Aretha Franklin Dies

Why I Didn't Watch: An Inauguration Op-Ed by Michael Ian Black

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
President-elect Donald Trump and Melania Trump walk out together after attending church service at St. John's Episcopal Church across from the White House in Washington, DC on Jan. 20, 2017.

Today, January 20, Donald J. Trump -- alleged billionaire and proven con-man -- took the oath of office to become the 45th President of the United States. Like millions of Americans, I did not watch. In fact, as I write these words on Wednesday, January 18, the Inauguration has not yet taken place. But I don’t need to have seen it to know what I missed. It was no doubt the biggest and best Inauguration the world has ever known; after all, even Julius Caesar could not entice 3 Doors Down to perform at his coronation. Perhaps there were fireworks. Perhaps a phalanx of F-35s roaring overhead before they receive their cancelation orders.  Maybe the President himself will emerge from his armor-plated limousine for a bloated stroll down Pennsylvania Avenue.

He will wave to the throngs, that strange, self-satisfied Trumpian grimace that passes for what humans call “smiling.” He will be no doubt accompanied by the love of his life, Ivanka. And, perhaps, the First Lady will trail behind, scooping up whatever droppings they leave behind.  After taking the oath, I am sure he will stand before the assembled crowd, without question the biggest ever assembled, and delivered the best speech ever given. The only question yet unanswered is which Americans he will insult. Perhaps Muslims, or immigrants. Maybe Meryl Streep.

It will be a hell of a thing to watch this gilded ping-pong ball of a man take the same oath as Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelts I and II, Kennedy, Reagan and Obama. It will be a hell of a thing, indeed. But I will not be watching.

Instead, I will be riding the Amtrak Acela (coach) with my wife and children to attend the Women’s March in Washington DC. If my math is correct, women constitute about half of the American population, and we will be marching for them. We will march, hundreds of thousands of us, for their dignity in the face of somebody who bragged about groping their pussies. We will march for a man whose judgment of women is based solely on what they look like; “It must be a pretty picture, you dropping to your knees,” he once told a female contestant on his television show.

We march for the many who have accused him of sexual harassment, or worse. We march to stand up for the rights of women to make their own choices about their own healthcare, rights he has vowed to use his office to repeal. We march for our mothers and daughters and sisters and neighbors. As men, we march in solidarity with them. As humans, we march for us all.

The Presidency of Donald J. Trump will be a hell of a thing. I will not be watching his Inauguration, but I will be watching every move he makes.

President Donald Trump Inauguration