While much of Trump’s rise to the presidency is unique, it is difficult to argue that his inauguration will be anything quite out of the ordinary.
Journalists have already expressed great concern regarding the request of tanks for Trump’s inauguration – some “reporters” referred to it as a “North Korea-style parade” – without realizing that FDR, JFK, and Ike’s inaugurations involved tanks and the military as well.
It is an easy bet that critics of Trump will point to any extravagance or perceived “over the top” preparations they can find. Instead of accusing Trump of celeb-ratizing the inauguration while ignoring past President’s similar self-aggrandizement and party throwing, let us praise one of the most humble, simple, and professional inaugurations, that of Calvin Coolidge.
The only audience was his family and a Vermont Justice of the Peace, lit by kerosene lamps at 2:47 in the morning, just after the news of President Warren Harding’s death had reached them.
So yes, celebrities will attend or not (political statements are all the rage amongst people who play pretend for a living), bands will sing patriotic songs, some will protest, others will cheer (and perhaps give the protestors something to fear), and Trump’s inauguration will be nothing much new – untrue of his election campaign. Instead of angrily scoffing at Trump while ignoring the history of inaugural celebrations, let us harken back and hope for the days of Calvin Coolidge, when he made clear that the President is no king and should not be treated as such.