‘This is the coronation of the worst, darkest side of America, and I cannot watch’

Well here we are: Inauguration Day. Ninety-two percent of people who voted in Seattle did not vote for our soon-to-be President Donald Trump, so emotions are understandably high around the city today.  

You’ve been telling us how you’re feeling about the Inauguration-and-everything-after, and we just want to nod our heads to how strange and confounding all this is, no matter where you fall on the political spectrum. In your own words:

“He will be disrespectful of his predecessor, of the system, of our nation, and of our citizens who aren’t white, male and rich.  I will not watch this debacle.  This is the coronation of the worst, darkest side of America, and I cannot watch.” — Ian King

“Our country has endured less than ideal political situations in the past, and we will get through this as well. With enough popular push back we should be able to prevent the worst ideas … Nothing would make me happier than to admit that I was wrong in four years because he has proven to be a competent and fair individual in leading our nation. And maybe we can all learn something from this and use those lessons to reform our election and general political system.” Jeremy Barringer

“As a child I was always told it was necessary to respect the President of the United States. But how can I continue to do so if the man who will hold the office doesn’t have any respect or understanding of the enormity of his job or any sort of empathy for so many of our citizens? I’m not giving up on America. I’m going to make my voice heard to continue to argue for a better society.” — Dick Brody

“If you believe that what passes for democracy in America can address the issues, then the system is working, even if progressives are unhappy with the current result. If you believe that America has just tipped over into fascism by electing a racist, misogynist, dishonest, over-privileged bully (and a Congress that will amplify his will), then you may feel differently about the future.” — Stu Weibel

“I’m not excited about Trump but I also see that the system is broken. A lot of people who aren’t comfortable like myself are hurt. I think systematic change is how we run our country is needed.  I’m curious to see what will happen. My reaction is not in line with the apocalyptic tone I am seeing on the news and my Facebook feed.” Shemaiah Gonzalez

“My mind is swirling with the, ‘How the fuck did this happen’ cloud. I’ve tried a little of every coping mechanism I have; head in the sand, social media silence, social media outrage, quiet contemplation, tried to create in my mind the “reality” Trump supporters live in, talking with my more complex politically minded friends… nothing seems to be working. And then just last night I had a date with a guy from Venezuela who was talking about the death of Hugo Chavez … Listening to my friend’s stories of living without toilet paper, living a life on the run from authorities and the national guard because he was a leader in the protests for revolution, it was awe inspiring. And now, he’s been here in the states a couple years and is going through the application process for getting political asylum.” Richard Wood

“It’s easy to support public policy in the abstract… What’s harder is to actually show up and give support to some of those causes. To affect people’s lives one to one—not just through a $20 donation here and there. Physical presence matters because it’s literal skin in the game. And to be clear, it’s what I’ve so far failed at. It’s one thing, for instance, to say “Black Lives Matter.” It’s another to march in the streets with BLM organizers. To put your body on the line. Because that’s what’s at stake for so many people these next four years: Their bodies, their way of life, the little universes they occupy in their heads that are just as real and meaningful as yours and mine.” Paul Balcerak