January 13, 2017

Congressman Raúl Grijalva speaks for many of us:

CONGRESSMAN GRIJALVA, D-AZ: I rise today to tell my constituents that I will not be attending the inauguration of Donald Trump as our next President. My absence is not motivated by disrespect for the office or motivated by disrespect for the government that we have in this great democracy. But as an individual act, yes, of defiance, at the disrespect shown to millions and millions of Americans by this incoming administration and by the actions we're taking in this Congress. the majority of voters who did reject Trump? They deserve respect. The 20 million plus Americans threatened by the repeal of the Affordable Care Act without a replacement? Deserve respect. The millions who did not vote because they blame both parties? Deserve respect. I will be at home in Arizona meeting with seniors, the immigrant community, folks that care about the environment and climate change, health care providers, and at a march in Tucson with folks who will demand respect. I will be talking about the need to defend and protect the future for all Americans. rather than participate in the inauguration, i will be participating in my district and reaffirming and renewing this democracy and the people in it. Thank you.

He's not the only Congressperson boycotting. Representatives Katherine Clark (D-MA) and Barbara Lee (D-CA) have also announced that they are boycotting Trump's inauguration. Rep. Clark said, "After discussions with hundreds of my constituents, I do not feel that I can contribute to the normalization of the president-elect's divisive rhetoric by participating in the inauguration."

And our friend and colleague Bill Scher has noted, in a very good New Republic article called "Don't Watch Donald Trump's Inauguration," that boycotting even television coverage of the event will have a highly desired impact: deny Trump the one thing he values most of all, ratings:

Of course, watching Trump is not the same as supporting Trump. Plenty of people hate-watch Trump like they would any other bad reality TV show. But Trump, like a small child who can’t distinguish between good attention and bad attention, will take your viewership, add it to his total, and brag about the size of his audience. Unless you are a journalist on the Trump beat, you have no obligation to puff up his numbers.

As you virtually turn your back on Trump, you need not unplug from democracy itself. He is still the president. Ignoring his words is the same as ceding the debate. By all means, read the transcripts. Scrub his words for falsehoods, flip-flops, and feints. Challenge him at every turn.

But Trump will not be satisfied with merely being read. This is a man uniquely obsessed with being seen, especially on television.

Finally, it looks like the Women's March on the day following the inaugural will be the largest Inauguration protest in the history of the United States.

Congratulations Donald, you're breaking records!

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