Boycotting Trump’s Inauguration


Donald Trump’s inauguration has been boycotted by many celebrities and Congressmen.

The inauguration of a new U.S. President is a momentous event, usually boasting an array of A-list celebrities, decorated government officials and eager crowds awaiting to get a glimpse of their nation’s new leader. This year, with the inauguration of the controversial President-Elect Donald Trump, many have chosen to boycott the ceremony, and protests have been organized in response to his official inauguration.  Trump enters the White House with historically low approval ratings.  The results of the popular vote have been reflected in polls which have earned Trump the title of least favorable President of the last 40 years, even compared to Bush Jr., who like Trump, lost the popular vote.  President Obama took office with a 20 percent unfavorable rating, while Goerge W. Bush saw a 36 percent unfavorable rating.  On Jan. 20, 2017 President-Elect Trump is entering with a record-high 54 percent unfavorable rating.

An event which is usually regarded as star-studded is being boycotted by many of these big name stars.  Mr. Trump received rejections to his invitation to perform from singers such as Celine Dion and Elton John, and instead enlisted the musical talents of Jackie Evancho at his ceremony.  The dearth of talent could be explained by his historically high unfavorable rating, or by the controversial nature surrounding the Trump Administration’s policies.  In fact, celebrities have chosen to not attend the ceremony and have instead opted to show their disdain by attending and organizing events protesting the soon to be commander-in-chief and his views.  Trump’s “Make America Great Again” concert taking place on the eve of his inauguration will be held at the same time as an anti-Trump and pro-Planned Parenthood concert featuring the rapper Common.  During the actual ceremony, other A-listers will be hosting a live telethon, “Love-a-thon,” in an effort to raise money for Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union.  The largest protest will take place the day after he is sworn into office.  Hundreds of thousands of men and women will march in cities around the world in support of female rights and organizations that defend these rights.  The nation’s capital boasts the largest event, the Women’s March on Washington, with an expected attendance of more than 250,000, but swarms of people will be protesting in dozens of other cities including Miami, Los Angeles, Paris and London.  Additionally, musicians have collaborated and begun the “Our First Hundred Days” project, with their aim being to protect causes that they believe may be threatened by the new administration.

“Leading up to [the] inauguration, I am worrisome about what Trump represents for the country.  The Obama’s conveyed the message that no matter where you come from, as long as you work hard, you can succeed.  At this time, the country needs to stand together and be united in order to fortify your ideals and make sure that they’re not clouded by people like Trump who want to change them for their personal agenda,” sophomore Axel Rodriguez said.

Celebrities are not the only people who will be absent from the ceremony, many high-standing government officials have called for a boycott as well.  U.S. Representative John Lewis stated that he will not be attending because he does not see Trump as a “legitimate” president.  Trump, notorious for his inability to stay silent in the face of criticism, rebuked the civil rights leader, enraging Democratic lawmakers and civil rights activists around the country.  Representative Ted Lieu released a statement in which he explained that “…the personal decision not to attend the Inauguration is quite simple: Do I stand with Donald Trump, or do I stand with John Lewis? I am standing with John Lewis.”  Many other Democratic Representatives are as well boycotting to stand with John Lewis.  Others have made the decision based on new revelations about possible ties to Russia, and still others have reached this conclusion based on their inability to support Trump’s views.  Critics have regarded these actions as a blatant disrespect for the office and for the peaceful transition of power, although many who will not be attending voiced their respect for those very things, while then stating that they do not respect the specific person who the ceremony is being held for.  It is unclear exactly how many people will be attending, but planners estimate no more than 900,000 people, compared to the almost two million attendees at Obama’s 2009 Inauguration.

I will not be attending the inauguration this Friday. We are sending a message to Mr. Trump. Respect, like Pennsylvania Avenue, is a two-way street. Instead of uniting our country, his continued unprecedented, unpresidential actions are further dividing it, By repeatedly taking the lowest road, he is not showing respect for the highest office. We are in for a long struggle that must strategically utilize every nonviolent opposition tool available.

— Texas Representative Lloyd Doggett

Dr. King spoke of the fierce urgency of now. I wanted to let you know that I am not attending this Friday’s inaugural ceremonies. Yes, I treasure the peaceful transfer of power. Yes, I will respect the constitutional prerogatives of the presidency. But I will not be part of normalizing or legitimizing a man whose election may well have depended on the malicious foreign interference of Russia’s leaders, a person who lies profusely and without apology, who mimics the disabilities of others, who insults anyone who dares disagrees with him, who would demonize an entire spiritual tradition, and who has demonstrated again and again a profound disrespect for women. His values and his actions are the antitheses of those I hold dear. It would be the height of hypocrisy for me to pretend to be part of this inaugural celebration.

— Virginia Representative Don Beyer

I thought long and hard about attending the Inauguration because I value our democracy and respect the office of the presidency, regardless of party. However, the disparaging remarks the President-elect has made about many groups, including women, Mexicans, and Muslims, are deeply contrary to my values. As a result, I will not be attending the Inauguration.

— California Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard

I was planning on attending the Inauguration on Friday out of respect for the office of President, while still making it back home on Saturday to attend the Women’s March in Madison. However, after long consideration based on reading the Classified document on Russian hacking and the Trump candidacy on Thursday, the handling of his conflicts of interest, and this weekend’s offensive tweets about a national hero Rep. John Lewis, I am no longer attending the event. At minimum, it’s time for Donald Trump to start acting like President Trump, not an immature, undignified reality star with questionable friends and a Twitter addiction. I hope for better, but will not hold my breath.

— Wisconsin Representative Mark Pocan

Donald Trump has proven that his administration will normalize the most extreme fringes of the Republican Party. On Inauguration Day, I will not be celebrating. I will be organizing and preparing for resistance,

— California Representative Barbara Lee

My absence is not motivated by disrespect for the office or motivated by disrespect for the government that we have in this great democracy, but as an individual act, yes, of defiance at the disrespect shown to millions and millions of Americans by this incoming administration, and the actions we are taking in this Congress.

— Arizona Representative Raul Grijalva

The rhetoric and actions of Donald Trump have been so far beyond the pale — so disturbing and disheartening — and his continued failure to address his conflicts of interest, to adequately divest or even to fully disclose his financial dealings, or to sufficiently separate himself from the ethical misconduct that legal experts on both side of the aisle have identified have been so offensive I cannot in good conscience participate in this honored and revered democratic tradition of the peaceful transfer of power.

— New York Representative Jerrold Nadler

I support the peaceful transition of power, but I don’t feel that I need to attend the pageantry associated with and for this president.

— Massachusetts Representative Katherine Clark

Many have given their lives and dedicated their lives to working to fulfill Dr. King’s dream and make it a reality, and it is up to us to preserve his legacy and the legacy of President Barack Obama to ensure that we do not go back in time! President-elect Donald Trump is trying to take us back! And the people Trump is appointing– Steve Bannon, Jeff Sessions — are trying to take us back! That’s why I am not attending the presidential inauguration. Donald Trump and the hate-filled rhetoric that plagued his election simply will continue in his administration. THIS is not Dr. King’s Dream!

— New York Representative Adriano Espaillat

It’s not my intent to protest the election results or to make a statement about policy. I will not be attending the inauguration because I believe the office of the President deserves our respect, and that respect must begin with the President-elect himself.

— Kentucky Representative John Yarmouth

I acknowledge the fact that he is the incoming president, but I’m not in the mood to celebrate the fact.

— California Representative Zoe Lofgren

Every American should respect the office of the presidency and the fact that Donald Trump will be the 45th President of the United States. But winning an election does not mean a man can show contempt for millions of Americans and then expect those very people to celebrate him.

— Texas Representative Joaquin Castro

A real president doesn’t attack the press because they ask tough questions. A real president doesn’t insult and bully celebrities or everyday Americans because they disagree with him. A real president doesn’t use the office to make millions more for his own wealth or his family’s wealth.

— California Representative Raul Ruiz

After serious consideration, I have decided that I will not stand with Donald Trump during his ceremonial inauguration. He has been consistent in his words and actions — he has disrespected countless Americans — women, civil rights leaders, Hispanics, people with disabilities, Muslims, gold star families, African Americans, POWs and more. I feel this decision best represents my family, constituents and country.

— California Representative Tony Cárdenas

Considering Mr. Trump’s brand of division and insult, I believe it would be hurtful to my constituents for me to attend the inauguration.

— North Carolina Representative G.K. Butterfield

I cannot in good faith and consciousness pretend to celebrate the inauguration of someone who has spoken so horribly about women, minorities, and the disabled. Instead, I am staying home to continue working toward our priorities and to meet with constituents, many of whom are fearful of what lies ahead.

— North Carolina Representative Alma Adams

After wrestling with this question for the last two months, I have concluded I cannot participate in this Inaugural celebration, I do not challenged that Mr Trump won the Electoral College and therefore will lawfully be president. We cannot go down a path in which we do not accept the legitimacy of the choice of the people. In America, it is the people who decide. I accept the decision of the people. I respect it. But I will not celebrate it.

— Pennsylvania Representative Brendan Boyle