Washington might be all decked up and the Obamas ready with a cup of steaming hot coffee to welcome the Trumps at White House but America remains a nation bitterly divided as Donald J Trump gets ready to take the oath of office on Friday to become the 45th US President.
Following the heat and dust of elections, the transition period is traditionally marked by a conciliatory approach as the President-elect seeks to build bridges and heal wounds before assuming office. The victor adopts a presidential tone and the rhetoric and vitriol give way to graceful acceptance of reality.
But this isn't an ordinary election and Trump isn't your regular POTUS. In keeping with the flouting of every norm during the course of this extraordinary election season, Trump's detractors haven't been even remotely conciliatory and similarly, as New York Times put it so succinctly quoting Republican Senator John McCain, Trump has also shown a strange obsession to tilt at every windmill that he can find.
The net result is that the template of transition that has so far survived the many occupants of office has been given a rather loud burial. A corrosive war has ensued between the President-elect and the media. In an extraordinary turn of event, the US press corps has issued an open letter to Trump warning him that the media will set the rules and he won't have it easy during his time at the office.
This flavor of conflict carried on right till the moment of inauguration with reports emerging on Friday of fresh clashes between pro and anti-Trump supporters in Washington DC. As several Trump backers trooped into Capitol Hill for the ceremony, anti-Trump activists attempted to block them from reaching central Washington by forming a human chain and were tackled by riot-helmet clad police, according to news agency Reuters.
But that's not all. Another stunning show of protest is brewing in the horizon. As Los Angeles Times reports, hundreds of thousands of women plan to reach Washington on Saturday in a novel march to protest against Trump's ascension and "thousands more will participate in more than 600 sister marches in every state across the U.S. and more than 50 countries around the world, including Mexico and Canada."
These protest come amid reports that Trump could be the least popular President in four decades to be sworn in. According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll, just 40 percent say they have a favorable impression of Trump, 54 percent view him unfavorably and 41 percent strongly dislike him. In contrast, outgoing President Obama's favorable rating stands at 61 percent.
Trump has dismissed these findings as "rigged" in his usual style. Fact remains though that whether or not these polls are closer to the reality, Trump is a legally, democratically elected President and he has the mandate to make "America Great Again." He hasn't been too forthcoming about his plans on how he intends to do so. Concerns remain over the fact that even at this eleventh hour, his team is still not in place and he had to fall back on Obama staff members to fill in administrative vacancies.
Americans and even the global geopolitical order will be fervently hoping that Trump proves competent enough for the job. The world isn't ready for an imploding America.
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Updated Date: Jan 20, 2017 21:42:39 IST