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100 Days of Trump: Observations of Inauguration 2017, the day America was reborn

WASHINGTON DC -- We’re all witnesses to history; most of the time we just don’t realize it.

This was the thought going through my head as I observed from a distance as Donald Trump and Mike Pence took a motorcade ride from the White House to the Capitol late morning on Friday, assumed their places Trump inauguration dayamong the distinguished who’s who of American politics and then offered their respective oaths of office.

The overflow crowd went wild. A surprising number of the people I met came from other places…Kentucky, Georgia, New York, Chicago…it truly was a meeting of America. They gathered to witness history – a man who had never held office on any level ran for and won the presidency. It was his day to make it official.

I thought back to June, 2015 when Trump descended the escalator at Trump Tower and unapologetically announced he was running for president. I along with nearly everyone in the country considered it a publicity stunt at the time. After all, Trump had talked about running for president many times before. The notion fit his celebrity persona, someone who was famous yet never shied away from offering opinions on leaders and events.

Since Trump wasn’t a politician I rarely took his views seriously. I always dismissed him as just a rich, famous person with an oversized personality and a microphone talking about stuff because he could. He had an audience and they would listen. It was white noise, more entertainment from a performer.

But through the course of the campaign it became clear Trump was no sideshow act. Contrary to the persistent predictions of many, he didn’t drop out. He hired talent to help him fulfill the necessary legal requirements. Surrogates came on board and spoke on his behalf. Perhaps most importantly, an army of volunteers emerged from the interior of America, people so fed up with the status quo that they were willing to work for a man who spoke brashly and at times, inappropriately.

The other Republican candidates around Trump didn’t know how to treat his lead in the polls. Everyone thought he would weaken as other famous non-politicians had done in the past. And when fellow non-politician Ben Carson briefly rose up to challenge his polling lead in late October of 2015, it certainly looked like the traditional “rise and fade” pattern would hold.

It didn’t. Carson faded but Trump endured. Trump fought. Trump won.

All of the doubters up to that point then spouted off he wouldn’t last against a seasoned, well-known and ruthlessly effective politician like Hillary Clinton. They panned his debate performances. They criticized his campaign leadership and media strategy. They said he wouldn’t survive without the wholehearted backing of the establishment. They guaranteed he’d lose.

He didn’t.

A lot of those nonbelievers, including Hillary herself, were present on Friday to see Trump become the 45th president. Some were recent converts to the Trump cause. Many were still in denial and disbelief and were resolved to keep fighting him and his agenda. All must have been impressed by Trump’s confidence in speaking truth to power once again as he delivered his inaugural address.

The speech was short and to the point. It attacked the establishment. It reassured the “forgotten Americans” that they would never be ignored again. It promised action where the political class had hesitated. It warned our enemies to expect a harsh response from a newly empowered United States. It even suggested to our “allies” that they would have to do their share to protect themselves.

Most of all, Trump promised to always put America first. It was brilliant.

I looked around and saw many people with tears in their eyes as Trump spoke. The sense of relief was tangible. Anticipation for a new day in America was in the air.

For his part, outgoing President Obama appeared content with turning over the reins of power to a man who all but swore he would work to his last breath to undo everything Obama and the establishment had imposed on the country.

Obama’s final hours as president were his most graceful in eight years of presiding over Washington. Maybe he realized that real “hope and change” had finally arrived for tens of millions who were fed up with a central government telling them what to do, what not to do and what to believe. Or maybe he was trying to save his legacy. Maybe he just wanted to make a bundle off of his future speeches and just play golf.

Whatever his motivations, Obama boarded his government sponsored flights for a final time on Friday (heading to California) after the swearing-in. Perhaps the residents of the Palm Springs region will now get a glimpse of the former president getting gas in his car and shopping at Costco in the next couple weeks. But somehow, I think not.

The Obama era is over. Trump’s has just started. A new political age has begun. The 45th president has let the genie out of the proverbial bottle and we aren’t going back. The People are now in charge. It’s a great time to be an American.

Protesters tried to ruin Trump’s inauguration day – it didn’t work

Despite the enormity of the day, much of the news coverage after the event focused on the angry horde of anarchists shouting slogans, throwing rocks and doing whatever they could to draw attention, law enforcement and the TV cameras towards them.

I won’t call them “protesters” because they weren’t protesting anything. They were an angry mob in town to cause trouble and where possible, inflict injury on the police. They broke some store windows. They ran around with faces covered. Some of them attracted gobs of photographers by standing in the middle of intersections holding a sign that few could or wanted to read.

It was stupid. I’m not sure how else to describe it.

We ourselves only encountered a few lonely protesters on the morning walk from Union Station to our designated area to view the inaugural ceremony. Frankly, they looked like people who didn’t have anything else to do so they threw together homemade signs and stood by sidewalks not bothering anyone and not saying much in the process.

As would be expected there were thousands of people with “Make America Great Again” hats and various other Trump memorabilia scattered all around. And once in place, they remained upbeat during the hours long wait for the ceremony to begin, entertained to varying degrees by the Marine Corps band that was playing in the lead-up to the event and the periodic introductions of political dignitaries entering the staging area.

There was surprisingly little room in the “standing” area we occupied as people crowded as close as possible to the stage about a quarter mile away. It truly was standing room only.

The spectators cheered and booed as a crowd would, mostly respectful of the outgoing president and first lady, though sparing little in showing their vocal displeasure at Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

And when Hillary’s image flashed on the screen before us, there was a loud negative response. I heard some chants of “lock her up” and the atmosphere changed in an instant to a campaign rally. Evidently the raw feelings from the campaign have not subsided for many folks.

The intensity continued as the Trump family came down the stairs. As I surveyed the grace and eloquence of the Trumps I couldn’t help but think America now has its own version of a royal family. First lady Melania Trump looked stunning in her blue dress as did Trump daughters Ivanka and Tiffany. Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump looked handsome and distinguished. Even 10 year-old Barron Trump looked the part.

Mike Pence beamed as he heard the crowd’s reaction to his entrance, a common man with a humble background now joining a wealthy American icon on the seat of power. Only in America is such a thing possible.

I thought Trump himself looked a little nervous – if that’s possible – as he took the final steps down to the ceremony stage alone, thanking people left and right and acknowledging the cheering throngs of spectators. He gave a couple thumbs up and sat quietly as the service began.

As the whole world has now seen the ceremony I won’t bother to describe it. I myself had to view a taped version afterwards to see what really happened in any real detail.

Up to that point I was somewhat surprised we hadn’t encountered any protestors. The tickets we got were available to the public, by and large, and I’d heard some people had even sold theirs to anonymous buyers. I was expecting to have some Code pink-like idiots standing among us, but everyone was quiet and pro-Trump until noon when he stepped up to the podium to take his oath.

At that moment a twenty-something man in a yellow fleece coat standing about two feet in front of my daughter started shouting “Unfit, Not Legit!” over and over. I was a little taken aback, having stood in proximity to this guy for a couple hours already and there was no sign he was there to protest. And he was the ONLY one who was shouting among a huge host of Trump supporters.

As he kept hollering through Trump’s oath, people around started shouting him down, at the minimum trying to get him to stop so we could hear. A tough looking 60s-ish man in a leather “Bikers for Trump” coat turned around, got right in his face and bellowed “Shut the f—k up” and pushed him back, almost into my daughter.

I was a bit concerned now, halfway wanting to join in the attempts to suppress the guy and half-fearing the crowd was going to start pounding on him if I did. If that were the case, would we be on the evening news, falsely depicted as a “violent” Trump mob?

Undoubtedly the guy was a plant – if not, why did he wait so long to let his feelings be known? He was probably put there by some George Soros funded organization purposely to stir up trouble. I think everyone around was pondering what to do about him – and then he stopped yelling – likely due to the thundering 21-gun salute being offered about a hundred yards away.

As Trump began his inaugural address the idiot started up again. This time he was blabbering something about “impeach the illegitimate president” and some other things I couldn’t quite make out.

Then something happened that really shocked me. A man who was dressed in full business attire literally charged back from somewhere forward of us. With eyes literally popping out of his head (no joke) the man grabbed the yellow-jacketed protestor and pushed him backwards like a lineman clearing a hole for a running back – likely all the way to the rear (which was a long way, actually). The people parted to give them room to move -- it was a sight to behold.

We never saw either of them again. I was concerned a riot was about to break out. I didn’t know if the “hero” was security or if he was just a fervent Trump supporter (I’m guessing it was the latter), but the incident was over and that was that. I thought I heard some other protestors shouting but couldn’t tell if it was just cheering or protesting.

As Trump spoke it began to rain lightly. No one seemed to mind. Everyone stood in awe and appreciation as the new president delivered his address, cheering often and contentedly contemplating the change in American politics.

After Trump finished speaking, Pastor Franklin Graham mentioned that rain was a sign of approval from God. I think everyone agreed.

As the ceremony ended the huge crowd began exiting the viewing area. I’m not sure which street we were on but we could hear shouting in front of us along with several large signs in the distance (as I found out, mostly about Christianity). As we slowly inched forward I could see there were a couple protesters sitting on some sort of platform holding a sign that said “You reap what you sow.”

When the inauguration attendees passed they took turns shouting “U-S-A” and “Trump-Trump-Trump!” Then someone grabbed the protesters’ sign. It was funny.

Moving along we suddenly heard the distinct sound of a helicopter flying overhead. It wasn’t unusual -- there were many police helicopters in the region. But this one was louder and closer. As we all looked up and saw that it was Obama in “Executive 1” flying around Washington for a final time, the crowd gave him an appropriately worded goodbye and the moment was soon forgotten.

There were another couple protesters on the corner screaming something about women’s rights or something. A female Trump supporter shouted back at them, “Pro-Woman, Pro-Life, Pro-Trump!” The peaceful crowd cheered in affirmation.

Near Union Station a small group was holding signs about “Pu—y” this or that. Again, pretty stupid. Everyone just ignored them. I found out later the Biden motorcade had just been there to send the former vice president back up to Delaware on an Amtrak train. There was security everywhere – but that was pretty much true of the entire experience.

And it was all handled in an extremely professional and mostly burden-free manner. We owe a lot to law enforcement and the military members who carried it out as part of their duty.

All in all, it was a day we’ll never forget. Riding the train home all I could think about was we now have a president who clearly intends to keep his promises and has the force of will and persuasion to make it happen.

It was a feeling no protesters could ruin. A good day for America.

Anti-Trump forces would actually do much better for their causes by joining Trump

While the protesters on Friday failed in their mission to ruin the inauguration ceremony for Donald Trump and Mike Pence it’s not to say they didn’t give it the ‘ol college try.

The ones we saw, as noted above, were fairly benign and would clearly be covered under the protections of the First Amendment (not sure about the yellow coat guy in our standing section though). But the violent hoodlums featured prominently on the news are getting all the special attention they deserve.

And if the new Attorney General has anything to do with it (assuming federal crimes), they may not get another opportunity to protest Trump during his administration.

From CBS News, “Most of the approximately 230 protesters arrested on Inauguration Day will be charged with felony rioting, federal prosecutors said.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the offense is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The office said most of those arrested will be released without having to post bail and must return to court in February.”

According to the same CBS report, “The protesters were armed with crowbars and threw objects at people and businesses, destroying storefronts and damaging vehicles.”

Nobody denies the First Amendment is a powerful weapon when used properly, but if you need a crowbar to do your talking, you’re not a protester. You’re a criminal. If you ask me, the proposed penalties are too light for these serial troublemakers. Heavy fines and jail time are exactly what’s needed to separate legitimate opposition from unadulterated violence.

Aside from the very necessary criminal consequences, the anarchists and radical leftists are going about it entirely wrong if they are truly interested in influencing policy as opposed to just making trouble.

If they want more power, these groups should support Trump’s proposal to give the government back to the People and the States.

Erick Erickson of The Resurgent wrote, “The next four years promise to be a nightmare for anyone and everyone who wants a super powerful government, but does not want Donald Trump in charge of it. The only way to get through this nightmare is to embrace Donald Trump’s promise to give the government back and reduce the power of Washington.

“Resist him all you want. He will just dig in his heels. Encourage him to really devolve power back to the states and people and you will put the Presidency and Washington back into their proper spheres and have far less to worry about from a Trump Administration.”

I would challenge any leftist Democrat to deny this truth. But most of these people aren’t the least bit interested in lawful constitutional means to get what they want. They’d much rather raise a big stink and organize protests full of offensive signs rather than do the work of trying to win for their causes at the state and local level.

They can’t win with the force of their arguments so they’ll seize power by any means necessary.

They’ll soon long for the days when Obama and the Democrat majorities would do it for them along with a liberal Supreme Court that all too often upheld their extra-constitutional authority grabs.

Thankfully, there’s a new way of thinking in charge of America’s executive branch. Donald Trump probably won’t achieve all he sets out to accomplish. The Democrats and their brainless followers will fight him every step of the way and there are lots of institutional barriers in his way. But if he’s able to demonstrate that constitutional governance works for everyone, politics will follow.

And then it truly will be an American rebirth.

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