Dawn of Trump: All of your inauguration coverage

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Trump boasts 'America first' mindset in inaugural address

Kate Carlson

A sea of red “Make America Great Again” hats filled Capitol Hill as supporters of Donald Trump, the 45 th President of the United States of America, was sworn into office at 11:30 a.m. on the morning of Friday, Jan. 20.

“We are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another,” Trump said during his inaugural address. “But we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the people.”

The theme of Trump's remarks was a restoration of power to American citizens. He also pointed to what he views as flaws in the federal government. The billionaire businessman said that, for decades, the U.S. has “enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry, subsidized armies of other countries, while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military.”

The answer, Trump concluded, will be to always put America interests at the forefront of his policies as commander-in-chief.

“From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land,” he said. “From this day forward, it's going to be only America first, America first.”

Those policies include new decisions on trade, taxes, immigration and foreign affairs. The speech garnered excited cheers and chants from his crimson-capped supporters, even though turnout paled in comparison to other inaugurations, according to visitors who have attended past.

PolitiFact reported Friday that the National Parks Service no longer produces estimates of events on the National Mall. The department stopped estimating National Mall turnout after a dispute over attendance numbers during the 1995 Million Man March.

Speaking directly to his most devout followers, Trump promised to bring back jobs, clear borders, wealth and dreams to all U.S. citizens.

“We will follow two simple rules: buy American and hire American,” he said.

Trump’s views on expanding the military is one of the reasons Douglas Lengenfelder, the Veterans Coordinator of Pennsylvania’s Republican Party, supported the president during the general election.

“Nobody ever went to war because a nation was too strong,” said Lengenfelder, standing in Union Square as he waited for Trump to speak.

Lengenfelder said the new president’s policy to improve veteran benefits was viewed favorably by his peers -- as opposed to the plan of Trump's opponent, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

During his address, Trump's supporters booed Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders, the family of President Barack Obama, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Still, in between oscillating boos and applause, Trump spoke about the idea of patriotism as a unifying force for the American people.

“It's time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget, that whether we're black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots,” Trump said.

Groups of protesters throughout the city begged to differ. Most who attended, however, were with President Trump, according to Central Michigan University alumnus Dan Kuhn. The retired Saginaw police officer said he supports Trump because of “the way he relates to Americans and supports cops.”

Kuhn explained Trump's support of police is best displayed in his dismissal of the Black Lives Matter movement, which Kuhn said stands in opposition to law enforcement.

“We’re just not a valued profession anymore,” he said.

Trump's admiration of police work is why Kuhn said he belongs to the only police labor union in Michigan that endorsed the president during his campaign.

For George Washington University student Isobel Walker, 19, the atmosphere at the inauguration was a stark contrast to the climate on her campus.

“It’s definitely strange because I feel like on campus, the majority of students do not support Trump,” she said.

Walker added that even though she voted for Clinton in the election, she came to the inauguration  today because it was nearby. She also wanted to experience the historic event.

For her friend, Abigail Fusco, 20, the swearing in of Trump was gratifying. The Trump supporter cast her first vote on a long-shot candidate who resonated with the American people and won the highest office in the country.

“I think it’s cool being able to vote and the person I voted for ended up winning,” Fusco said.

Trump supporters 'finally have an opportunity to celebrate'

Jordyn Hermani

Susan Reneau hasn’t missed a presidential inauguration since she first attended on Jan. 20, 1977. That was the day President Jimmy Carter placed his hand on his family's Bible and took the oath of office.

Some years Reneau comes dressed in casual clothes – a jacket, a hat, a pair of gloves. On Friday, at the inauguration ceremony of President Donald Trump, she was decked out from head to toe in American flags, Trump pins, and a vest she got from the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. 

Reneau spent most of the morning wandering Union Square. She was joined by less than one million other attendees, though many of them were wowed by her patriotic glitz.

For Reneau, the inauguration represents a celebration democracy. Trump's inauguration was different: a time of joy punctuated by a sour aftertaste.

“Inaugurations are a joyful celebration of what America is, and I am disgusted by the senators and representatives who have decided to sit out,” said Reneau, a resident of Missoula, Montana. “It’s disrespectful to the office of the presidency. We (Republicans) didn’t sit out when Barack Hussein Obama was sworn into office. 

"They’re absolutely acting juvenile.”

While many members of Congress tweeted or publicly spoke about not attending Trump's big day, Michigan representatives John Moolenaar and Dan Kildee attended the event.

"It was an honor to witness the historic and peaceful transfer of power at the Capitol today,” Moolenaar wrote in a press release. “Best wishes to President Donald Trump and his family as he takes on the enormous responsibilities and duties as our nation's president and Commander-in-Chief."

Kildee also expressed congratulations to Trump “after a bitter and partisan campaign." The Flint democrat also announced his participation in protests over the weekend.

“Like many, I have continued concerns with President Trump’s rhetoric and temperament,” Kildee wrote in a press release. “On Saturday, I will join thousands of Michiganders who are marching on Washington to speak out against the reckless policies President Trump has already prioritized that would take our country in the wrong direction.

"My constituents want me to hold the new President and Republicans in Congress accountable and I intend to do so over the coming years.”

A first for many

 Angie Stofko and Julie Strasser from Cincinnati said the growing divide between political ideologies made them want to attend the inauguration. It was their very first time at such an event. 

Strasser called members of Congress who didn't attend “shameful and disrespectful." She expressed distaste at those who did not “(want) to be a part of the American process.”

The pair have been Trump supporters since April 2016. They made the trek “just to celebrate it being over.”

“We’ve been beat up, called names and assaulted just for being Trump supporters, and I feel like we finally have this opportunity to celebrate,” Stofko said. “It’s great to be able to say what we want to say with a group of people who think and feel the same way."

Strasser is looking forward to a change in Washington.

“I’m tired of being politically correct," she said. "I'm tired for being persecuted for if you believe one way, it’s not the right way. Why can’t we all have our own beliefs and why should we be afraid to say what they are? 

"Now, we finally have someone in office who says it’s OK to have beliefs and no one can beat you down for them.”

Change and vigorous nationalism were some of the ideas outlined in  Trump's inaugural address. American isolationism struck a chord with Raleigh, North Carolina native Shawn Welch.

The owner of his own plumbing company, Welch said he supports Trump because he felt the businessman looked out for his own – namely, other business people. 

“Being ‘America first’ means that we’re going to look after our people, our military, our boarders and success to make sure that a businessman like myself can stay strong and keep making strides,” he said. “In the next four years, I see this country turning around and I think there are some great things that are going to happen.”

Not all found Trump's word endearing. Outside the barricaded entrances, hundreds of protesters flooded the streets chanting slogans like “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA” and “black lives matter.” 

Protests started to turn violent near noon, as police arrested nearly 100 people and pepper sprayed others.

Protesters like San Francisco native Melyssa Jo Kelly, who was loud with her chants, but otherwise peaceful. A self-described activist, Kelly attended inaugurations since the swearing in of President John F. Kennedy and protesting since President Richard Nixon took office during the Vietnam War.

Kelly believes there has been a rise in “pure, undiluted racism,” resulting in Trump’s election, which started with myriad birther theories surrounding former President Barack Obama.

“We’re at a real turning point in history and because the United States is such a world dominating country, it’s not just our own domestic history but it affects the world,” she said. “This day is an international disgrace and it means we have to stand up and support each other. 

"We have to show the world we will not let a fascist regime take over this country and go after vulnerable people. We will resist just like the French resisted the Nazis.”

Protesters block entrance points at Trump inauguration

Hundreds of protesters marched the streets of Washington D.C. to oppose President Trump

Greg Wickliffe

While Donald Trump was being sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Washington D.C. Friday to oppose the new commander-in-chief.

Protesters from across the country marched together and blocked several entrance checkpoints to the 58th inauguration, standing side-by-side, locked in arms, as people attempted to enter.

“The message we’re trying to send is that we’re not going to tolerate racism in the United States any longer,” said Rebecca Burton, 27, of Indiana. “It’s not acceptable for people of color to be treated differently because of the color of their skin.”

She signed up to join the protests weeks before the inauguration through the website disruptj20.org, which Burton said is supported by the D.C. Welcoming Committee. The website said it was created to “build the framework needed for mass protests to shut down the Inauguration of Donald Trump.”

As visitors attempted to enter through the Red Gate entrance, protesters could be heard chanting, “You wanted a wall, you got it,” as they stood in front of the entry.

However, the generally peaceful protests throughout the day were accented by moments of violence. A number anarchists caused chaos by smashing windows on businesses, cars and lit various fires throughout the city.

Noted white supremacist and Alt-Right leader Richard Spencer was punched on live TV. According to CNN, 95 protesters were arrested.

Aside from chants, the protesters carried signs reading “Keep your laws off my body,” and “Trump is a fascist.”

The checkpoint near John Marshall Park was closed for an hour after protesters blocked the entrance point. Michaela Brown, 24, from Baltimore, was one of those responsible for shutting down the entry.

Brown said closing the checkpoint was more about control than keeping people out of the ceremony.

“We wanted to take a checkpoint and we did that. We shut it down,” she said. “It was about being ungovernable, holding space and taking control of what we can control. As long as we can put our bodies on the line, we will.”

Once the entrance reopened and protesters moved toward the Red Gate — only giving standing room to ticket holders for Union Square access — a war of words ensued with Trump supporters.

“If you don’t like the country, you can just [expletive] leave!” shouted one Trump supporter as protesters marched past.

Many Trump supporters in attendance were disappointed because they believed the inauguration was a day for the peaceful transition of power. They said the protest got in the way of that.

“For the most part, they’re freaking morons,” said Michael Jones, 47, of Naples, Florida. “They’re not protesters, they’re breaking the law. They are impeding on my rights. If you want to stand out here with a sign, that’s fine, but when you start blocking my way (to enter) as an American — you’re wrong, bottom line.”

Although protesters were blocking the entryway police stood out of their way — allowing them to protest freely. The police made a separate pathway for visitors to bypass the demonstrations, and still attend the ceremony. 

“They’re exercising their First Amendment right,” said Lt. Seth Anderson of the Washington D.C. Police Department. “There’s no reason to shut it down.”

Trump was sworn in to serve as the next president, despite the efforts of protesters. After the inauguration, Preston Gregg, 22, of Sarasota, Florida, walked down the streets twirling a Trump flag yelling, “Woo Hoo! He did it!”

Gregg said protests were unnecessary and would cause more harm than good.

“(The protesters) don’t bother me whatsoever,” he said. “Protesting the inauguration adds to the division. I wasn’t out there protesting when Obama took office, and I cannot stand Obama. I just let it happen, so they just (need to) accept it and get over it.”

CMU alumna performs at former President Obama’s departure ceremony

Cala James

Central Michigan University alumna Brooke Emery began her professional music career at CMU — mastering the clarinet for her undergraduate education. Since graduating in 2001, Emery has become well-established in the performing arts industry.

Emery is now playing her wood-wind instrument with the United States Premier Band in Washington, D.C., and performed at former President Barack Obama's departure ceremony on Jan. 20, inauguration day. 

The premier band clarinetist discussed her experiences and the value of her CMU education with Central Michigan Life.

CM Life: When did you discover your interest in playing the clarinet?
Emery: I began playing the clarinet when I was in seventh grade at West Intermediate School in Mount Pleasant. My teacher, Lynnada McNabb, was a clarinetist and CMU School of Music graduate. She instilled a love of music and inspired me to be quite disciplined in my dedication to the instrument.

What are some of your hobbies?
I am an avid reader. The latest book I finished yesterday was "Station Eleven" by Emily St. John Mandel, a really fascinating (book) imagining what the world would look like after a global pandemic, seen through the eyes of actors and musicians.
I'm also a runner. I have completed several marathons and love yoga as well. I have three children, Norah, 10, Leroy, 7, and Marlo, 5, so I have less time for hobbies than I used to.

What made you choose CMU for your education?
CMU has an excellent Music Education program, and though I ended up in the field of music performance, my undergraduate degree is in education. I love teaching and thought CMU would provide the highest quality training for that pursuit.

In what ways did CMU prepared you for your after college life?
My collegiate undergraduate years were some of the most challenging times of my life when it came to time management. Like many students at CMU, I took a full class load and worked a part-time job all the way through college. At the same time, my instructors in the music department were really wonderful about pushing me hard and pressing me to seek as many performance (and) teaching opportunities as I possibly could — both inside and outside the confines of CMU. At the time the balance often seemed impossible, but I often reflect on how grateful I am that I did that. As I moved forward on to my Master's program at the University of Cincinnati, and then into the Air Force, it became clear to me that the experience (at CMU) often gave me an advantage.

Which professors do you remember the most?
I have fond memories of the wonderful professors in the music department — (especially) my teacher, Dr. Kennen White. 

He was certainly the most influential mentor during my time there. He was such a champion for me — seeking out opportunities and consistently providing sound advice, while still expecting me to chart my own course. He was a role model for me when it comes to professional behavior as well. When I attempt to resolve conflicts, especially when I am playing chamber music with a small group of individuals, I often wonder what he would do and try to emulate that — even 15 years after graduating. Aside from that, he is just an absolutely stunning musician. CMU is so lucky to have him on their faculty.

When did you become a member of the U.S. Air Force?

I auditioned for the band while completing my Master's Degree at the University of Cincinnati in 2003. My job is a Permanent Duty Assignment, which means I will be assigned to the U.S. Air Force Band in Washington, D.C. for my entire career.

Has the U.S. Air Force Band always been something you had hoped to be involved in?
I had not seen military service as part of my future when I was growing up or during my time in college. However, as it became time for me to look for employment, the military bands became very appealing. Now I am nearly 14 years into my career, and I have no regrets. It is a wonderful thing to be able to work as a musician and serve my country, honor our veterans, inspire people to a heightened sense of patriotism and impact our country's global relationships in a positive way. It's pretty amazing what the band can do in all of those areas.

What is it like to be a part of the U.S. Air Force Band?
What I love about serving in the band is that our job is constantly changing. I am a member of the Concert Band, which is the largest of the six groups (the air force calls them "flights") in the Air Force Band. I am primarily involved in many large-scale public outreach events. We play concerts all over the country during our tours twice a year — connecting people with the military who may not otherwise have a connection. In the summer we play several concerts at various landmarks in (Washington, D.C.), including the Capitol building itself. We also produce numerous recordings and we frequently augment the mission of our Ceremonial Brass by playing at funerals in Arlington National Cemetery — laying to rest our fallen heroes. Large-scale events like state funerals, inaugurations, and White House arrival ceremonies for foreign dignitaries pull members from every group together as one to accomplish the mission.

What does it mean to you to be able to play during Obama’s departure ceremony?
It is a huge honor. At these events, the band and Honor Guard are there representing the excellence of the 680,000 active duty, guard and reserve airmen serving all across the globe. To be able to stand in representation of them at these high-profile functions is deeply humbling and gives the job a great sense of purpose.

Are you a Trump supporter? And does that impact you as a member of the air force band?
I will answer these two questions with one statement: Though each of us in the military hold our own personal political viewpoints, once we put on the uniform, we in the band are just like the rest of the 680,000 (people in duty) we represent. We have taken an oath to serve whomever the American people elect. The inauguration is an event our service has participated in for many years — way back before we were the Air Force. I have been honored to march in the past three inaugural parades and will be honored to participate in the inaugural events of this week — as well as President Obama's departure ceremony. The honor I feel will be (in) knowing I am representing the excellence, service and integrity of my fellow service members.

Inauguration brings excitement, fear to student body

Brianne Twiddy

While President Donald Trump was taking the oath of office, “Black Lives Matter” signs were being raised high as about 50 Central Michigan University students gathered to participate in a “Not Our President” rally at the Fabiano Botanical Gardens.

These are the people Temperance sophomore Sarah Jeffrey considers “crybabies.”

As Barack Obama ended his final term as Commander-in-Chief and President Trump was inaugurated, many students spent Friday in celebration — and in mourning.

“People think their opinion is the only right one. (Those kinds of people are) closed-minded in their opinions and in the realm of life,” said Jeffrey, who is the first vice president of CMU College Republicans. “I think our generation has become a bunch of crybabies and if you don’t get your way, you’ll cry about it until you do.”

Claiming Trump is not your president is “childish,” she said. Those who follow politics and “not just what the media says about politics” would see he’s retracted some of the comments he made on the campaign trail.

“Some of the things he said while campaigning were very radical. He wanted to get people’s attention to make them realize (we) don’t just need another politician who will play by the books," she said. "He wants to make our country strong again. Make us a force to be reckoned with again. (I feel as though) in the last eight years, more countries have been looking at America as a joke.”

Mount Pleasant sophomore Patrick Kemmerling recalls hearing “he’s not my president” from conservatives when Barack Obama was elected in 2008 and 2012. He said there were even conspiracy theories surrounding Obama's religion and birthplace after the election. It’s not fair to consider Friday's protesters “crybabies” for raising questions about President Trump.

“I don’t think we’re more sensitive than other generations. Some of the things our generation is doing is incredible,” he said. “Some of us are working three jobs to pay for school or taking care of other people in their lives. I don’t see that as being part of a cry baby generation.”

Throughout the campaign, Trump has shown “no desire” to be a president for minorities, Kemmerling said. While he said he doesn’t fit any demographic that might have a reason to be afraid of Trump’s presidency, Kemmerling is worried what the future holds for his friends of color, who are women or are in the LGBTQ+ community. The "Not Our President" protests doesn’t mean refusing to accept the election results. The protest was used to show solidarity to those afraid of what the future now holds, he said.

“If that’s how people can come together to feel safe, I think that’s great,” Kemmerling said. “It’s a right granted to us. Same as how the Nov. 15 ‘Stop Hate’protest was branded as an anti-Trump protest when that’s not what it was and neither was (the ‘Not Our President’ protest).”

On election night, Kemmerling and his friends watched what had been expected to be an easy win for democratic candidate Hillary Clinton change when states suddenly began to turn overwhelmingly red. He said he felt the fears of his friends in minority groups become real.

On inauguration day, Kemmerling decided to read the transcriptions of Trump’s speech instead of watching live streams. He said this allowed him to look at it more objectively.

“(What will happen is) an unknown thing right now. If he really sticks to what he promised in his campaign, there will continue to be a lot of fear,” Kemmerling said. “If he softens on his stances when he gets into office, like some people say he will, then it’ll be fine.”

Trump wasn’t the candidate of choice of College Republicans President Mackenzie Flynn. In September 2015, the Clio junior traveled to Mackinac Island to meet and support her favored candidate, John Kasich, Republican nominee and the governor of Ohio.

On Friday, Flynn had plans to travel to Bay City to celebrate with the Bay County Republicans at an inauguration party. The plan fell through because she had to work, but Flynn said she was glad to see the campaign season come to an end.

“It’s exciting. We’ve been following the presidential election since June 2015," Flynn said. "It’s been a long process. A lot of us spent time supporting our nominees and campaigning. It’s nice to see it finally come to a conclusion.”

She said despite Trump saying things she “didn’t really support,” in the end, politics is choosing a nominee your views align with the most. When it came to the 2016 election, Trump's views aligned more with hers than Clinton's did.

The election had highlighted the political polarization between her friend group, something Flynn had never felt in the past. She said while she hadn't experienced personal insults, she was asked if she believes in human rights.

However, Flynn said she believes once Trump is president and post-election anxieties subside, things will quiet down.

“(In regards to protests), ultimately everyone has the right to express themselves how they choose," Flynn said. "But we have a system where a president is elected in a certain way, and we have to respect that system. Trump won fairly, and I think we need to have a united front at this point.”

Striving for unity: the campus community protests on inauguration day

Micayla Glennie and Sarah Wolpoff

In the same moments President Donald Trump was sworn into office on inauguration day, roughly 50 Central Michigan University students and faculty rallied in the drizzling rain to protest.

Campus community members gathered at 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 20 at the Fabiano Botanical Gardens, to participate in the “Not Our President” rally organized by CMU’s Black Lives Matter chapter. 

With “Black Lives Matter” picketing signs in hand, students and faculty publicly expressed their discontent with the new president and administration.

“I feel like a lot of people are still unsure what to expect from (President Donald Trump) — they're still unsure what to expect from their peers,” said Jazmyn Williams, Black Lives Matter chapter president. “Especially for the brown students on campus — I’m doing this (rally) to give them a voice.”

There were no scheduled speakers at the protest, but a few protesters spoke to the crowd. Williams said she wanted to let protesters run the show, allowing anyone to speak if they desired. She said she did not want to restrict any persons' voice. 

"I want them (minority students) to feel safe. I want them to feel supported in their own community," Williams said. "They’re going to be here for (up to) the next four years, plus grad school if they decide, and they need to feel safe in their home now.”

This is the Black Lives Matter chapter’s first semester on campus. The rally, which was purposely scheduled during President Donald Trump’s swearing-in ceremony, is the first organized event the student organization has facilitated.

Before the rally, Williams said she expected strong emotion from an active crowd. She knew the rally would be widespread and successful because the fliers for the protest had high attention on Twitter.

Jenison senior Chad Morris attended the rally to show support.

“We face hard times, but the more we rally and network together, the more powerful we are,” Morris said.

Williams said her primary goal with the “Not Our President” rally is to accomplish building a sense of unity among the CMU community.

“I know it’s not only minority students that are feeling uncomfortable — there’s also non-minority students who are uncomfortable,” she said. “We just want them all to (feel) unification and support with one another.”

Springfield, Missouri senior Genevieve “Ginny” Agee was participated because she wanted to ensure that no one stands alone.

“We are not going to bow down to Trump,” Agee said.

Experienced older students and underclassmen were both present in the crowd. Midland freshman Emily Webb said she was also participating because she wanted to demonstrate her commitment to unity.

“No matter if you’re white, black, or whatever your identity is — we are all humans,” Webb said.

Faculty, staff and alumni also attended, including former professor Wesley Umstead.

“We need to show the comradery of being together and make a statement against the hatred,” Umstead said, “I’m happy to see so many people here and I’m very proud to have gone to school here.”

He said he felt it was important to stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter while resisting the now official Trump presidency.

Senior student Saceila Gonzalez, vice president of the Black Lives Matter chapter, said the group is striving to show the community that the election results and implied negative public attitude associated with President Trump is unacceptable, and is not representative of everyone. Group members also hope to educate people on the human rights issues currently being ignored.

“We shall overcome,” Gonzalez said, “Black Lives Matter would like to thank everyone, and we want to make sure we highlight the good parts (of this country).”

Q&A: Student meets President Trump, receives autographed poster

Dylan Goetz

While watching the inauguration, one Central Michigan University student probably had a better story about the 45th U.S. president than you did.

After waiting for six hours at the Wexford Civic Center in Cadillac, Michigan in March, Kevin Goodwin finally saw President Donald Trump in-person during his campaign stop.

Goodwin is a CMU freshman planning to major in finance. While being the risk manager in his fraternity, Goodwin uses his free time to go out with friends, play video games and toss around a baseball. More importantly, the Traverse City native may be the only student on CMU's campus who has had a face-to-face interaction with Trump.

After a six-hour wait, Goodwin and his friends earned a spot in the front row of the Trump rally. Trump came up to them, signed their posters and gave them a compliment before speaking in front of thousands.

Central Michigan Life sat down with Goodwin to talk about his experience and views on President Trump.

CM Life: What sets other candidates apart when it comes to Trump? What do you like about him?

Goodwin: I think he represents the working class well, but at the same time he is a businessman. That is what he does and what he has been doing his whole life. He’s not political and I think that’s going to be beneficial in this upcoming term.

Why do you think a lot of people aren’t fans of Trump?

I think people hear one thing and they want to agree with everyone else. When you ask people why they do not like Trump, they say, "Well, he’s Donald Trump." I think if they would take more time educate themselves of the candidates, they would find something different.

What do you think bothers people about Trump?

I don’t know what I can say about other people’s views, but what I have heard a lot is people calling him racist, misogynistic, homophobic — whatever they may say.  At the end of the day people think what they want and you can’t change that so if you don’t like him, it’s on you. There’s nothing you can do about it because he is our president.

What was the Trump rally like?

I woke up at like 5 a.m. A few buddies and I took a car to Cadillac and got in line at 7 a.m. The doors didn’t open until 10 a.m. and we were still around 20th in line. I heard from somewhere that the line was a mile long.

After we got checked in, we had to wait inside for another three hours. (Trump) didn’t come until (1 p.m.). Since I was up at (5 a.m.), it was an investment and I was ready to see the man.

As soon as he came out, everyone just lit up. But the atmosphere from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. was like everyone was kind of (mad) because they were playing the same eight songs over and over. It was very tiring because there was no room to sit, we were standing for a few hours.

When he finally came on, it was something else.

What are your family’s political views?

Both of my parents are pretty independent. I think for this election it was voting for the better of the two candidates. We are a catholic family — some of (Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's) beliefs might of played a big factor in voting.

When did you get interested in politics?

This being the first election that I can vote in I did a lot more research. I have been a lot more involved in the presidential election process.

Do you ever see any negative reactions when you show that you support Trump?

There have been a few times that I have been wearing a Trump shirt probably at the wrong time. I wore it to high school a few times and it was mostly the “verbal minority,” which are all talk and all for their people but the people that confronted me couldn’t even vote in the election.

It was your first time voting this year. What was that like for you?

I got an absentee ballot. It felt good to circle that, sign it and ship it off. I felt like I was doing something to contribute to my country. It feels good to be involved in the political system.

Do you think Trump will keep the promises that he made during his campaign?

I sure hope so. Trump has promised a wall, and I would love to see a wall. I think it would be very beneficial, contrary to what a lot of people had to say. In the rally, he talked about how many drugs were coming into the United States each day. The benefit of a wall would overcome a lot of the negativity that is coming through our borders.

My problem is with the illegal immigrants — not immigrants who came to America legally. I am a big fan of the American Dream. You come over here legally, make your money, and contribute to society, you are good on my watch.

What about Obamacare?

Having my father in the health care field I think I have been exposed to more of the downfall that came with Obamacare — the negative impacts that it had on the medical field in general. My dad owns a private practice so he is another option for people who are looking for treatment.

How about Trump’s social media activity?

He has a short temper — I think people poke at him and he reacts to that. We saw that a lot in the debates with Hillary. She would just say something short and he would come back with a defensive strategy.

His social media is a little iffy for me. He runs his own accounts as you can tell. That is good to me because it says that he is a person too.  While he is a politician, he is just like any of us — he has opinions and he is not afraid to defend himself.

Q: Do you have a favorite Trump tweet?

My favorite tweet is when he tweeted “I have never seen a thin person drinking Diet Coke” in 2012. I like it because it is funny and true at the same time.

Protesting the President

After two days of celebrating a new Commander in Chief about 500,000 people took to the streets to deliver a very different message

Kate Carlson

WASHINGTON, D.C. —  Hundreds of thousands of women of all ages, races and creeds packed tightly into the streets of Washington, D.C., sending a clear rebuke to newly inaugurated President Donald Trump.

The Women’s March on Washington, which started as a Facebook event following Trump's election Nov. 8, brought more than 500,000 people to the nation's capital. The protest was so large that more than three city blocks were shut down in every direction from the march's main base on Independence Avenue. 

Marchers stormed Washington, D.C. in a sea of pink hats and homemade signs, while others around the nation and globe marched in cities as varied as Lansing, Paris, France and Tokyo.

For Psarah Johnson, Jan. 21 wasn’t a march in the traditional sense. The Utah resident navigated the crowds in her wheelchair and was there to protest Trump’s dismissal of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“I’m concerned we’re going to see a lot of government regulations that make things for me possible go away,” Johnson said.

Because she grew up before the ADA was implemented, Johnson said she did not have equal access to education.

“I was put in a low reading class because the advanced reading class was on the second floor of my school and I couldn’t get there,” she said. “These are the kinds of things you see happening when you take (ADA) away.”

As a person with disabilities, Trump’s presidency is deeply concerning, but Johnson said it’s only one issue to be worried about in a long list of grievances.

“Women like myself, we don’t have access to equal opportunity to employment, insurance rights — we end up staying in unhealthy abusive relationships because it’s the only way we can get insurance,” she said. “This is a domestic violence issue, a women’s issue and a disabled issue.”

As for the atmosphere in Washington just one day after Trumps took office, Johnson said the march was “amazing,” and everyone she met was supportive. She made extra “pussy hats," the signature hat worn by many women who took part in the march, to give away to fellow activists.

Becky Payne wore the signature pink knit hat and stood on the sidelines of the march, holding a protest sign.

“This is important for solidarity and numbers — just to be visible,” Payne said. “I just think it’s important for the current administration to see just how many people are unhappy and willing to not stop until things are better for everyone.”

Women from the metro D.C. area and out-of-state banded together — waking up before dawn to make sure they could march. Metro rail and bus stations in Washington had to cancel stops throughout the morning due to overcrowding as protesters rushed to be part of the Women’s March movement.

Once there, the cavalcade spent the day showing the world how they felt about Trump in the oval office. 

Central Michigan University professor Meryln Mowrey said she sees the effects of "Trumpism" in her classroom.

“As a teacher, it concerns me,” Mowrey said. “I’ve actually had a student say to me that every opinion is equally true and not being able to separate an opinion from a judgment based in analysis and fact.”

The philosophy and religion professor said “fake news” was around well before Trump ran for office, but it’s been heightened by his campaign strategies and policies.

A threat to the education system in America was also a reason Libya Doman hit the streets of D.C. to protest Trump’s presidency.

As an art teacher for predominately poor, Spanish-speaking elementary children, Doman said she is afraid for her students.

“I don’t know what the future looks like for them, especially with Trump’s choice (Betsy DeVos) for the secretary of education,” Doman said. “She has no background in public education.”

Protestors chanted “dump Trump,” and “no justice, no peace,” but also narrowed in on calling out cabinet members like DeVos during the march.

Marchers focused on protesting issues that directly affects their demographic — including being disabled, black, Islamic, LGBTQ+ — but most supported each other in their distaste for Trump on multiple issues.

“I’m here because I’m against everything (Trump) stands for,” said Shandi Alexander, 42, of New York City. “I think he’s criminal and dangerous.”

Alexander said she came to the march because she's worried her two young children will endure because of Trump's negative effect on the country.

“I don’t know what to do, but (I) feel like this is the first step toward some type of action,” she said. “I don’t want this to be the end of our activism.”

The march was for women first, but male allies for women's rights also showed up on Saturday. Men young and old were seen holding signs and wearing the pink-pointed hats.

Raymond Kingfisher traveled to Washington to show his support, but also because of the fear that Trump would overturn decisions protecting Standing Rock Indian Reservation from the North Dakota Access Pipeline.

“We’re water protectors,” Kingfisher said. “A lot of us go back and forth from Standing Rock and occupy that area for our future generations.”

Kingfisher is a Seattle resident and member of the Northern Cheyenne tribe. He said there is a real fear whether decisions made under former President Barack Obama to protect reservation land from the construction of the North Dakota Access Pipeline will be reversed in a Trump presidency.

“I’ve seen a lot of people that want to resist the presidency of Trump,” Kingfisher said. “I believe there is so much more support for his resistance, it’s evident of all the people here.”

Pro-life protesters disrupt Women's March on Washington

Ben Solis

WASHINGTON, D.C. – More than 500,000 people from around the nation turned out for the Women’s March on Washington. It also attracted its share of detractors – specifically, members of a West Coast street preacher outfit.

The Official Street Preachers staged one-man and group protests around the parade route Saturday. Some members of the group interrupted the march’s conclusion near the Smithsonian Institution district on Independence Avenue.

The Los Angeles-based group was founded by part-time evangelist Ruben Israel. They were the only protestors issuing a rebuke to women’s reproductive rights and the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage.

Prepare 4 Judgment. Sin You’re Damned. Homo Sex is a Sin.

Other members held large signs with similar phrases. The posters denounced the LGBTQ community, Planned Parenthood and Black Lives Matter. They also issued ominous warnings over megaphones about “the end times” ahead.

“Repent, repent,” bellowed one preacher at the center of the march. “When Satan wants to deceive us, he uses a woman.”

Israel and his crew held steadfast near the Smithsonian Castle. An assortment of evangelists were peppered throughout the demonstration. At each spot, the preachers were met with fierce opposition.

Others chose to disrupt their proselytizing, drowning out the brimstone din with feminist chants. Each preacher became perturbed, and called out marchers for “acting like teenagers.”

A few pro-life backers of President Donald Trump participated in the march. Most Trump supporters stayed on the sidelines, like Charles Brower of Pensacola, Florida. Brower wore a black Trump campaign hat atop his thin, white hair. He is a pro-life Christian who came to the capitol to see Trump’s inauguration. He attended the march to support other pro-lifers. 

While he fundamentally disagrees with the march, Brower said he understands why some women would abhor Trump’s sexist and misogynistic rhetoric. He remained silent until two marchers allegedly “infringed” on a nearby missionary’s rights to free speech.

Brower argued loudly with a female activist. The activist didn’t pull her punches.

“We're expressing the same free speech rights that he's expressing," she said. "I gave water to a man (who supported Trump) here because he was thirsty. What have you done to love these people here other than yell and put your hands on me?"

 Brower responded, “You're trying to deny his right to preach the Bible."

Other clashes were less civil.

In the final hour of the march, a bustling and angry crowd grew around Israel’s outpost. They yelled expletives, chants and insults. The preachers returned the favor. Tensions boiled over into face-to-face shouting matches.

D.C. police officers moved in to give the evangelists room. A lesbian couple kissed deeply. A man in a Jesus Christ hoodie looked the other way.

Jordan Jean, a 20-year-old Howard University student, challenged an evangelist on scripture and diversity. Jean is studying doctoral theology and works with Black Lives Matter.

He's heard it all before.

“We're the ones being targeted for being minorities day in and day out, and that's why I'm trying to express to these people," Jean said. "Yes some vicious words were said, and usually I get riled up over it, but that's what they want. They want a response from us. They want someone to hit them so they have a news story that says Black Lives Matter and Brown Lives Matter are violent people."

After going toe-to-toe with each other for nearly an hour, the preachers packed up and left. The marchers followed suit, and set out on a different path.

Women's March on Lansing draws about 8,000 protesters

Evan Sasiela

LANSING — Nearly 8,000 people crowded in front of the Michigan Capitol Building on Saturday — some backed up across the street and others on rooftops.

"Yes we can," they chanted. "Yes we will."

The Women's March on Lansing at 1 p.m. Saturday was organized to coincide with the Women's March On Washington in the nation's capitol. The website for the march states the goal was to be "a peaceful demonstration in opposition to the wave of hate crimes and violence, and threats of official discrimination that have proliferated following the election."

Michigan Capitol Facilities estimated 8,000 people attended. 

"I expected a lot of people but there’s way more here than I thought would be," said Anna Salinas, a Grand Rapids senior and Central Michigan University student. "Everyone’s chanting, shouting and singing together. It's great to see a whole community coming together to fight for what they believe in and what they think is right.”

President Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States Friday. Gretchen Whitmer, a candidate for the 2018 Michigan gubernatorial election, gave an opening speech and said the number of people at the Women's March on Washington was double the attendance for President Trump's inauguration.

Whitmer referenced former First Lady Michelle Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July when Obama said of bullies, "When they go low, we go high."

"We can start right here in Michigan to show the world what our country should look like," Whitmer said.

She wants to improve Michigan and said the 2016 election was important in recognizing the suffering across the state. Whitmer said too many Michiganders have paid the price for failed leadership.

"We will be a state that puts our people first," Whitmer said.

She said Saturday's march was a wake-up call for Michigan and recommended plans of action for those in attendance: make advocacy intersectional, talk to neighbors and weigh in on her platform.

"We cannot take anything or anyone for granted," she said.

Whitmer was followed by a lineup of speakers including Lavonia Perryman, who received her Master's degree in institutional education from CMU.

Perryman, who supported and worked for Hillary Clinton on her campaign, said the day following the election was the most painful experience she ever had. She said the Women's March On Lansing "got her going again."

"We've got to make a difference today," Perryman said.

Several CMU students were on-hand, including Salinas and five others who are a part of the social work program. They traveled to Lansing to attend an advocacy event for their class, Social Work 450: Social Welfare Policies and Services II.

“I gained a lot of hope today," Alpena senior Lindsey Daoust said. “My biggest takeaway is that I’m not alone and I’m not the only one that’s scared out of their mind and angry. This is the best thing I’ve been to in a long time and I really needed it.”

Gretchen Driskell, former Michigan Democratic House member, and Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown were among those who took the podium. Jessica Lumbreras, a 2010 CMU alumna and Planned Parenthood advocate, also spoke. Among the topics the speakers promoted was equality and accessibility to reproductive health care.

The rally also included a performance from the Sistrum Women's Choir.

Mount Pleasant senior Chris Yoder made the decision at 12:30 p.m. Saturday to head to the March on Lansing. He was shocked to see the thousands of people in front of the Capitol building when he arrived an hour later.

Yoder hopes Trump will do well in his term but said his cabinet picks have him worried. He said the key will be keeping Trump honest with himself and making sure he represents the people.

“The people here are not alone,” Yoder said. “We definitely need to keep fighting and it’s very uplifting to see how many people actually believe in equal rights.”

Education was a theme of the march — as Whitmer and Brown were among the speakers who spoke against Betsy DeVos, Trump’s pick for secretary of education.

Mount Pleasant residents Matt and Jonnie Taton both have about 50 years of education experience. Matt is currently a teacher at Mount Pleasant Public Schools, while Jonnie is a doctoral student at CMU.

Both were at the march after original plans to travel to Washington, D.C. did not materialize, Matt said. Arriving Saturday morning, the two were surprised to turn around during the rally and see people standing across the street.

Matt said “things are going to happen quickly” under the Trump administration, and people need to contact their representatives and senators and get out and vote.

“We’re standing in solidarity for women’s rights, civil rights, human’s rights and maintaining (the overalap of social identities) and making sure all our voices are heard,” Jonnie said.

The event was followed by the Women Organize Michigan Summit, part of a group of summits that "address and further progressive causes that matter most to women," according to its website. The crowd slimmed from the march to the summit.

Stockbridge senior Shelby Scutchfield, one of the social work students, said America is divided. She said seeing the crowd in front of the state Capitol building on Saturday helped everyone come together. Her classmate, Adrian senior Megan Bartenslager, agreed.

“It’s really refreshing to see how many people came out to this,” Bartenslager said. “I think this is a step in the right direction and hopefully in the future we can find that common ground.”