On January 20th, 2017, the Donald Trump era began. The populist candidate was inaugurated as America’s 45th president in a frenzy of faith and fear. With obvious opposition and a parade of protest, a level of uncertainty looms over the country as the near year begins. Despite this situation’s feeling of newness, it is not the first time a new president has been the source of unrest. Washington D.C. was the site of protests following the election of Richard Nixon in 1968 and George W. Bush in 2000. So, what does Inauguration Day mean to Americans? Wherever you stand on the political spectrum, it represents a chance to try something new, and God forbid, not the fall of western civilization.
As has been expressed, we are living in a fascinating time. There is undoubtably an overwhelming curiosity about what the next 4 to 8 years will hold. What is the fate of health care? Will he actually build a wall? And what about ISIS? Initial reactions aside, if there is one idea that we all can take away from this election is that we face a great opportunity to let ourselves be challenged. It is easy for us to jump into attack mode when confronted with something we don’t like. With the division of our nation ever so present, there is no better time to allow ourselves to keep an open mind, listen, and learn.