The 58th presidential inauguration was a long time coming, and it was exactly what I expected it to be.
We began the day early, hitting the streets at 6am to avoid the inevitable droves of people desperate to catch a glimpse of history. As soon as we reached the first security checkpoint I felt trapped in a sea of red “Make America Great Again” hats. Anti-Trump protesters lifted signs as we stood in line, and were met with “Build A Wall!” chants from Trump supporters. The atmosphere was strange; everyone was defensive. After security we encountered throngs of hat-wearing Trump supporters, more anti-Trump protesters, the Westboro Baptist Church, and anti-abortion protesters.
When the inauguration ceremony began with the Trump and Pence families descending the stairs to the stage, the mood around us was pure excitement and adrenaline– the very opposite of what I was feeling as someone who did not vote for Trump. It was especially upsetting when the crowd jeered and booed Hilary Clinton when her face was flashed on the big screen.
Being a liberal in the midst of thousands of Trump supporters was intimidating and slightly frightening. The ceremony was historic, and it was interesting to witness the president and vice president be sworn into office. However, watching history as it’s being made is frustrating when it’s not what you wished for.