InFocus: Was the inauguration a success?

By Perspective staff

After Inauguration Day, there have been mixed reactions about whether the event was a success.

Ian Tancun | Columnist

Watching the inauguration of President Donald Trump was a sobering experience. To say he was not my candidate of choice would be a massive understatement. Frankly, I shuddered at the notion of him actually winning the election. Yet, he did win, and his inauguration was the culmination of an ugly and contentious campaign.

I had hoped Trump would address the nation with a speech that would give hope to the over 65 million of us who did not vote for him and are gravely concerned about what his presidency will entail. As was the case on Election Day, I was sorely disappointed. His speech painted an almost apocalyptic portrait of life in the U.S. today.

“This American carnage stops right here and stops right now,” said Trump in his inauguration speech. His pessimistic speech did nothing to ease my concerns.

While I’m no fan of President Trump, I was equally disgusted to see the violent protests on Inauguration Day in various parts of Washington D.C. Over 200 people were arrested, according to a Jan. 20 Washington Post article.

The actions of these individuals­ vandalizing buildings, throwing rocks through windows and setting fires serve no purpose other than to delegitimize their protests. All credibility is lost when a protestor resorts to violence to get their point across. Real change does not come from setting a limo on fire. Change is only possible when voices are used in productive and meaningful ways. In these disagreeable times, we need productive protests, not more chaos and destruction.

MacKenzie Meadows | Columnist

For the first time in history, a businessman who has never held a public office was elected president. The course of America’s history was changed forever on Jan. 20: Donald Trump was sworn into office as the 45th President of the United States.

President Trump’s speech began with an uplifting and unifying tone.

“Together, we will determine the course of America and the world for many, many years to come. We will face challenges, we will confront hardships, but we will get the job done,” said Trump in his inauguration speech.

Only 900,000 people attended the ceremony compared to the 1.8 million who attended former President Obama’s inauguration in 2009; however, Trump’s televised numbers were triple that of Obama’s, according to data collected by PBS.

Many, like myself, were wondering whether Trump would finally include all races and genders into his speech, or if he would stick to his campaign tactics about keeping everyone separated.

“It’s a peaceful transfer of power. Donald Trump is a unique figure and unpredictable, but so far, he seems to be doing exactly what past presidents have done, and he’s keeping the tradition alive,” said Mike Shields, a columnist for The Wall Street Journal.

Trump’s famous line of the day was, “We are giving the power back to the American people.”

He addressed everyone as the American people, not the white male or the well-educated or the rich­—everyone.

Trump surprised many people on Inauguration Day and will hopefully surprise many more in the days to come. So, I welcome Donald Trump as the 45th President of the U.S.

Kristen Arms | Columnist

In his inauguration speech, President Donald Trump focused heavily on the separation that occurred between “the people” and Washington D.C. As much as I would like to discredit him for his slight hypocrisy and almost comical blanket statements about improving the country, that is a common theme for presidential speeches. For example, it proved to be too difficult for former President Barack Obama to close Guantanamo Bay Detention Center as he originally promised in the beginning of his presidency, according to a Jan. 20 Politifact article.

It is good to set standards and expectations, however, overly generic statements like any of the ones Trump made in his speech seem to lack actual substance. Giving “power back to the people” is a noble goal, but it was not backed up with any specific ways to go about doing so. Another impossible promise Trump made in the same fashion was that he would “never, ever let [us] down.”

Overall, the speech was respectful and goal-oriented. His comments about wanting to move jobs back to America rather than outsourcing them are warranted. Working on America’s economy is very important, and regardless of how anyone feels about his personality, he, with the assistance of his advisors, might have some merit in fixing those issues.

The protests that followed the inauguration are a fair show of unity, but those that are outright denouncing Trump’s authority are pushing it a bit too far. At this point, the best I can do as a citizen is be willing to keep an open mind to make the most of the situation we are inevitably in for the next four years.

The Perspective staff can be reached at