With just a day left until the presidential inauguration, President-elect Donald Trump has an approval of just 40% which is the lowest of any recent President and less than half of what then President-elect Barack Obama had going into his first inauguration back in 2009, as CNN reports.
Trump is not only struggling with his approval rating but also with his inauguration which likely will end up lacking the huge political presence and star power past inaugurations have had. In addition to the many celebrities and musicians who have chosen to not attend the inauguration, more than 60 Democratic politicians have recently announced that they will opt out of attending Trump's inauguration. This is partially due to his attempts to dismiss and downplay civil rights icon and congressman John Lewis.
Politicians and celebrities alike will instead be using their influence in a number of different ways in order to protest Trump and his presidency. Some protests are extremely up front with their anti-Trump directions (the #NotMyPresident protest will take place at the US Capital building and the Resist Trump protest will take place in Philadelphia) while others like the 2017 Peace Ball and the Women's March are more subtle and choose not to acknowledge Trump but instead the issues at hand and ensuring that we remember we have voices that can and should be heard.
The Peace Ball: Voices of Hope and Resistance, a nonpartisan event presented by Busboys and Poets, will take place the night of inauguration at the National Museum of African-American History & Culture. The event, as explained on its website, will be a "gathering to celebrate the accomplishments and successes of the past 4 years and the vow to continue to be the change we want to see in the world." Some of their hosts and special guests for the night include civil rights activist Angela Davis, author of "The Color Purple" Alice Walker, and former NAACP President Benjamin Jealous as well as musicians Solange, Danny Glover, and Esperanza Spalding.
The Women's March will take place the morning after the inauguration in Washington D.C. as well as in a number of cities across the country. Organizers believe the marches will "send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world, that women's rights are human rights."
The march will take the US capital by storm with over 250,000 people saying they will attend the event on Facebook while their website estimates that 1.3 million people in total will join them across the world through their 600+ sister marches. Celebrities who will take part in the Women's March include Cher, Janelle Monáe, Katy Perry, Leslie Jones, Lupita Nyong'o, and Zendaya.
The Peace Ball and the Women's March both have my respect for their decisions to focus on the issues at hand which stresses the importance of resilience, but I also greatly respect the protest events that take an unapologetically aggressive route in holding our government and its officials accountable for their actions and reminding them that we have voices that will never truly be silenced.
Both approaches are needed, especially the latter considering that beginning tomorrow we will have a President that chooses to use Twitter as a way to tear down and belittle his opponents and critics.
While the inauguration ceremony of Donald Trump may end up being the most uneventful ever, the protests surrounding it may ultimately put it into the history books as an example of how opposition to a President continued to grow and make itself known months after the election.