Inauguration Day Pilgrims Have A President

Members of Trump Nation, the voting majority occupying fly-over country, know they won, but still pinch themselves to reaffirm the reality of it all.  Inauguration Day pilgrims were witness to the swearing-in of president Trump, fortified that it was no illusion.

In the orange ticket standing area on the southwest shoulder of the Capitol, my wife and I were flanked by Trump supporters in all manner of style, and substance. Regular Joes and Marys in jeans, canvas pants, quilted knee-length rain cloaks, hiking boots, hooded sweatshirts, Carhartt and Cabelas jackets, some graced with outback/western hats. Men and women in business suits, and motorcycle jackets.

A few active military mingled, and a quartet of college kids in front of us made the pilgrimage as members of a good government club in Ohio.  Folks within earshot had trekked in from South Dakota, Arizona, Texas, Mississippi, and Tennessee.  Perhaps half sported “Make America Great Again” caps, or TRUMP sweatshirts. Many, but not too many, carried American flags on parade sticks in their back pockets.

This was not a 4th of July celebration after all, with Stars and Stripes waving. Instead, at times, the ceremony resembled a service of thanksgiving.  Trumpers’ longing for respect, recognition, and the promise of deliverance, had finally been requited.

Participants no doubt were inwardly jubilant, but outwardly showed equal parts of relief tempering pure joy. I sensed many Trump supporters are thrilled, and even more grateful, for their defender and champion having prevailed, yet wary that their version of Gettysburg, while hopeful, still isn’t Appomattox.

I spoke with a few latter middle-aged and senior couples, self-described hostages from towns in hopelessly-blue states like Hornell New York, Bel Air Maryland, and Fitchburg Massachusetts, who all wondered if, before Trump, they would ever again have a president who spoke for them. This was their first inaugural, the only one so far that really mattered, after having voted in at least a dozen presidential elections before.

Subdued enthusiasm was soon enough replaced by a resolute spirit. When provoked the crowd elicited the predictable responses that never get old. As Hillary appeared on the big screen, chants of “lock-her-up” immediately resonated.  The most agitated reaction arrived the moment New York Senator, and US Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, opened his mouth; shouts of “cut the mike” drowned out Schumer’s tedious elitist moralizing.

The crowd was not at all surprised, indeed were delighted, that president Trump in his inaugural address courageously eviscerated the Washington, DC establishment while having most of his victims sitting beside and behind him. Such carpet-bombing was expected, and most agreeable, to Trump voters who refused to answer pollsters’ telephone calls during the campaign, but would not be rebuffed at the only polling place that counted.

Soft swells of approbation swept the Capitol’s western slope as the priest, ministers, pastors, and rabbi offered prayers of invocation, and benediction.

Impatient for their president Trump to get on with his promised action agenda, they won’t dwell too long on his providential victory.  Their political capital invested in Trump must be activated before it gets neutralized, and devalued, by the very conspiracy of forces that nearly denied their agent this inimitable moment.

We met a cheerful woman along with her nineteen- and ten-year-old sons on the 7:15 am MARC train from Baltimore to DC Union Station on Inauguration Day, and by chance saw her again at the end of the day sitting on a concrete barrier at the foot of Lower Senate Park.  She drove 22 hours straight from Lawton, Oklahoma to her sister’s house in Dundalk, just east of Baltimore City.  Gas and tolls wiped out any chance at a midway hotel room.  Exhausted but indefatigable, she arrived to support the man who listened, and spoke to her in her own language; to cheer a man vilified, ridiculed, and marginalized by the establishment, just as she has been for her entire life.

“Thank God he won. He may not know my name. Still, he knows who I am.  All alone, attacked on all sides, he beat all of them, every one. Praise God for Donald Trump.”

Members of Trump Nation, the voting majority occupying fly-over country, know they won, but still pinch themselves to reaffirm the reality of it all.  Inauguration Day pilgrims were witness to the swearing-in of president Trump, fortified that it was no illusion.

In the orange ticket standing area on the southwest shoulder of the Capitol, my wife and I were flanked by Trump supporters in all manner of style, and substance. Regular Joes and Marys in jeans, canvas pants, quilted knee-length rain cloaks, hiking boots, hooded sweatshirts, Carhartt and Cabelas jackets, some graced with outback/western hats. Men and women in business suits, and motorcycle jackets.

A few active military mingled, and a quartet of college kids in front of us made the pilgrimage as members of a good government club in Ohio.  Folks within earshot had trekked in from South Dakota, Arizona, Texas, Mississippi, and Tennessee.  Perhaps half sported “Make America Great Again” caps, or TRUMP sweatshirts. Many, but not too many, carried American flags on parade sticks in their back pockets.

This was not a 4th of July celebration after all, with Stars and Stripes waving. Instead, at times, the ceremony resembled a service of thanksgiving.  Trumpers’ longing for respect, recognition, and the promise of deliverance, had finally been requited.

Participants no doubt were inwardly jubilant, but outwardly showed equal parts of relief tempering pure joy. I sensed many Trump supporters are thrilled, and even more grateful, for their defender and champion having prevailed, yet wary that their version of Gettysburg, while hopeful, still isn’t Appomattox.

I spoke with a few latter middle-aged and senior couples, self-described hostages from towns in hopelessly-blue states like Hornell New York, Bel Air Maryland, and Fitchburg Massachusetts, who all wondered if, before Trump, they would ever again have a president who spoke for them. This was their first inaugural, the only one so far that really mattered, after having voted in at least a dozen presidential elections before.

Subdued enthusiasm was soon enough replaced by a resolute spirit. When provoked the crowd elicited the predictable responses that never get old. As Hillary appeared on the big screen, chants of “lock-her-up” immediately resonated.  The most agitated reaction arrived the moment New York Senator, and US Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, opened his mouth; shouts of “cut the mike” drowned out Schumer’s tedious elitist moralizing.

The crowd was not at all surprised, indeed were delighted, that president Trump in his inaugural address courageously eviscerated the Washington, DC establishment while having most of his victims sitting beside and behind him. Such carpet-bombing was expected, and most agreeable, to Trump voters who refused to answer pollsters’ telephone calls during the campaign, but would not be rebuffed at the only polling place that counted.

Soft swells of approbation swept the Capitol’s western slope as the priest, ministers, pastors, and rabbi offered prayers of invocation, and benediction.

Impatient for their president Trump to get on with his promised action agenda, they won’t dwell too long on his providential victory.  Their political capital invested in Trump must be activated before it gets neutralized, and devalued, by the very conspiracy of forces that nearly denied their agent this inimitable moment.

We met a cheerful woman along with her nineteen- and ten-year-old sons on the 7:15 am MARC train from Baltimore to DC Union Station on Inauguration Day, and by chance saw her again at the end of the day sitting on a concrete barrier at the foot of Lower Senate Park.  She drove 22 hours straight from Lawton, Oklahoma to her sister’s house in Dundalk, just east of Baltimore City.  Gas and tolls wiped out any chance at a midway hotel room.  Exhausted but indefatigable, she arrived to support the man who listened, and spoke to her in her own language; to cheer a man vilified, ridiculed, and marginalized by the establishment, just as she has been for her entire life.

“Thank God he won. He may not know my name. Still, he knows who I am.  All alone, attacked on all sides, he beat all of them, every one. Praise God for Donald Trump.”