After a turbulent election season and a rocky post-election period, America is celebrating the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States – a situation that many wouldn’t have predicted just a few short months ago. But despite several civil protests and well-publicized controversies surrounding his victory, his inauguration ceremony will still occur this Friday, in accordance with tradition. For such a disputed event, people of all ages and political leanings are expected to come together to watch the event. Some gatherings will be celebratory, others woeful. But how can we unite these two camps? Families, friend groups and communities that were divided so much over the past year must learn to converse again, and Inauguration Day get-togethers might be the perfect way to do it.
For this reason, it is important to prepare an event that can appeal to both sides of American politics – a watch party, if you will, that could poke fun at the man whose media sound bites dominated every major television network throughout his campaign without dissolving into the moral arguments that made 2016 so divisive in the first place. My point is that there’s a way to make a decidedly heavy affair just a little bit lighter, regardless of one’s political leanings.
First of all, just a few minutes of online shopping yields hundreds of thousands of options for Trump merchandise, including toys, games, apparel and even breath mints. His famous quotes, proclaimed policies and signature phrases have been printed on everything from shot glasses to onesies, and his face has been plastered on bobbleheads, socks and bottles of hot sauce. Stocking up on these ridiculous tchotchkes could be a fun bonding activity for Democrats and Republicans alike, as well as a potential stress reliever for those who are dreading the inauguration ceremony altogether.
Common sources of mockery may also inspire great party themes: Trump’s infamous hairstyle might encourage an afternoon of funky wig wearing, while his tan –somewhat reminiscent of a deep sunset color – might inspire an orange decoration scheme. Party games might include a matchup between Trump’s Tweets and the celebrity and/or news organization he was insulting, or a round of Bingo based on the catchphrases he repeats during his inaugural address.
Donald Trump kept us all talking throughout the entirety of his campaign, whether we voted for or against him. And while the United States has plenty of issues to resolve in the wake of such a contentious election, the inauguration ceremony will occur as it does every four years. So instead of making it yet another instance of polarity, why not have a little fun with it? Whoever you are, ardent Trump supporter or extremely vocal opponent, a little bit of humor can make your Inauguration Day just a little bit better.
Contact Georgina Grant at gagrant’at’stanford.edu.