By Courtney Jasper
Over the last two and a half years at Drake University I have made politics basically a hobby. At Drake University I got to listen to First Lady Michelle Obama stump for Senate Candidate Bruce Braley who she referred to as “Bruce Bailey” for the entirety of her speech. Vice President Joe Biden spoke at Drake University about being candid and authentic when it comes to politics. Senator Rand Paul came to campus three or four times last fall. Donald Trump came to campus while protesting a Republican Party Debate in Des Moines. Secretary Clinton, Senator Sanders, and Governor O’Malley frequented campus.Off campus in Des Moines I was able to see Senator Cruz, Senator Rubio, Governor Bush, Governor Christie, Governor Huckabee, and even Governor Bobby Jindal. When I found out about the opportunity to take a course in Washington D.C. about the inauguration I was ecstatic.
I thought that after having attended so many political events over the past few years that I would know what to expect from the inauguration, I could not have been more wrong.
The event started, as I had assumed it would, with some people chanting President Trump’s name. Chanting “Trump” was something that I had seen at the two Trump events that I had attended previously. One man tried to lead the crowd in singing Lee Greenwood’s “Proud to Be an American.” These outbursts of singing and chanting prior to the event did not usually last very long. The excitement of the Trump supporters made for an exciting atmosphere.
Once the actual ceremony started the feel of the crowd shifted. The crowd went from being happy to being a little bit aggressive. These people booed the Supreme Court when they were announced and chanted “lock her up” when Secretary Clinton went to take her seat. Senator Chuck Schumer was booed for the entire time that he spoke and a few supporters yelled “you’re fired” at outgoing President Barack Obama, which didn’t really make sense.
I was disappointed by many of the things that I witnessed and heard at the inauguration. At the previous Trump events that I had attended I had never heard the aggressive chants that I heard at the inauguration. Quite frankly, I was offended by the booing and the chants because it seemed disrespectful to more than just the people who were the subjects of the chants and the boos, it was also disrespectful to the presidency.
I understand the frustration that the Trump supporters had with Senator Schumer, Secretary Clinton, and certain members of the Supreme Court, I wish that they could have left those differences aside during the inauguration. I would have liked to have heard a word that Senator Shumer said, and I would have been much happier if Secretary Clinton had not been the recipient of hateful chants especially since she had lost the election.
The individuals in the crowd were fired up about President Trump and wanted to let Shumer and Clinton know that they did not like them. They were so incredibly proud of the man that they had supported and it was fun to see a crowd of people who were that passionate about a common cause. At times it felt more like a professional sports event than a political event with all of the yelling and booing that happened.
When I was at the inauguration I found myself annoyed with the people around me. Looking back on it I can confidently say that I am glad I attended President Trump’s Inauguration. Being there made me think harder about my lack of involvement in the last election. I was so focused on being a “political spectator” that I never actually got involved. I was not like the Trump supporters who were yelling for a candidate that they loved. I did not allow myself to get that attached to Secretary Clinton because I wanted to attend as many events as possible. I want to return to another inauguration with a candidate that I actively supported so that next time I can be as proud as President Trump’s supporters were on inauguration day.