Early last fall, before the election, I arranged for myself and a small group of students from the small Catholic school I work for to attend the 45th Presidential Inauguration. At the time, we had no idea who the newly inaugurated president would be, but that did not matter to us.
Standing in front of the National Mall just past 4 a.m. on January 20, 2017, I realized I was about to witness the peaceful transition of power.
CREDIT: Oscar Fabian with colleagues two days before inauguration
As I explained to my students, family members, and followers on social media, the inauguration is an important moment because it is a symbol of the strength of American Democracy. This was a tumultuous election, but unlike in many countries, we were able to witness the successful transfer of power without violence, bloodshed, or military coups. Regardless of my political affiliations, culture, or personal beliefs, I stood alongside the thousands of primarily White Americans around me and listened to President Trump as he presented a general array of goals and issues that he hopes to tackle during his term in office.
Though the inauguration is meant to raise spirits and confidence in the new administration, I listened and soaked everything in with caution (maybe it was because I was so damn cold).
CREDIT: Oscar Fabian
The crowds cheered at his every word. At that point I told myself, whether I liked the president or not, it’s a done deal and the office of the President of the United States should be respected. Americans are currently divided with issues ranging from immigration reforms to gender equality. We all have something at stake, the world just has to wait and see.
Less than 24 hours later, it seemed like millions of people came to march on Washington. Yet, unlike the day before, I didn’t see airport-type security, no barricades, no bomb-squad canines, no military presence or sea of red hats.
CREDIT: Oscar Fabian
There were more people present for the Women’s March on Washington D.C. than the inauguration, and it felt like there were also more people there than at former President Obama’s inauguration.
Countless Americans (mainly women) came out to speak out against the abuses of their rights. There were politicians, celebrities, and special interest group speakers. My personal favorite was Kamala Harris, California’s newest Democratic Senator, who spoke of President Trump’s speech not as promising but “dark” – a stark contrast to the mood the day before. The crowds could be heard roaring from every corner. It was difficult to walk, move, or even stand still without being swept into the crowds.
There were thousands of makeshift signs with slogans such as “Women’s Rights are Human Rights” and the popular “We the People: Defend Dignity.” My personal favorite was “Nasty Woman.”
The overall sense was one of solidarity; everyone marching was there to fight some sort of oppression. I left that afternoon in awe, feeling blessed that I witnessed true democracy at work those two days.
CREDIT: Oscar Fabian
I closed this trip in the same manner that I close every academic school year. I told my group:
“History you learned, but my goal as an educator was to instill in you the belief that all individuals are deserving of respect and should be treated with dignity. I hope that you will always remember to be tolerant and loving of all human beings.”
Oscar Fabian is an 11th grade United States history teacher
There’s no doubt that the presidential election will change the course of our country’s history no matter the outcome. Still, despite this, liberals and conservatives have some ideas of what will happen if Donald Trump wins.
We found some of the predictions from both sides of the parties and those in-between!
Check them out below
“I think he gets even more lazy in his second term and completely stops giving a shit. More golf. More rants. More tweets. Less policy (which is hard but he’ll manage.” –xTheBigShow
“Don’t forget some old fashioned corruption and setting up his family with lots of insider perks around the world.”- DukeofDixieland
“Do you think that will result in us being more vulnerable, i.e. to terrorism, or economic arbitrage?” –Learned_foot
“If Trump manages to win re-election, it would confirm several things for me:
The world is moving into a replay of the interwar period, with increasing nationalism, racism, and authoritarianism.
True, old-school conservatism doesn’t really exist in the Western Hemisphere anymore.
The population of Republicans in the U.S is far larger than polls suggest.
In addition to this, polls aren’t answered by the general populace, and that the average American’s response to hearing a political poll or any poll is to hang up.
Extreme socially right positions mixed in with economically left positions aimed at the rural poor will be the strategy the GOP follows going forward.
White grievance politics is the single strongest force in American politics. Bar none. (If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you. as LBJ would say.)
Populism is the dominant ideology of the United States.
The ‘Obama coalition’ never really belonged to the Democrats as a party, and voters were just attracted to Obama’s singular personality and massive charisma, and isn’t existent otherwise.
This country is probably f***ed.
As for what will happen under a second Trump term, I fully expect the U.S to move towards a Brazilian or Hungarian-style authoritarian state where democracy is greatly weakened but not (yet) formally abolished, although somewhat balanced by the power of individual states. Freedoms and institutions will be further eroded and human rights abuses, corruption and cronyism will further increase. Pogroms, riots, shootings, and other acts of political violence will probably become commonplace.
Relative to the rest of the world, the quality of life for the typical American will further deteriorate, but not collapse. Particularly, I wouldn’t be surprised if suicide rates drastically increase from their already high number, especially among Generation Z. Internationally, a Trump victory will signal to allies to permanently forgo of the notion of the U.S. as a reliable ally, signalling a shift in international relations and the end of the era of Pax Americana.” –OfElephantMonkeys
“What do you think full force fascism looks like? Do you think he’ll suspend the 2024 elections? or the 2022 elections? Will he disband the supreme court? Open camps for his political opposition?” – Learned_foot
“The US wont survive another Trump term. The Constitution wasnt written with enough scrutiny to protect what we think of as our rights from the active erosion being done to civil liberties.
Our system of government was founded far to much on an unspoken uncodified code that is far too easy to ignore. The AG is arguing that standing Presidents dont have to follow the law. If that is true, then a standing President can invalidate the law as long as his party willfully supports it at the legislative level.” – Add1kt
“I don’t think much of anything will happen. Donald Trump is pretty lazy and and does not care about anything other than his own bottom line. His only legislative accomplishment has been a tax cut that primarily benefited the wealthy. He would attempt to pass another tax cut in a second term under the guise of economic stimulus but it won’t go anywhere under a Democrat controlled House. I really don’t see him tacking leftward and working with a Dem house and/or Senate.
RBG will not live for another four years. Breyer is 81 and Clarence Thomas is 72 so there will be at least one and possibly three supreme court justice appointments over the next four years. He could have a lasting effect there.
Other than that, a second term would just be a static period in the nation where problems are ignored, partisan division persist, and America’s standing in the world is further eroded.” – bender710
“He’d probably just link the treasury to his personal banks accounts and spend every penny we pay in taxes.” – messiestbessie
“I think the Republicans and their donors will start stealing like mad. They know the status quo is unsustainable, that America as we know it now is a sinking ship. So they’re going to loot as much as they can as fast as they can before bailing out.
If the Democrats win the election, then the ship can be salvaged. This wouldn’t be terrible for the rich donor class. Like any parasite, they like it when the host survives. But if Trump wins again, the ship will sink for certain, and then I foresee a scramble for whatever loot is left. The rich and the corporations, instead of scaling back their plundering, will ramp it up to crazy levels so they can get as much as they can before anyone steals it. It will be scramble competition.” – Stromboli16
“I think it depends on how he wins. Is it close? Did he lose the popular vote agin? Was it shady?” –HeresForHope
“He’ll be exactly the same.
Our planet is f***ed though. A lot of the bad things about Trump- destroyed our relations with allies, bad on healthcare, bad on education, bad on immigration, can change course once we get Democratic leadership again. The planet though? That damage is done.” – Reddit user
“In short, I think it’s much worse than another poorly handled catastrophe and some national embarrassment on the global stage. I fully believe it will mark the beginning of a very dark period in American history.
If Trump wins, it means the Supreme Court becomes dominantly conservative for the next 40 years. It also likely means almost complete regulatory capture of government agencies by profit-driven private interests. Things like voter suppression and gerrymandering that have helped Republicans hold power become more solidified, so a democratic means of reversing the damage becomes unlikely. The presidency becomes mostly immune from oversight as the Senate and Supreme Court, which are both now perpetually conservative, either change the rules or refuse to enforce them.” – Dragnil
“I feel like if he wins the rest of the world will lose complete faith in us.” –greenline_chi
“It depends on how he wins.
If it’s so close and feels a bit fuccky, I’m down for the taking up arms thing, and I doubt I would be alone.
If it’s not close four more years of democratic “resistance” and trying to hold trump to a constitution that he’s never read.” –Uskmd
“To be fair, though, most conservatives haven’t read the constitution; and those who have display antipathy towards it.
I guess what I’m getting at is, what makes trump a different creature from the average conservative?” –Learned_foot
“What do you think will happen if Trump wins a second term?
States will try to secede again. Especially if Trump “wins” by blatantly crooked means, or through some sort of nutty EC shenanigans like having Republican governors suspend the election and appoint electors.” – PlayingTheWrongGame
Thousands of Trump supporters were left stranded on an airway in the freezing cold in Omaha, Nebraska after the Trump campaign failed to organize adequate transportation for them after a rally. The MAGA supporters (many of whom were older) stood for hours in 31-degree temperatures, miles away from their cars.
According to reports on the ground, the rally attendees were waiting for buses hours after Trump already took leave on Air Force One. After waiting in confusion and uncertainty, some of the attendees decided to make the cold trek back to their cars. But others didn’t have that luxury.
According to the Omaha Police Department, seven people were transported to the hospital after the event, while thirty others were contacted by the police department for “medical reasons”. Police scanners report that some attendees were suffering from confusion and fatigue–a sign of hypothermia. Police officers who didn’t have an assignment were dispatched to the airfield to “pick up stranded people” who were “wandering in the cold.”
The rally took place at the Eppley Airfield and supporters were apparently initially brought in through the help of the Trump campaign. According to a Fox News reporter, many Trump supporters had arrived hours ahead of time for security reasons. But when it came time to get the attendees back to their cars (which were 3 miles away) the safety of their supporters became less of a priority.
The Trump campaign alleged that a traffic jam prevented buses for transporting attendees back to their cars, but that report is refuted by a local police officer who told a CNN reporter, that they “need at least 30 more buses” in order to smoothly get attendees back to their cars. It seems that lack of organization and foresight on the Trump campaign’s part is what kept his supporters from getting home safely.
It’s worth noting that this is not the first time that the Trump campaign has put the health and safety of their supporters at risk in the name of optics. The Trump campaign notoriously held an indoor rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma back in June that was attended by thousands of people. Masks were not a required, and neither was social distancing. It was at this rally that staunch Trump supporter Hermain Cain contracted COVID-19. He later passed away from complications related to the virus. It is unknown how many others were exposed to the virus at that event.
For some, the recent Omaha rally incident serves as a metaphor for how the Trump Administration treats millions of Americans who blindly support him while he fails to deliver on his false promises. Indeed, Trump has left his supporters “out in the cold” in other ways, like how he recently shelved the stimulus relief bill that would have helped millions of Americans who are on the brink of financial ruin due to COVID-19.
As Nebraska Democratic state senator Megan Hunt tweeted about the incident: “What people will do for this con man, what people have sacrificed, is so sad to me. He truly does not care about you.”