The 2017 inauguration ceremony is brought to you by … the middle finger.
Unable to compete with thundering voices over the mammoth speakers that relayed the oaths of office, the protestors resorted to symbolic contempt. Signs sagged but fists rose up, many accented by a flipped bird.
“Vice President Michael Richard Pence!”
Obscene hand gestures abounded.
“President Donald John Trump!”
Middle fingers waved, they waggled, they thrusted with rage. I thought back to a sign I had seen only moments earlier:
I have bad news, my friend. He is now.
Throughout President Trump’s inaugural address, digitus impudicus raged. But more interesting and considerably wittier were the signs:
“Welcome to Post-Truth America” We would learn just within the first few days of President Trump’s term just how true that was.
“Alt-Right? More like Alt-Reich” Because who doesn’t love a Nazi pun?
“Illegitimate Unfit Mentally Ill” What it lacks in subtlety it makes up in brevity.
“I Want a Dyke 4 Prez” Sure, and I want world peace and a billion dollars. I think we are both destined for disappointment.
“I want to live in an America where human rights are realized” See disappointment above.
“No White Supremacy in the White House” A reasonable request. But we knew this was coming back in November.
Speaking of Steve Bannon, how exactly is an avowed neo-Nazi white supremacist occupying the same political space as Trump’s very conservative yet still very Jewish son-in-law? I’m sure there exists a physics term to explain this. Someone please reanimate Albert Einstein’s brain and let me know what you find out.
Presidents usually take the opportunity to talk up America in their inaugural address but not Donald J. Trump. He spoke of “this American carnage” and how we had “fallen into disrepair and decay” while “the wealth, strength, and confidence of our country has dissipated over the horizon.” Seriously? I don’t know about the wealth, but the strength and confidence surrounded me:
“Build a wall around Trump and I’ll pay for it” Me too, me too!
“We Shall Overcomb” Bit of a cheap shot, but I’ll bet MLK Jr. would have laughed.
“Leak the Piss Tape” Toilet humor and a pun? Bonus points!
“Putin is grabbing the US by the President” Seriously, anyone who thinks liberals are humorless really should have spent the day hanging out with me.
And now for my favorite TRUMP acrostic of the day:
The ceremony would feature six religious leaders, more than any other inauguration in history. Compensating much, Mr. President? Seriously, if you wanted someone to read you that Good Book everyone keeps talking about, you could have done this on your own time.
My wife, who refused to come with me and no doubt thinks I’ve lost my marbles for wanting to come to the inauguration in the first place, saw the weather report and joked that it would rain because God was crying. So when Reverend Franklin Graham proclaimed that the rain was a sign that God had bestowed his blessing, we had ourselves a good ol’ theological conundrum.
While I believe in God, I’ve always considered God as the positive force in life expressed as love and the astounding beauty of nature. The more familiar concept of God as a Big White Guy sitting on a cloud picking football games based on which side prays more has always struck me as patently ridiculous. The concept of God choosing weather patterns to express an ambiguous opinion falls squarely into this category. But if the good Reverend wants us to be ridiculous, then let’s go ahead and be ridiculous. Had God cried or had He bestowed His blessing?
Let’s look at the facts. We had a light drizzle that began the moment Donald Trump opened his mouth and dissipated only moments later. That was way too brief for a cry (especially of this magnitude) and if this was a blessing, it was a paltry one. No, I think if we’re going to personify God, then there can only be one explanation for His behavior:
God spit on Donald Trump.
There you have it. Theological conundrum resolved. You’re welcome.
The ceremony ended with the singing of the national anthem. I admit to being concerned how my friends with the flippy middle fingers would react, but with one glaring exception, everyone displayed appropriate decorum.
Two men held signs against fascism with one hand and fingers raised in a peace sign with the other. About twenty of the protestors chose to kneel, some with raised fists but all with reverent silence. The rest of us stood, stony but dignified. No one offered any of the boos or catcalls that had punctuated Donald Trump’s speech.
So what was the glaring exception? The press.
Yes, I know. The last thing I want to do is pile on, especially now when we need a free and fair press more than ever. In fact, the very next day President Trump with his typical bombastic hyperbole called the press “among the most dishonest human beings on Earth” (while speaking to the CIA of all people).
But I call it as I see it, and what I saw was the press dashing around sticking cameras in people’s faces during the national anthem while I, for one, silently contemplated the fate of our nation.
Next post: Loser! Scenes from the Trump Inauguration
To read the series from the beginning, go to Blog posts
About me: I am a Maryland-based physician that writes under the pen name David Z Hirsch. Check out my YouTube channel for videos on common medical conditions
and my best-selling novel, Didn’t Get Frazzled, an entertaining and provocative story about life and love in medical school.