The Divide: Perspectives on Trump’s inauguration

Elizabeth Booth

Since the moment Donald J. Trump announced his presidency in June of 2015, a whirlwind of controversy has surrounded him.  Americans were both invigorated and disheartened by his election win this past November.  His inauguration barely ended, many have expressed a call for unity though it is unclear how close to a united front we are.  Shannon Low, Sophomore, Psychology major, and Hannah McNutt, Junior, Human Resource Management/Business Management/Marketing major, gave their thoughts on Donald Trump, the next four years, and the current political discourse of America in light of the recent inauguration.

Low considers himself neither liberal or conservative but rather, bipartisan.  Low was led to his affiliation by “Careful dissection of my own values and the courage to rebel against those who stand against those values, no matter what party is pushing the issue.”  McNutt expresses a lean to the right. “I consider myself a Log Cabin Republican. I am Conservative and a Constitutionalist. However, on the topic of LGBTQ equality, I tend to side more with the Left.”

Though Trump was not McNutt’s first choice for the Conservative party, he gained her support thereafter.  “His decision to only accept $1 salary instead of the $400,000 salary really helped me gain a lot of respect for him.”  She believes he will be supportive of both our country and our military. “I truly think he will only have the American people’s best interests at heart during his Presidency.”

Low was impressed by Trump’s “quick rise to power,” he questions Trump’s moral qualifications. “I was already getting appalled by his words but when the ‘Grab her by the pussy,’ thing happened. I looked at my daughter and thought about what it would be like to explain to her that this is the leader of her nation.”  McNutt agrees that his “crude” talk bothered her.  “He is not very great at using a filter, both in person and on Twitter.”

In spite of this, McNutt is not only confident in Tump’s experience as a businessman and that he will contribute to small business growth, decrease national debt, and create job growth, but she also hopes that “he can mend the divide in our nation.” There is no denying that debate did not die with the election.  “Trump did not cause the divide,” says McNutt.  “I think there are too many people who feel entitled and want their way all the time.”  She believes the best action toward unity is through respect toward Trump and hope in his abilities. Low feels that the source of the divide lies in the emotions that come with party affiliation.  “Stop affiliating with parties. Affiliate with your own policies and values. Learn to find your identity as an individual.”

Inauguration Speech claims that Trump will “eradicate Islamic terrorism” left Low questioning repercussions for these comments.  “I assume they are going to want to retaliate to that. So if and when they do, and they will, I foresee Trump making some rash decisions to display his power. Depending on what he does it may give rise to even more Islamic aggression.”

Perhaps you are someone like McNutt says, “The more I have allowed myself to learn about him and his background, I know I made the right decision. I truly think he will make an excellent President.”  Or perhaps you are more like Low, “There are more morally qualified individuals to run the country. Let’s take a look at ourselves as a country and wonder why we glorify social standing rather than qualifications.”  Either way, it is unclear what the future holds for America.  What is clear that unless we develop an understanding of each other across our divisions, how “indivisible” we truly are will continue to be tested.