The conversation goes something like this:
“You’re going to the inauguration? But you didn’t vote for Trump.”
“You don’t even like Trump.”
“There’s almost nothing he stands for that you stand for.”
“Would you please stop saying that and actually tell me why you are going to his inauguration? I sure as h*ll wouldn’t.”
“The inauguration of a president is a celebration of his moment. And, yes, someday, there will be a her moment. But it’s also a celebration of our democracy. Sure, that sounds a little but Pollyannish, but the key word is ‘our’ democracy.
“Trump is not a ‘your’ president. He is an ‘our’ president, no matter what we think of him and no matter who we voted for last year. As Americans, it is our responsibility to hold the president accountable; and although you and I know that I won’t get close enough to say anything to him, it’s important that I — as an American citizen — am there. By being there, I’m acknowledging my engagement with the political process and my intention to keep an eye on what the new president will be doing.
“You’re right, there is not much that he and I agree upon. But if supporting our democracy is only appropriate when I’m celebrating the successes of my candidates, then I’ve reduced politics to mere sports: root for my team and hate the opposition.
“I refuse to do that, though many people I know on the left and the right won’t. For them, partisanship is everything.
“Everyone at the inauguration will be lumped into one of three categories. There will be a ‘love Trump’ group that will be well represented. They will relish almost everything that happens at the inauguration, except for the rain that’s expected to fall. They cannot wait to see him take the oath and replace President Obama.
“There will be a ‘hate Trump’ group that will use the inauguration as a public platform to indicate they see him as a threat to all sorts of American values.
“And then there will be the smallest group; that’s the one I’ll be in. Whether we voted for Trump is irrelevant, though I expect that an overwhelming majority of us did not. We are letting him know that any efforts to erode civil liberties will be noted and challenged.
“So, does that tell you why I’m going?”
“Okay, but what if it rains. It’s supposed to you know?”
“Then I’ll watch it on television. I’m not getting wet for this guy.”
“Now, there’s the sarcastic Anthony that I know.”
“Rock on, my friend. Rock on.”