Stumping for Trump
Supporters, opponents lament swearing in of nation’s 45th president
From his tweets, unique catch phras- es and no-nonsense personality, Donald Trump has kept much of the media and American citizens on their toes — antic- ipating what he will do next to shock the world.
Today, Friday, Jan. 20, the spotlight will be on the Republican president-elect once again, this time as he becomes the 45th president of the United States of America during the country’s 58th inauguration ceremony.
Despite his controversial reputation, Trump has supporters in Southern Mar yland who stand with him on his policy decisions, cabinet picks and “Make America Great Again” slogan. Some Southern Marylanders are not in favor of his comments or tactics and refuse to support him. Others are still waiting to
see what Trump brings to the table when he officially begins his time in office as president.
An unwavering support
Maryland Sen. Steve Waugh (R-St. Mary’s, Calvert) is excited about attending the swearing-in ceremony and said he believes the Trump admin- istration is going to be an exciting change for the country. He said it is worth being there to witness the most extraordinary peaceful passage of power in the world, from one group to an opposing group of people, done with great civility and respect.
Waugh describes Trump as a “no foolishness” type of guy who will be focused on the issues, people’s wal- lets and jobs.
“Honestly, Trump is going to be a Jacksonian feature in American history. He is going to redefine both political parties in some major ways. I think it’s going to be a giant shake-up in how Ameri- can politics look. Trump is moving to a pragmatic center with both parties and I think it’s similar to what Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has done in Maryland,” Waugh said.
The president-elect’s inaugural committee will have three days’ worth of events and celebrations through the weekend, which kicked off yester- day with a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery and a welcome concert at the Lincoln Memorial.
On Inauguration Day, thousands will attend the inaugural swearing-in cer- emony at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol at noon, performed by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. The ceremony will feature performances by the Mormon Taberna- cle Choir and “America’s Got Talent” contestant Jackie Evancho.
After the swearing-in, the inaugural parade — beginning at the steps of the Capitol Building and continuing along Pennsyl- vania Avenue to the White House — and Inaugural Ball will take place. The parade will feature the Talladega College march- ing band from Alabama as well as the New York City Rockettes. On Saturday, a National Prayer Service will be held at Washington National Cathedral.
Bill Dotson, chairman of the Charles County Republican Central Com- mittee, planned to attend the Illinois State Society’s Inaugural Heartland Ball Washington Marriott Mar- quis in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, followed by the central committee’s inaugural celebration at The Greene Turtle in La Plata.
He said he has been looking forward to the celebrations since Trump won the election in November.
“This is the biggest political upset in history — there’s no doubt about that, whether you’re proTrump or against Trump,” Dotson said. “I’m looking forward to the inaugura- tion, the new administra- tion and the tax policies. I know that the 100-day plan that Trump will come out with is going to really put America first, especially in the jobs category.
“He owned his message and became a much bet- ter politician and speaker during the last few months,” he said. “I think him not being a politician before this, he had a learn- ing curve, but in the last few days of the campaign he found his stride.”
Great Mills resident Mary Burke-Coombs will be attending the swear- ing-in ceremony, the pa- rade and two inaugural balls — the Florida Sun- shine Ball and an inaugural ball at the Walter E. Wash- ington Convention Center. She said she is truly ex- cited about attending the inaugural events and has already picked out a new gown for the occasion.
Burke-Coombs said Trump deserves to be president because he is a businessman; he under- stands the working class and what it means to make payroll.
“I believe and [Trump] believes that America is great, but we want to put ourselves in a better light. It isn’t that we are not a great or exemplary country. It’s that we’re the biggest player. For me, Trump is business-mind- ed and I believe that’s what we need. I would like to see more of his tweets. Everybody is using social media and he is using ev- ery avenue that he needs to promote himself,” Burke-Coombs said.
However, there is still unrest with those who are not fans of Trump and his politics. They do not plan to attend the inaugura- tion events and are still in shock over his comments, some of which have of- fended them personally.
Indian Head resident Jason Henry Sr. said he is not attending the inau- gural events because of Trump’s campaign rhet- oric and his habit of con- stantly challenging any- one who does not agree with him.
“He would berate and belittle people when they questioned him and didn’t agree with him. That’s a concern, because how will he respond to world lead- ers when they don’t agree with him? He isn’t used to anybody telling him no or questioning him because he’s always been in an authority position over folks,” Henry said.
Henry said he was most concerned about Trump’s comments regarding deporting Hispanic families and repealing affordable health care.
“The Affordable Care Act is not perfect, but in- stead of gutting the whole thing, they can improve it and that’s what needs to be done. We need affordable health care for kids, people with chronic con- ditions, and for everyone,” Henry said.
Speaking on her own behalf as a Waldorf resident and diversity consultant, Charles County NAACP President Janice Wilson said Trump is dividing the country. Wilson said she attended President Barack Obama’s first inauguration back in 2008, but she refuses to attend the current president-elect’s inauguration due to his stereotyping of entire groups of people, including women.
“I cannot support someone who has trouble telling the truth and talks the way he does about women and how he makes fun of the disabled. He scares me with his priorities towards the Muslim community and the way he speaks about Mexicans. This should not be happening in the United States,” Wilson said.
“Going from having a president like Obama — full of grace, dignity, experience and diplomatics — going from that to Donald Trump is disturbing. Then for Trump to align himself with white nationalists is totally unacceptable,” she continued. “With all of the gains that we have made in this country, he is ruining the progress that this country has made. He is singlehandedly reversing all of the progress we’ve made in diversity over the years.”
“I think we need to respect the office and what it stands for, but that doesn’t mean limiting people who are passionate about the issues that they think are right,” said Gilbert Bowling, chairman of the
Charles County Democratic Central Committee. “We can disagree on pol- icy but when we have a group of people who are in fear of being deported, especially children, we really need to take a hard look at the things we say. When you’re in a position of leadership, your words are sharp. People who support the president should attend the inaugu- ration, and the people up there protesting have just as much right to be up there as the people who stand behind the presi- dent’s policies.”
Beyond those who are critical of Trump are the citizens who remain op- timistic about his enter- ing office. Those locals in particular have decid- ed to wait and see what Trump will bring to the his new role as command- er-in-chief.
Huntingtown resident Michael Kent is not at- tending the inaugural events, but said he will wait until after the inaugu- ration to pass judgment. Kent, the Calvert County NAACP president, spoke as an individual, saying he wasn’t crazy about either candidate during the pres- idential election.
“We’ve learned our les- son from eight years ago after electing the first black president under the expectation that things were going to be differ- ent — a whole new world — but that didn’t happen, so there’s no expectation of anything major hap- pening on our [the Afri- can-American communi- ty’s] behalf at this point,” Kent said. “I would like for him [Trump] to try to do something about the dog whistle racial politics that was a part of the political process this past time. There are certain things that are said that people can take in differ- ent ways and I think that’s why there has been an increase in hate crimes as well. Because people have taken it a certain way.”
Kathleen O’Brien, chair of the St. Mary’s Coun- ty Democratic Central Committee, will not be attending the inaugural events. She feels it is best to reserve judgment until Trump is in power and said she remains an observer for now.
“He is, by nature, un- predictable. But I am opti- mistic that we will have a smooth transition of pow- er and will wait to see how he is as president. I hope he has measured leader- ship. I would like to see fewer tweets and more dis- cernment,” O’Brien said.
Greg Brown, chairman of the Calvert County Democratic Central Com- mittee, said he plans to attend the historic event. He said although it is per- sonally going to be a very sad day, he still has hope for the country.
“I am more determined than ever to fight for this great country. My son, who fought in Iraq and serves today in the Air Force, will soon serve under Donald Trump,” Brown said. “My daugh- ters work hard, vote and serve America as con- scientious citizens, too. I want the eight grandchil- dren they have given me to have a future to believe in, so I am determined to fight every day against the destructive, counterproductive, dangerous things President-elect Donald Trump is likely to pur- sue. I am outraged at how Trump has strayed from our country’s values, but I know the American people will ultimately fight for what is right.”
It is clear Trump and his administration have their work cut out for them, even through the inaugural events, filled with Trump supporters and opponents who plan to protest.
The entire week of events still lays the foundation for Trump’s legacy. The transfer of power from Obama to Trump is the first step in demonstrating how Trump — as the new leader of the nation — will receive his task, and how he will complete it as histor y unfolds.
Above left, Waldorf resident Marilyn Shalash-Boswell is a proud supporter of President-elect Donald Trump and will be watching the inaugural events from her home, along with the rest of her family, on Jan. 20. Above, right, La Plata resident Chelsea Williams created a “Love Trumps Hate” patch for her daughter, 1-year-old Cora Williams, to wear after the historic election Nov. 8.
Above left, Waldorf resident Alexis Boswell, 14, is excited that President-elect Donald Trump will take office on Jan. 20. Above right, La Plata resident Chelsea Williams is not a fan of President-elect Donald Trump’s negative comments toward women that was mentioned many times throughout his campaign.