Perhaps never in the history of the nation has a president-elect been more controversial than Donald Trump. At least in my recollection, I don’t remember anything quite like this. From a campaign that many of us thought would be a “flash in the pan” up until this very day – the day before he is inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States – Trump has defied all odds.
In the days leading up to his being sworn in, Trump’s haters have come out in full force. Among them is Rep. John Lewis (D-Georgia), who is skipping the inauguration… for the second time. Lewis also skipped George W. Bush’s inauguration over the controversial election results with former Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore. This time Lewis is not alone. According to today’s Washington Times, Lewis will be joined by 65 other House members in the boycott.
In addition to all the hub-bub surrounding Trump’s haters in Washington, DC, there are a myriad of planned protests that are scheduled to take place. In fact, there’s even organizational web sites in place for them. Take this one for example at www.answercoalition.org where you can RSVP for your place in the protests at the Navy Memorial. Politico is also reporting that an organization called “Women’s March” is estimating 200,000 people attending their organized protest.
Just days ago, I heard reports on the radio that many groups are planning on blocking streets and causing as much chaos as possible. It makes me wonder if the #NODAPL folks found new ground to cause trouble on? But I digress. In response to the expected chaos of protests at inauguration activities, multiple biker groups have pledged to form a “wall of meat” to try and keep the peace.
Other reports today are estimating 28,000 law enforcement on duty for tomorrow’s activities in a 100 square block perimeter.
I cannot help but wonder if this is all even worth it? Is it really necessary to put an entire city and hundreds of thousands of people at risk for a presidential inauguration? And, of course, this isn’t even mentioning all the costs associated with such an event. Security alone is estimated to cost taxpayers over $100 million.
This leads me to one simple question. Should the president-elect be sworn in at a private location? I believe the short answer to that is, “Yes.”
Considering the circumstances surrounding president-elect Trump and the enormous costs associated with the inauguration, I believe he should have opted for the most low-key and private inauguration possible. After all, the folks who are coming to inauguration day activities to protest are, at least in part, coming for the attention of it all. And why give them a stage on which to act like buffoons at the expense of taxpayers?