Trump supporters elated at D.C. inauguration: ‘Truth Looks Like Hate’

The weather had held off for most of Friday morning, save a light sprinkling here or there, but in a show of pathetic fallacy so on the nose I almost hesitate to mention it, it started raining where I stood along the parade route in Washington, D.C., literally seconds after Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. It was as close as I could get to the National Mall to view the Swearing In Ceremony, not because of a mass of people restricting movement, but because security had shut off most of the direct routes into the general admission area. On the way there, anyone entering the cordoned off security zone had to pass through a number of protesters, who from my assessment easily equaled the number of supporters of President Trump present.

Most supporters, however, didn’t seem too bothered by either the protesters or the rain. They were there to see their man. Their man who won. Boos circulated around the crowd as President Obama was introduced during the ceremony, and a member of Bikers for Trump to my left said “Is that Schumer?” when the Senate Minority Leader took the stage, muttering, “That windbag loser is going to ruin the whole thing.” But then Trump was sworn in, and he spoke his supporters’ language. By far the biggest cheers in the speech were for the lines about “getting people off of welfare and back to work,” and the mention of those three words whose utterance will supposedly result in victory over ISIS, “radical Islamic terrorism.”

When Trump finished speaking, a man leaned over to a woman standing next to him and beamed, “It’s over, it’s over. You don’t have to worry anymore. It’s over.” At first I thought he was making a joke about the speech. Of course, he was talking about Obama.

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Side by side citizens of a wholly different ideology stood feeling as though they had been forgotten and left behind, with one side rejoicing that their days of abandonment were done. Two men holding a Trump/Pence sign initially joked that they didn’t want to speak (“We’re Trump supporters, we hate the press!”) but then shared their elation at the new day dawning.

The man on the left spoke about “precious snowflakes” before I could start recording, referring to the J20 protesters he and every other person entering the Inaugural zone had to walk through. The idea that anyone upset by Trump’s presidency had no real reason to complain was shared by many of the president’s supporters. “My grandparents lived under Stalin, don’t talk to me about oppression,” said one woman, seemingly unappreciative of the irony considering the current news cycle.

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A group of men standing with Planned Parenthood protesters all wore T-shirts that read “Jesus is the Judge” and “Truth Looks Like Hate” on them. I learned later they were with “Coach Dave Live,” a weekly evangelist podcast and ministry. They’re anti anti-bullying because it is a form of reverse discrimination, one member told me.

“People are being lied to or are lying to themselves,” he said. “The real bullies are in the homosexual agenda, the abortionists. But everyone is too afraid to call things what they are. Sin is real. I don’t use foul language. I don’t call people mean things. But I’m told I’m hateful just for telling the truth? Too many people today are blind to what’s real.”

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Another man carried a sign with his wife that thanked the incoming president for “saving America.” He said Trump would save the country by trimming the budget, controlling immigration and “undoing all of Obama’s harm.” Asked what harm he was speaking of, the man said “he released 2,000 prisoners, especially Manning, who should’ve been hanged.”

“We shouldn’t have to pay for his sex change,” the man said. “People died because of him.”

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As I left, a man passing by the News Museum remarked on a welcome sign for Trump on the side of the building. “That’s more like it,” he said, before gesturing to a CNN tent. “Not like ‘fake news’ up there.”

“They’re failing,” another man said. “Did you see they lied about Frank Sinatra’s song? Nancy called them on it.”

“They’re done,” the first man said.

I couldn’t help think of the man who was beaming at the end of President Trump’s Inaugural Address. The sense of relief he felt was reflected with nearly every Trump supporter I witnessed. They seemed light. Rapturous. As though they had been long burdened but would be no longer. It was terrifying.

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