The presidential inauguration weekend is almost here! The city is undergoing somewhat of a transformation, with miles upon miles of fencing, public toilets and other safety equipment being set up on almost every street. Every news station is blaring news about Trump and his twitter account, and about the endless list of people who oppose him. It really goes to show just how big a part politics and the state plays here in DC. The Department of Homeland Security is estimating that almost 900,000 people will attend the inauguration on Friday (no doubt a significant number of them will be there for the many protests!).
I recently attended a discussion panel at the Cato Institute which focused on what foreign policy will look like under the Trump administration. Almost all the panelists agreed that it was too soon to really say what will happen, though some were optimistic and others worried. Personally, I am hopeful of a warming relationship between the US and Russia. That seems to be where things are going, though it would also seem that Trump is adamant to start another trade war of sorts with China. Why must the US leader always been seen to ‘take on’ one super power or another? We need more trade and diplomacy, and fewer currency wars and sanctions. It will be interesting to see what happens.
Today was a particularly eventful day; I spent a few hours trying to get as close as possible to the “Make America Great Again Celebration” held at the Lincoln Memorial, which featured lots of American bands (mainly country!) and of course the President-elect. It was fascinating to see the masses of people descending on such a famous spot, most of them wearing MAGA hats and Republican paraphernalia. Standing in the middle of a crowd of people chanting “USA – USA – USA!” was quite the experience. I can’t imagine ever participating in the glorification of a single person in that manner… Apart from maybe Ron Paul, but I’m a few years too late for that!
Afterwards, I attended a Students for Liberty event at their 17th St offices. We welcomed our new CEO, Wolf von Laer, who reminded us to stick to our libertarian principles and to not focus too much on whatever individual is in charge. I also caught up with the newly arrived Sofie O’Mara and Celeste Arenas from the Australian Taxpayer’s Alliance. We are quite the Aussie crowd here… Go Australia!