Trump sworn in as 45th U.S. president

By Clarissa Hinshaw

Students watched as Donald Trump was sworn in as 45th President of the United States after a two-month transition to power following the Nov. 8 election.

Trump, who was inaugurated 11 a.m. Friday in Washington D.C., took the oath of office with approval ratings at a historic low of 37 percent compared to approval ratings for previous presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, according to a Jan. 20 The Hill article.

In his inaugural speech, Trump spoke about putting America and its people first.

“What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people,” Trump said. “Jan. 20, 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.”

Trump promised to heal political divides and bring people together. Political science professor Matthew Streb said he has doubts about Trump being able to bring people together.

“I think [healing divides] is very difficult to do with his style,” Streb said. “I don’t see his style bringing people together.”

Streb said one of Trump’s biggest problems with divisiveness is through his Twitter account, on which Trump has posted notoriously controversial tweets.

Although Streb said knowing what caused this election result may take several years to figure out, he thinks former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s unpopularity and focus on Trump’s negatives could have contributed. He said Trump’s greatest challenge will be discovering that the government is not run the same way as a business.

Students react:

According to a Northern Star poll, 56 percent of students do not think Trump will “make America great again.”

Stephen Weisheit, junior manufacturing engineering major, said he was satisfied with the results of the election and thinks Trump won fairly. However, he is not sure if Trump will be able to bring people together.

“With how everyone has reacted to his presidency, I don’t know what he could do to [heal divides] because a lot of people are opposed to his ideas,” Weisheit said. “Even from his inauguration, there were protests and people rioting. Even if he tried to unite the people, they aren’t going to listen to him.”

Justin Smith, a graduate mechanical engineering student, is less satisfied with a Trump presidency. He said a fresh outlook on the presidency could benefit Trump with having no prior political experience but is concerned Trump made a lot of empty promises to the American people. He also said it will be difficult for him to heal divides.

“The [rioting] didn’t come out of nowhere, and it’s not just from this election,” Smith said. “When Obama was first elected, mannequins of him were [hanged] and burned. If the protests are this spread [out], it is most likely that there is a general issue going on that a majority of people don’t like, and it needs to be addressed.”

To help heal political divides on campus, Streb said students should make their voices heard but also listen to those with opposing views and find common ground.

“People get passionate about issues which, in many ways, is a good thing,” Streb said. “Passion can be problematic as well. When you’re super passionate, you’re not necessarily listening to the other side.”