On January 20th, 2017, I went to Washington D.C. for the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States, Donald J. Trump. I had the urge to be in the capital that day, because the whole world was anticipating the transition of power in Washington, but most importantly, it was a historic moment in our nation’s history after an unprecedented election and it became an experience that I will never forget.
The minute I got off the bus, we saw demonstrators holding signs and shouting chants while walking to the Union Metro Station. Some of the chants were “Say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here,” “No Trump, No KKK, No fascist USA,” “This is what democracy looks like” and “My body my choice, your body your choice.” Many streets were blocked off so that we were forced to take detours. The square in front of Union Station was packed with demonstrators. People from all backgrounds affiliated with different social organizations were present.
One guy dressed as a colonial, was urging people to stand up to Trump, because he is taking money from other leaders and the constitution clearly states that a presidential candidate is not allowed to do that.
After the inauguration, many Trump supporters started walking back to the Union metro station to take the train. That was when many Trump supporters and protesters got in contact with one another. The Trump supporters made themselves visible by wearing the read hats with “Make America Great Again” written on the front. Some people were shouting that what anti-Trump supporters are doing is a waste of time and should respect the new administration. Others just passed by the demonstration with no further comments. When asked, many Trump supporters had an exhilarating experience at the inauguration. According to some, it made them proud to be an American.
Watch video of an anti-Trump protester and Trump supporter having an argument:
— The Montclarion (@TheMontclarion) January 20, 2017
The experience once again proved to me how polarized and divided this nation is. Trump voters/supporters talked over or didn’t listen to anti-Trump protesters, and vice versa. However, I did see some people who really wanted to start a dialogue with the people who had beliefs, views and opinions that were different from theirs. It reassured me that the willingness to find common ground might not be completely lost and it gave me hope that one day this nation will be a more unified country than it is now.