An Israeli-American celebrates the Trump inauguration

Political consultant Ruth Lieberman of Alon Shvut flew from Israel to Washington to watch the 45th president of the US be sworn in.

January 22, 2017 07:41
2 minute read.

The author at the inauguration. . (photo credit: RUTH J. LIEBERMAN)


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Four whirlwind days in DC can go by in a blur, but this auspicious occasion is one to record and remember for posterity. It almost doesn’t matter what your political opinions are - America is celebrating democracy, as only this country knows how, with pomp and circumstance and a darn good show.

Ball gowns hanging back up in the closet, we donned our warmest gear and made our way downtown, ready to hike from whatever barrier prevented the cab or subway from getting any closer. Armed with red ‘Make America Great Again’ baseball caps, we blended into a colorful crowd. Pouring out of the Metro together, the camaraderie of the day had us smiling at strangers and cracking jokes as we were herded through barriers and around the masses.

The prediction of rain didn’t seem to keep the crowds away, the Mall filled up impressively and the marching band played for hours as the lucky ticketed invitees stood patiently in security lines for a good long time. Lines of people snaked around the buildings - my Israeli eye could only imagine how our disorderly crowds would stand there. People wearing stars and stripes on their heads, bodies, waving the flag, everyone seemed to be friends today. Abraham Lincoln even volunteered at the Metro to show people the way! Gotta love this country.

Our seats were fabulous. Okay, so we weren’t up on the dais with our congressional friends. But, we enjoyed the view from quite up close - thanks to our wonderful friend, Congressman Dennis Ross (R-FL). I admit that the woman two rows up pumping her fists scared me with her fervor, but mostly the crowd was classy and impressive. Maybe the media has played a role in hyping our new president as anything but elegant - but they may have missed the new First Family’s dramatic entrance to overwhelming cheers of support.

Protesters? I didn’t see them until the end, when we happened upon their alternate-parade, full of weird costumes, death knolls and scary signs telling of doom. I’d rather be at the other end of town, to be honest.
President Donald Trump's inaugural address

Yes, people are worried President Trump (get used to that) will disappoint. Even with good intentions, the road is tough. And yes, America is swayed by its media and promises, but isn’t that what Obama did in ‘08 with his promise of ‘Change’? So, I’m willing to take it - the pomp, the celebration and balls, and hope that the good vibes will become actionable items that help the US, and Israel for that matter. But we’ll leave the politics for next time.

One notable presence on every street corner was, of course, the reported 28,000 servicemen keeping the peace. Security was the top priority and it took us awhile to figure out that the huge trucks blocking the roads leading to the parade were there to stop any terrorists. Well, at least Israel shares that with America, and the new President made sure to say ‘radical Islamic terror’ in his inaugural speech. That must be telling of some new winds blowing through.

So, it’s off to the ball for us. I'll have to let you know if the clock strikes at midnight or I remain a princess. Thanks to my wonderful husband who schlepped along on this adventure and just donned his tuxedo handsomely - may we enjoy many more.

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