Citizens packed Washington D.C. to watch the inauguration of Donald Trump. (Jessica Kergo/Connector)
“We are one nation and their pain is our pain. Their dreams are our dreams. And their success will be our success. We share one heart, one home and one glorious destiny.
These words were said by the once real-estate mogul and television personality, President Donald Trump, in his first opportunity to officially address the nation as president. These words encapsulate the sentiment of the address, which laid out Trump’s apparent vision for his America: an unapologetically patriotic and united nation.
Following what was possibly the most antagonistic and controversial elections in U.S. history, the newest standard bearer of the Republican platform was sworn in Friday, Jan. 20 by Chief Justice John Roberts on the stairs of the U.S. Capitol building.
“It was amazing. The atmosphere was so positive, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people in one place united by one cause. This is something myself, my colleagues, and millions of people across the country have worked so hard to achieve, and being able to finally see the end result is just incredible,” said UMass Lowell College Republicans President David Morton, who attended the inaguration on Friday and worked with the Trump campaign in New Hampshire.
Coming off of a long election cycle riddled with name-calling and controversy on either side, from the Clinton email scandal to racial tensions, the Access Hollywood tape to “fake news,” #NeverTrump, and Benghazi, the optimistic and proud outlook of the inauguration was a breath of fresh air.
Despite the peaceful, ceremonial passing of America’s highest office, the controversy surrounding a Trump presidency has not subsided. In fact, the nation, at every level on every issue, appears to be more divided than it was prior to Nov. 8.
With the possible defunding of Planned Parenthood and various comments made on the campaign trail, the inauguration of the 45th president has America’s women at odds.
“By having him in office, we are saying that it is okay to bully people. We’re saying that it’s okay to discriminate against people because of their race, sexual orientation, gender and many other qualities of human beings that cannot be controlled,” said senior Becca Crivello, who went on to express her serious concerns for how women and LGBTQ individuals will be treated in America under the new administration.
Yet, other women have come to different conclusions about the 45th president. Freshman Republican, Isabella Cacioli went on to say, “This was such a triumphant day. I’m overjoyed… I see a strong person as one who can stand up and profess his/her beliefs and aspirations proudly amidst backlash and opposition. I couldn’t be happier to call him my president.”
The sheer amount of controversy and division surrounding the election of Trump has embedded itself deeply in the public dialogue. Some have gone so far as to regard him as an “illegitimate” president.
The “Not My President” movement has also, however, been met with a massive amount of opposition. Seeing the defiance, many Trump supporters are expressing outrage. Some are worried this will result in another four years of gridlock in Washington D.C. One such individual was UMass Lowell junior, Joseph DiGloria who said, “This is not a peaceful transition of power that we have cherished for so long, election after election, which is vital to our Democracy’s existence.”
With so much resentment it is hard to see how America could move forward and make economic and individual progress in the coming years. At the close of the address even some staunch Democrats appeared to be at ease by Trump’s sentiments at the Capitol, finding hope that President Trump may reach across the aisle and work with the Democrats to benefit the people.
“There is a glimmer of hope. After watching his inauguration speech today at University Crossing with my fellow students, he emphasized in his speech the idea of ‘returning power back to the people’ and ‘putting America first.’ Those ideas resonate with me… My hope is that Trump rises to the occasion, unites the people, and bridges partisan divides,” said Michael Lombardo, who noted holding an immense distaste for Trump throughout the election season.
An optimistic address put to rest some of the worries of many doubtful citizens and it is important that the president follows up on one key ideal. “At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States, and through our loyalty to our country, we will also rediscover our loyalty to each other,” says Trump.
Whether Trump will return industry, unity and pride to a divided America will remain a mystery. But, as he has promised the American people before, we can hope he will mend a divided nation by reinvigorating the economy and returning the government to the American people, which is a goal all Americans can find hope in and work towards.