“New is good” at the inaugural parade

Initial skepticism did not prevent Dante Bucci from attending festivities

As he headed downtown to the inauguration festivities early this morning, AU junior Dante Bucci was a bit skeptical about the incoming president, Donald Trump. However, as the day progressed, Bucci’s thoughts about the president shifted from skepticism to optimism.

Although he voted for him in the general election on Nov. 8, Bucci explained that he originally wasn’t a Trump supporter and didn’t expect him to win. He said he was pleasantly surprised by Trump’s win, but still didn’t know how to feel about the new Commander-in-Chief. Bucci hopes that as a Republican president, Trump will be able to work well with the Republican majority in Congress.

“I feel that he is more likely to consider platforms that I care about,” Bucci said.

After getting off the metro at 9:45 a.m., Bucci strolled through downtown D.C. as it bustled with Trump supporters adorned with every piece of his merchandise. On the other side of the political spectrum, protesters held signs with phrases such as, “Not My President” or “America Weeps.”

As he approached McPherson Square, Bucci could hear the chants of a group of protesters crying out, “In the name of humanity we refuse a fascist America!” Bucci questioned the legitimacy of the protesters’ claims and the purpose of their protest in general.

“Americans are tired of a protest mindset,” he said. “Trump’s campaign made people think back to the old way of doing things and it resonated.”

After passing by another group of protesters that played upbeat dance music and wore rainbow flags for the LGBT community, Bucci entered the line for general admission to the inauguration parade outside the Warner Theatre. During his 45-minute wait in line, he looked back on the memory of watching Barack Obama’s inauguration back in middle school in New Jersey. He also remembered his first memories of Donald Trump on television.

“When I was a kid, Donald Trump was just known as that guy from The Celebrity Apprentice,” he recalled. “He’s just proof that anyone could be president.”

Bucci watched the parade at 12th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue just across the street from the Trump International Hotel. Down the block, a third group of liberal protesters argued and chanted at conservative Trump supporters, holding signs saying, “Proud Swamp Creature” and “Did my dad kill JFK too?”

“It’s sad to think this is what they think my party stands for,” Bucci said about the protesters. “We are reduced to words. Wall. Swamp.”

As the sound of Trump’s speech echoed through the streets via loudspeaker, Bucci smiled at the thought of the new president.

“New is good,” he said. “New is different.”

Two and a half hours later, after waiting under a cold, dark and rainy sky, Donald Trump walked down Pennsylvania Avenue, waving to the crowd Bucci was standing in. Bucci was in awe that the new President was so close to him. As he left the crowd, Dante Bucci expressed a newfound excitement for the new president.

“It is a great day to be in America,” he said.


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