Feelings from Friday: A Changing America

Photo by Ann Li

This past weekend was not a quiet one in the lives of many Americans.

From our now-president Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday, to the women’s marches that occurred across the world on Saturday, it is evident that the status quo in our country is changing. Emotions are high. Citizens are taking action. Some rejoice in celebration, while others are raising their voices against our new leader.

The 2016 presidential election was certainly unprecedented, an event that will be written in history textbooks and discussed for years to come. And the controversy did not stop when Donald Trump won the presidency over rival candidate Hillary Clinton. If this weekend of uproar and outpouring of emotion is any indication of what is more to come during President Trump’s term, then America is in for a four-year roller coaster ride.

Valley is here to give a quick summary of what went down this weekend.

Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.

On January 20th in Washington D.C., the power of the presidency was transferred from former President Barack Obama to Donald J. Trump. In keeping with tradition, President Trump delivered an inauguration speech to the onlookers gathered in D.C.’s National Mall and the millions more watching from all over the nation.

In his speech, Trump said, “From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first, America first.”

He also made sure to incorporate the slogan he has made famous – the words now known and associated with him internationally.

“Together, we will make America strong again,” he said. “We will make America wealthy again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. And yes, together we will make America great again.”

The world reacted. Strongly.

People everywhere took to social media to express their thoughts and feelings regarding the inauguration. Obviously, these reactions were very mixed. Some felt hopeful, some felt angry, some were indifferent, and others were everywhere in between.

One Twitter user expressed his support for our new president, tweeting “Congratulations @POTUS Mr. Donald J. Trump. Bring hope and patriotism back to our great country. God Bless You and God Bless America!”

Another Twitter user stated simply, “Donald J. Trump is not my president and never will be.”

Penn State student Cory Steinle, a freshman English and Communication Arts and Sciences major, talked about his hopefulness for the future and faith in America.

“I do believe that it is important to be critical of our new president, as we are toward all presidents, but with a lesser extent of contempt and hate. Today, I am excited to have a new president, and wish him all luck in leading this great nation,” says Cory.

Freshman Economics major Ray Hoy expressed his belief that the American people will need to remain vocal and involved in the coming years.

“Painful as it may seem, what’s best for me and best for America is for [Trump] to succeed,” says Ray. “Together, as a populace, we can work to make sure Trump and America are on the right track.”

It is not surprising that feelings are mixed, and we can expect to encounter plenty of reactions to every move President Trump makes.

Over a million marched for women.

On Saturday, January 21st, over a million people gathered in protest in cities across the world to demonstrate their resistance to our new President and his policies concerning women. Citizens from Philadelphia to Miami to London to State College marched together wielding signs adorned with phrases like “Women’s Rights are Human Rights”, and “Keep your laws out of my drawers.”

The protestors were inspired to act in response to Trump’s campaign, which some claim to have been sexist, lewd and damaging to women, as well as minorities and immigrants.

And that’s not all. Things are just getting started with President Trump. In the coming weeks, we will witness policy decisions in terms of climate change, the Affordable Care Act, foreign intelligence and more. We will witness Senate hearings and Cabinet appointments, as well as the American people voicing opinions, lending support, crying out and signing petitions.

This was certainly a weekend of change. But we all know that the change will not be confined to just one weekend.