In the hours before Trump took the oath of office, the Washington DC was a shadow of what is was in 2009. With roughly 2 million supporters turning out to see Obama become the 44th President, less than half came out in 2017. With estimates of only 900,000 people coming out to see Trump take the oath. A perfect picture of how unpopular Trump really is, with his approval ratings, hit a new low just hours before his inauguration.
So poor was Trump’s inaugural turnout that on the official POTUS Twitter account, that the background picture instead featured a picture from Obama’s inauguration!
Meanwhile, thousands of protesters took to the streets to voice their hatred and objection to the new President Trump. With the protesters lighting fires and smashing shop windows the anger of the nation was obvious. Such were the protesters clashed with the police and 95 were arrested.
Then in the hours following Trump’s inauguration, the LGBT page on the White House website disappeared. You can even try for yourself whitehouse.gov/lgbt. The LGBT page was not the only page to disappear. The White House Climate Change page also disappeared. Again try for yourself whitehouse.gov/energy/climate-change.
So what did we learn from today?
Well firstly, America is deeply divided, and President Trump is just the face of how deep the cracks go in American society.
Secondly, the domestic politics of America is about to dramatically change, and the conservatives extremes which have been bubbling just under the surface for at least 4 years, are about to take center stage.
Thirdly, anti-Trump protests are going to become increasingly frequent.
Finally, it’s gonna be very rough for liberals in America over the next 4 years.
Feature Photo by Cage Skidmore