Why I Won’t Be Watching Trump’s Inauguration

I’ve been contemplating whether or not to write another political post. Should I or shouldn’t I? And what do I say at this point anyway? I shared my feelings of disappointment about the recent election result in an earlier post. Here it is over two months later, and maybe I should be feeling better about things, but I’m not. What about you?

I’ve been fairly successful at tuning out most political news coverage since election day. It’s too upsetting for a lot of reasons for me to watch. So yes, I’ve mostly kept my head in the sand regarding political news coverage of late, perhaps some sort of self-preservation tactic.

After the above-mentioned post, I received only one unfriendly email in which I was scolded and told I should stick to my topic – cancer.

Am I not allowed to write about any other topics I care about?

I was also warned, but only once or twice, that I should be prepared to lose plenty of readers. As far as I can tell, I only lost a handful, but of course, who really knows?

Most of you, my dear readers, were cordial even if you did not agree with me, so thank you. After all, I write for validation, yes, but I also write hoping to help those who do not agree with me better understand where some of the rest of us are coming from.

Isn’t this the whole point of writing and reading what others write, regardless of the topic?

Recently, like some of you probably did, I watched the Golden Globes awards show including Meryl Streep’s moving speech. Almost immediately after she gave it, the backlash (as well as the praise) began and Meryl was basically told the same thing I was told, stick to what you know, in her case, acting.

Interesting parallel, don’t you think?

And then she was chastised for lecturing from her “elite pulpit”.

Since when did speaking from the heart while defending human decency become elitism?

Regardless, thank you, Meryl, for giving me that little nudge to go ahead and write another political post. I was inspired by your words.

It’s my hope that no matter what your views are about our soon-to-be-new president, you would want to understand how those who do not share your views feel too. This goes for both sides of the aisle. We must try to understand one another. And yes, I know this can be hard. Really hard. As always, I welcome discussion here too.

Like some of you, I am still struggling to understand. And I remain quite troubled.

I am still troubled that Mr. Trump will be our president in the first place. I am troubled by many of his cabinet appointments. I am troubled by his many (and mounting) conflicts of interest. I am troubled by that whole Russian hacking thing and Trump’s seemingly too cozy relationship with Putin. I am troubled by certain continuing behaviors that seem anything but presidential. I am troubled by Supreme Court appointments likely coming whose views will probably not align with mine. I am troubled by the GOP’s zealous, irrational desire to repeal the Affordable Care Act and do so quickly without a good alternative plan ready to go. I am troubled by the political divisiveness that is so prevalent in Washington, D.C., across this country and even within my own extended family.

I have never felt this troubled after an election in which my candidate lost. Never. And I am not proud to live in a state now branded as one that determined, in a big way, the unexpected outcome of the recent election.

I could go on and on, but I won’t because what’s the point, right?

I wish I could talk about all this unrest with my dad. He was so wise about these things, too. 

Recently my favorite historian, son #one, reminded me this country has survived some less than stellar presidencies, in fact, some very less than stellar ones. Then out of curiosity, I asked him who would be on his list of the five worst presidents. It made for a very interesting discussion. His list included mostly the usual – Buchanan, Pierce, Johnson (Lincoln’s successor), Filmore, Harding (though he disputes this one a bit) and Coolidge. (Okay, that’s six). As you probably know, the top five presidents are generally thought to be Lincoln, FDR, Theodore Roosevelt, Washington and Jefferson, although the order sometimes gets shifted around a bit. Think Mount Rushmore for four of them.

I know son #one is right. We’ll survive. I’ll survive. But is this good enough? Maybe. Maybe not.

Survival is important, of course. But lots of damage can still be done even when one survives.

Think cancer and cancer treatment. Plenty of collateral damage can and does happen as a direct result of harsh treatments.

Another interesting parallel, right?

Right now my major areas of concern, politically speaking, revolve around the Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court, women’s reproductive rights (I don’t want to go backwards, damn it!), the environment and global warming, education and international affairs.

I want to be optimistic, but again, I’m struggling.

This is why on January 20th, barring any other big news event, I won’t be watching inauguration ceremonies and festivities like I always have in years gone by. I’m boycotting. It’s going to be my way of protesting. And yes, I realize no one but me, my family and maybe some of you will care, but that’s okay. Doing so is going to make me feel better. I just don’t feel like celebrating. I feel like being quiet.

There are various protest marches and rallies scheduled on and around Inauguration Day, and it is my hope they will all be peaceful and well-tolerated by everyone, regardless of political stance. After all, the right to peacefully protest is one of our fundamental liberties. Since I won’t be attending any of these planned events, my boycott will be my private protest.

When Mr. Trump is sworn in and becomes President Trump, I will try to keep an open mind and give him a chance. But I will not remain quiet and “stick to my topic” if I choose not to.

And then what?

I’m not sure. So much uncertainty is on the horizon. Things remain murky.

So, let’s try to come up with ideas for what I can do, what you can do, what any of us can do to become more politically involved, no matter what political party we are or are not affiliated with.

Because we all need to become more involved in determining who’s running our government and then holding them accountable, or at least I know I do.

I guess this is the silver lining in all this for me. (And I am not a fan of that whole silver lining concept).

So my next political post will include (hopefully) some concrete ideas for things we can all do to become more involved. If you have ideas, I would love to hear and share them.

Because if you live in America and no matter which party you align yourself with or which one is in charge at the moment, our government is exactly that – ours. 

President Barack Obama said it best in his farewell speech:

The most important office in a democracy:  Citizen.

President Obama, thank you for serving and thank you for continuing to inspire.

If you live in the US, how are you feeling now that Inauguration Day is here and do you plan to watch the coverage?

What ideas do you have to help us all become more involved and to hold elected officials more accountable?

If you live outside the US, how do you feel about our new President and what suggestions might you have regarding any of this?

Featured image above via washington.org (public domain)


Why I won't be watching Trump's Inauguration

Flag image via wikimedia commons.

35 thoughts to “Why I Won’t Be Watching Trump’s Inauguration”

  1. No mater what your political views, we need to rally as Americans and give our elected officials our support. Let’s see what President Trump can accomplish- give the guy a chance!

    1. Lin, If you read my post in its entirety, you will notice I did say I will give him a chance and I will, but I will not be quiet or support policy or decisions he makes that go against my values. I have a feeling the whole country is nervously waiting to see what happens – including those who voted for him. Thank you for sharing.

  2. THE ELECTION IS OVER!!!!!!! Now is the time to come together as Americans and work towards fixing the problems and Washington politics. Boycotting is not the answer- celebrate the peaceful transition of power that Americans enjoy (and not all countries have this). Making our voices heard peacefully- not silence- is the best way to try and fix the many issues in our country.

    1. Lin, The election might be over, but advocacy for what a person believes in continues. Each person gets to do what she/he feels is best for her/him on Inauguration Day. I do celebrate the peaceful transition of power. I am grateful to live in this country. Many are choosing to make their voices heard by boycotting, marching and/or protesting and this is their right. Using your words, “not all countries have this” either. And this is not silence. Of course, I am hoping and praying all protests and marches remain peaceful. Thank you for sharing a few more thoughts.

  3. How can people get more involved? Start on a state or local level. Read and watch/learn about issues from a variety of sources and understand that the majority are biased and no longer journalism. Be open and question both “sides.” Support new or young candidates and third party candidates at the local and state level.

    1. Lindsay, Good ideas. I find your comment about journalism especially interesting considering you were once a journalist. You are so right about questioning both sides. It’s too bad those in Washington pretty much stick to and do things that promote their side’s agenda. Party before country is a big problem. Thanks for sharing some suggestions.

  4. Nancy, I will definitely not watch the inauguration on Friday. Trump has shown us who he is and how he intends to govern by who he has picked as cabinet members and by his hateful, vindictive tweets as well as all that he has spoken and has been revealed about him in the primary. I am afraid of deregulation that will impact the environment and hasten global warming. I am afraid that the plight of and the number of working poor will worsen and increase due to Trump and congress’s aversion to increase the minimum wage. I am afraid for our economy, for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act without a suitable replacement, for 4 years of bullying of the press and whoever crosses him and that he will not be held accountable for any of it.

  5. I think Lin misses the point about “winning” as a qualification for support. When nothing a candidate says matches an actual fact; when a candidate dismisses the concerns and human rights of people who disagree with him, even though he himself seems to have no beliefs and has worked actively to undermine respect for democratic principals; when the candidate…
    A few seconds in a polling booth does not equate with thousands and thousands hours of hard won social progress even if it does seem like a reward for “winning.”

    1. I think the point is- my candidate didn’t win the election BUT I can still try to work with the one who did irregardless of whether I like him or not.

      1. Lin, how would you suggest a working relationship could be built with someone who reinvents his position every night on twitter? Maybe I could start by trading away my daughter’s rights to their reproductive lives. While we have their attention we could tell them to forget their college and university degrees and to get their uppity butts back home where they belong–after all Americans don’t believe in science where my younger daughter works in water conservation, or evidence-based risk assessments performed by my older daughter who works in commercial insurance. Then we can tell every non-white Christian person they are not wanted and are to be harassed until they leave to some mythical land where the whims and unfounded declarations of a buffoon substitute for reality.
        I could go on but I’m old enough to have lived in the golden age of American supremacy when my well educated immigrant mother was paid less than the men she supervised and we did kids nuclear bomb shelter drills at least once a week.
        Donald Trump and the hyenas that pack around him offer NOTHING but disrespect and values that only benefit the rich. He play by no known rules of the game but believes I owe him the respect EARNED by being a decent person which he is not. As a free person in a free society it is my right and duty to resist tyranny, not to cooperate with it.

    2. Scott, Respect and support need to be earned. That’s the bottom line, and thus far, Mr. Trump has done very little to earn mine. In fact he’s done the exact opposite. We shall see, right? Thanks for making some good points.

  6. I am not watching either. My t.v. will be off, internet unplugged, phone tucked away. I’ve invited friends over for lunch and we will have a moment of silence as he says his oath. I want it to be a positive and peaceful day, and that is why I won’t tune in….not out of hate or spite, but so I can help to promote peace within myself, my community, and the world. Then the next day I will march in one of the sister marches. And I will let my voice be heard. I have already called my US representative and I will do it again. I cannot stand by silently when my most cherished beliefs are trampled. I believe the melting pot of America is what makes us great. Diversity makes us strong. And we must fight to hold onto our Democracy and our freedoms and hold our leaders accountable–they work for us!!!!

    1. Christine, I love your comments! Thank you. I am going to try to stay off the internet, too, well mostly off. For sure, my tv will be off or as someone mentioned, tuned into a channel that isn’t covering the ID stuff. Like you, I am boycotting not out of spite or hate, but to help promote peace within myself. It feels right. Good for you for doing those advocacy things. America is great today, can it be better and stronger? Of course, but it is and always has been great. Thanks again.

  7. Thanks for your comments. I appreciate them. I think what has happened recently is out-of-bounds of anything approaching “normalcy” so it is you among millions that continue to have terrible feelings of “dis-ease” two months later. We must be vigilant and we must speak when we feel it is justifiable. What has happened in this election cycle makes “not” speaking about it an oddity.

    1. AnnieEllie, I agree, we must be vigilant and speak up when necessary. “In the cause of justice: never stay silent just so that others can remain comfortable.” I think those are Cory Booker’s words. Thank you for reading and commenting.

    2. You put this so well, never before have I felt such a sense of dis ease. there are points I cannot be quiet on. “Not speaking” is indeed an oddity, I will not watch tomorrow, I cannot.

    1. Vicki, I hear you. Doing the same here. I will watch a recap later in the evening, but that’s it. And Bill Maher will be back on HBO Friday night, can’t wait for that. Thank you for sharing.

  8. I was no fan of Barrack Obama! I never voted for him & was heartsick when he not only won the presidential election but also won the re-election for another 4 years. I voted for Hillary in the primary in hopes that Obama would not win the Democratic nomination for President. That’s how much I detested him. But you know what? I would have attended his inauguration if asked. I would have sang at his inauguration if asked (& if I could sing! 🙂 ). I would have stood up if he appeared in a room I was sitting in. I would have shook his hand if he extended it to me. I would have done all these things NOT because he’s Barrack Obama… but because he was my president…. THE president of the United States. There’s some things that deserve respect simply because they exist… and the office of the president is one of them. I’ve been voting for 42 years. Roughly half of the elections “my guy” hasn’t won…. and I was sure the sky would fall. But you know what? The next day the sun came up… and the sun set. The sky never fell & the world never stopped rotating on its axis. Sometimes we all have to do things we’d rather not, simply because they’re the honorable things to do. Respecting a new president after he’s been duly elected is one of those things, I believe. That’s the basis of our democracy & we can act like two-year-olds who didn’t get their way or we can act like adults. We can take the high road or we can take the low road. Its the citizens’ decision…. and from what I’ve been seeing on the news & elsewhere, there’s a whole lot of folks acting like two-year-olds. In fact, that’s probably an insult to two-year-olds as even they don’t act that bad… for this long.

    PS~ I won’t be watching the inauguration either… I can’t sit in front of the boob tube that long!

    1. Andrea, I don’t understand your disdain for President Obama. He’s a decent man who tried to do good things, but of course, you are entitled to your viewpoints, as are we all. I do respect the presidency, very much. But do I respect Mr. Trump? As of now, no. Respect needs to be earned and he has not earned mine. When he is my president, I will continue to respect the presidency, but again, the rest will need to be earned. I disagree that when people are voicing legitimate concerns they are acting like two-year-olds. And let’s face it, there are a lot of valid concerns. Of course, all dialogue, protesting, dissent of any sort must be done in a peaceful and respectful manner. Thank you for sharing your views.

  9. Hi Nancy,

    Your post mirrors exactly what is in my head. Trump is a brute; he doesn’t even exercise presidential decorum. I, too, am boycotting the inauguration and not watching TV or listening to the news. I’ve had a lot of discussions with my daughter, who, by the way, cannot stand Trump. I’ve had to talk to her about the soon-to-be president’s poor treatment of women and that, in the face sexism promoted by the president, she must grow up to be a strong woman. She will not be watching the inauguration, which is a shame, because now that she has some handle on history and finally is old enough to appreciate an inauguration and learn what that is, I would’ve liked for her to see the beauty of an inauguration. But Trump is not a good choice for this country.

    Like you, I have never been so heart-broken about a new president. People who criticize our point of view should understand that it’s not that our candidate lost that makes us so angry, but that Trump openly expresses hateful points of view and has not earned any respect whatsoever. Meryl Streep, one of my favorite actresses, hit it spot on. I loved her speech.

    As for those who tell you to stick to your topic, “cancer,” this is your blog and you can discuss whatever you want to. We bloggers have other things to say on other topics.

    Bravo for your post. I respect your honesty.

    1. Beth, Thank you. I’m feeling somewhat better after the massive rallies this past weekend. Seeing the huge turnouts uplifted me because I know there are so many others out there who are feeling the same. Those crowds didn’t come out to whine, they came out to say, we’re still here and our opinions, values and ideals still matter, and we won’t be silent. At least that what they “said” to me.

  10. The funny thing is I never cared much about watching or not watching inaugurations. I watched Obama’s first one because it was history (yes I voted Hillary in the primary that year, but ultimately have been quite happy about him as president, tho he was not liberal enough for me). Other than that, I was working and just too busy. This year tho’ I am watching something else on purpose to bring his ratings down because that will hurt him and his feelings (it’s why I watch SNL every week too, while it is on air, even if I don’t care for the guests). That is key–to just tune out is not really a boycott–gotta know how ratings work.
    It is difficult at this time to keep politics off of a cancer blog. I have been struggling with it myself. I know some readers/FB people are very conservative. But at this point the personal is political for me. What is happening in Congress with ACA will impact me especially if I have a recurrence. I try not to keep harping on it, but it is the only thing on my mind these days–making it difficult to write about other things.
    Yes, Trump is my president no matter how much it makes me bristle. I don’t go in for the “not my president” crap. But I’m not anxious to “let’s all just get along” either. But this is MY country too, the classic Trump voter does not have exclusive rights to patriotism.

    1. CC, The nature of politics these days is that it is personal. Some of the things on President Trump’s agenda are very troubling and yes, the ACA is just one. And I can’t just brush aside all the horrible things he said during the campaign. I know his supporters say they can, but I cannot. Many of my readers are conservative, too, but it’s not about conservative vs liberal even, it goes much deeper. And I don’t go in for that “not my president” stuff either. He is. Accepting that he won the election does not mean we must accept his agenda though. Opinions on the other side of the aisle matter, too, or at least I hope they do. We shall see what happens.

  11. Thanks again for this conversation Nancy. Didn’t watch the inauguration but did read his speech and it seems the rest of the world is entirely responsible for all that’s wrong with America. This sounds like a position of helplessness. As a dual Canadian /American citizen the Canadian half would like to apologize but the American half is no-way going accept any part of the blame.
    There must be some way for us to make this more complicated so we can actually work something out?

  12. Trump is a brutish man. A throw-back to the times of the Barbarian. Never in the history of modern First World Nations has such a deficient, unintelligent, sexually depraved, small, pathetic and worthless man assumed the highest leadership post. I believe it is a failure of education, critical thinking and moral values. This is the Age of Darkness.

    1. Fran, I cannot condone name calling. But I understand your frustration. I do. Also, I do not see any of this as a failure of education, if you mean the blaming the teachers. If you mean family, hmm…not sure. I do find it very troubling how Mr. Trump was given a free pass on so many things that for anyone else would never be tolerated. I don’t get that, and I suppose you’re right, this is a moral/values issue. Thank you for chiming in.

  13. Nancy, I am sorry you are troubled by so many things about our new president. Now you know how the other half of us have felt for the past eight years. Yet we behaved with much more respect for the most part than we are seeing now with the protestors, the media and Hollywood. We look forward to the Supreme Court pendulum swinging back to the right and we know it will eventually swing the other way. I love most of his cabinet picks. I have not been this happy with a president since I voted for a Reagan in my first election when I was 20. I’m so happy to see a return to the conservative ideals in my lifetime. I am one who stopped following you and only saw this on another persons facebook. I am a woman, a physician, a breast cancer patient, a military wife and a Bible toting Christian and I’m ecstatic with this election. Trouble not your heart Nancy, I am sure this reprieve God is giving our country will not be long lived.

    1. Dino, I appreciate your comments. I am very troubled indeed. President Trump’s cabinet picks are in no way “draining the swamp”. I take issue with you saying “your side” (sorry, that’s a dumb phrase, but all I can think of right now) treated President Obama with respect. If you remember, there were members of Congress who openly stated their primary mission was to see P. Obama fail. And there were many horrible signs showing lynchings, suggestions he go back to Kenya, etc. And let’s not forget that whole birther thing was started by you know who. So, I don’t agree with that. You and I just don’t see things the same way and I respect that. I’m disappointed to hear you stopped following me due to our political differences, but of course, that’s your choice. Trying to understand viewpoints of those who do not agree with us, no matter what the topic, is so important, even more so these days. So again, thank you for sharing some of yours.

  14. Hi Nancy,

    I am an Australian (ex breast cancer patient), living in Hong Kong. The day Trump won I cried out of fear first for your immigrants and minorities, then I cried out of fear for the world more generally. From a global perspective, I am extremely worried about him causing another global financial crisis or causing armed conflict. Like those of us who are afraid, I hope that my fears are unfounded. I have never been in the slightest bit concerned with who was in charge of the U.S. before, but Trump feels different, and dangerous to global stability (again I hope I’m wrong).

    I have been getting a free ride off various newspaper’s websites, so now I’ve subscribed to a couple of them as I think the press are going to need to get all the help they can get. I’m going to be more active communicating with elected officials in Australia – with positive feedback as well as voicing my disagreement if we take action in relation to this administration that I don’t agree with. I’m going to more vocally support people who are standing up for what I see as right.

    Finally – on protests. HK is a non democracy ruled by China which is presently split between citizens who are passionately fighting for democracy, and citizens very happy with the status quo. Unlike China, we have freedom of speech and a right to protest here – and it is used with great relish by the population (I’m sure China doesn’t like it but they are stuck with it for a bit longer yet). The right to protest is very important to the well being of people in this society and peaceful protests have undoubtedly given the citizens here a voice on certain important issues, as well as sending a broader message to the world about the values of many of HK’s citizens.

    Good on you for speaking your mind thoughtfully and respectfully.

    1. Becci, I appreciate hearing from someone who is living on the other side of the world. It is a global world and I’m concerned about what the rest of the world is thinking. There is so much uncertainty and there is definitely a ripple effect. I believe we’ll be okay. I do. Our democracy is about the people; not one party, not one president, not one election cycle, not just this point in time. I think it’s great you plan to be more active communicating with elected officials. I just got done calling one of mine regarding two cabinet picks I strongly oppose. It felt good to voice my opinion. I am glad you still have freedoms in HK. Those rights you mentioned are so important. Thank you for reading and sharing some perspectives.

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