WASHINGTON — The results of the 2016 presidential election sent much of the media and political punditry into a shocked frenzy. It sent Nick Davis, however, on the search for flights to the nation’s capital.
“I knew before he was even elected that I was going to go to (Trump’s) inauguration,” said Davis, a third-year in natural resources management and president of Ohio State’s chapter of Students for Trump.
Davis was just one of the OSU students who traveled to Washington this weekend, some for the inauguration of President Donald Trump and others for the Women’s March on Washington meant to signal opposition toward the president, and scheduled for Saturday.
Though the inauguration ceremony itself went smoothly, Thursday and Friday were peppered with protests — some of which turned violent and led to arrests — planned against Trump, who entered office holding an approval rating around 40 percent, according to polls.
Davis acknowledged the protesters’ constitutional rights, though condemned the instances where there was violence. For him, however, there was nothing to protest.
“I feel pretty great right now,” Davis said Friday afternoon. “It’s kind of amazing to see this after the last six months of hard work that I put my blood, sweat and tears into.”
Though Trump’s inauguration drew a smaller audience than former President Barack Obama’s ceremonies, it was still met with lines at some security checkpoints reaching a three-hour wait.
Trump’s speech, delivered from the Capitol, touched on his campaign’s message of nationalism and bringing an outsider to Washington.
“The establishment protected itself but not the citizens of our country,” Trump said. “Their victories have not been your victories. Their triumphs have not been your triumphs. And while they celebrated in our nation’s capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.”
Trump also echoed his campaign slogan of “Make America Great Again.”
“We will bring back our jobs,” he said. “We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth, and we will bring back our dreams.”
Davis said he appreciated Trump bringing up his theme of “America First,” in front of the very establishment he campaigned against.
“It’s nice that he could say that in front of the other politicians,” Davis said.
Mikayla Bodey, a fourth-year in public affairs, attended the inauguration as well, though with less fanfare than Davis.
“I committed to come to the program long before we knew the results of the election,” said Bodey, who is in Washington this weekend volunteering to lead a group of high-school students with 4H. “I thought it was going to be Clinton, but it wasn’t, but this is an educational opportunity. This gives them a chance to see the capital city in a unique light, and in the spirit of the peaceful transition of power.”
Though Davis said he wouldn’t be at the Women’s March on Saturday, Bodey said she planned on it.
“I’m excited for the sheer size of the march. I think it’s a true testament that we have lost progress, we haven’t lost the Democratic website,” she said. “We’re still here.”