The Current

Trump supporters flock to Washington to watch historic inauguration

The day is finally here. Donald John Trump will become the president of the United States of America. On the day of his inauguration, who will be in attendance? Perhaps more importantly — who will be missing?
Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017, president-elect Donald Trump, and his wife Melania Trump arrive at the "Make America Great Again Welcome Concert" at the Lincoln Memorial, in Washington. (Evan Vucci/Associated Press)

Read story transcript

The day is finally here. Donald John Trump will become the president of the United States of America — and he'll do so with the lowest approval ratings of any new president in at least 40 years.   

But Trump has been greeted by a sea of supporters at the National Mall in Washington for his inauguration ceremonies.

The CBC's David Common, who went to the Mall, says it's estimated 800,000 people will be in attendance, even though high security prevented any motor travel.

"It's a total clamp down," says Common.

But clouds loom over this day of supposed celebration, with skeptics in attendance as well.

"People here are excited to see the spectacle of it all — but what they are not is unified," Common adds.

Lots of people with those red 'Make America Great Again' hats, but just as many stuffing home-made signs 'Not My President' in their backpacks … as a result we might see a bit of confrontation.- David Common

But there are some in the crowd who were critical of Trump's campaign, and yet are willing to give him a chance.

Steve Franco, an American who says Trump was not his first choice for president "by far," nonetheless went to the Mall as well to witness his first inauguration.

"It's a pivotal time in the country," Franco explains. 

Barack Obama's first inauguration was one of the most popular in history, drawing an estimated 1.8 million people. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

However Carol Anderson, a professor of African American Studies at Emory University and author of White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide, is one of the many who will not be supporting the transition celebrations.

"I think we are heading in on really dark dark days," says Anderson. "Trump's rise to power has so weakened the institutions of American democracy."

When asked what she would be doing instead, Anderson added, "teaching my civil rights movement class."

Listen to the full conversation at the top of this post. 

This segment was produced by The Current's Pacinthe Mattar and Anna Maria Tremonti.