Written by Cinthya Rubio and Victoria Bulson
President Donald Trump’s Inauguration at the capitol building in the District of Columbia on Jan. 20 elicited diverse reactions across the country. Protesters, both peaceful and violent, were seen on the streets of the District of Columbia. Social media exploded with commentary of the event. Trump’s inaugural speech, the performances and those who attended the ceremony have been common topics of internet discussion.
The Wall Street Journal reported that most of the protests remained peaceful. There were protesters who attempted to shut down some of the entrances of the National Mall. Another protest that took place was the completion of the Dakota Access oil pipeline by protesters linking arms with one another.
The violent protester vandalism targeted symbols of American capitalism, according to Reuters. Demonstrators damaged storefronts of Bank of America, Starbucks and McDonald’s and torched a car in the area.
Peter Nilson, a senior studying political science, said he attended the inauguration and saw some of the violent protesters. He said there were a lot of people, and some had very rude signs and others showed no class.
On the other hand, many traveled to show their support for Trump.
Nilson said being at the inauguration was a wonderful experience. He said he could feel the excitement in the atmosphere there, and those attending the inauguration were genuinely happy to be there.
“The ceremony itself was uplifting,” Nilson said. “I thought President Trump really tried to speak for all Americans.”
Trump’s speech echoed his slogan, “Make America great again.” He said his inauguration would mark a historic day of returning power from the few political elites to the average family.
Nilson said that during the inauguration, there were moments people booed so loudly for certain speakers that he could not hear what the speakers were saying.
“At BYU-Idaho, we are taught to be civil, so it was a little strange to be in that kind of environment,” Nilson said. “I feel very grateful for the training that the school teaches about being good disciples of Christ and are reminded to act like him wherever we are.”
Nilson said it was a great moment to see The Mormon Tabernacle Choir perform at the inauguration. During the ceremony, the choir performed “America the Beautiful.” Leading up to the Inauguration, there was controversy as one of the members of the choir resigned over the issue of performing at the Inauguration. Everyone invited to perform at the ceremony faced the same controversy.
Ashley Pope, a senior studying biology, said the Mormon Tabernacle Choir “likes to perform and uplift people in different ways and to give people hope — it doesn’t matter who.”
Stephen Garcia, a junior studying psychology, said people’s reactions to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performing were expected.
“Throughout the Church, it is very diverse — all of the political opinions as well as other cultures,” Garcia said. “They are taking heat. I am personally not a fan of their decisions, but I can understand the reason why they did it. If I was a part of any of those groups, I would not attend, but they have their own reasons for doing so.”
President Trump’s election as 45th president of the United States stimulated controversy throughout the election process that endured through to his inauguration. Opinions leading up to the ceremony varied drastically among students here at BYU-Idaho.
Some argue that his business skills in place of government and military experience will make him a strong president.
“He’s not a politician, so he doesn’t do the roundabout; you know what he’s thinking instead of politicians,” Pope said. “They’ll go around the question, and then they won’t really answer it, but he’s just straight forward. I guess that’s what’s angering a lot of people.”
Garcia said he is hoping for the best but preparing for the worst with Trump as the new president.