Stump­ing for Trump

Sup­port­ers, op­po­nents lament swear­ing in of nation’s 45th pres­i­dent

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By TIF­FANY WAT­SON twat­son@somd­news.com

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.

Dis­sent­ing opin­ions

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.”

Re­serv­ing judg­ment

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.

STAFF PHO­TOS BY TIF­FANY WAT­SON

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.

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