The times, they are a-changing. Selena Zito:
There will be no Beyoncé wiggling on stage. Bruce Springsteen, Ariana Grande, John Legend and Elton John aren’t going to be there either. In fact, pretty much every A-lister from the Hollywood and entertainment world has decided to skip Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday. And whether or not Trump himself is wrestling with that public rejection, the people who voted for him are not.
The “blue-collar billionaire” will have a day that’s more befitting the working-class base that put him in the White House: one without fanfare or celebrities or fancy couture (although his wife, Melania, will most certainly be dressed to the nines). Call it the People’s Inauguration, one that celebrates the ordinary American, and that suits his fans just fine.
“They could have zero entertainment at the inauguration, and I really don’t think for one minute that it would matter,” said Leslie Rossi, of Youngstown, Pa., a state that shocked the nation when it switched from blue to red on Election Day.
“You know what they say about inaugural balls? You dance with the one who brought you there,” said Patterson, who is attending the swearing-in ceremony with several friends. “Donald Trump is dancing and celebrating with the people who put him in the White House. Let Hollywood stay home or take a knee this time around. We will be fine.”
Trump’s events will be smaller than Barack Obama’s — and will lift up the little guy, said Boris Epshteyn, director of communications for the Presidential Inaugural Committee. Our next president will have just three official inaugural balls, down from the 10 separate balls for Obama’s 2009 inauguration. “He will also continue the official Commander-in-Chief Inaugural Ball — a tradition started by George W. Bush, but he will expand that ball to include first responders like firefighters and police officers as well as veterans, military families and wounded warriors.”
The traditional parade — including high school marching bands, 4-H drill teams and the Boy Scouts — from the US Capitol to the White House is also being cut back. It has been shortened from two-and-a-half hours for Obama’s last swearing-in to just one hour for Trump. Tom Barrack, chairman of Trump’s inaugural committee, said “one of the biggest complaints people have about the inauguration is that the parade is too long and everyone is cold. The parade route is 1½ miles, it can be freezing cold and [the crowd] has been waiting since 6 a.m.”
Barrack added that the parade will celebrate the armed forces: “There is going to be more military presence. There’s going to be more participation. There’s going to be an aircraft for the first time in a long time. You’re going to have a better parade in a shorter period of time.”
Barrack adds that Trump isn’t that interested in receiving adulation, but would rather focus on getting things done. “It’s mostly about America getting back to work. At the end of the day, that’s his message. It’s not about the coronation event for him. He’s saying, ‘I told you what I was going to do, let me get back and do it and judge me in the next 100 days or 200 days or 300 days.’ That’s what it’s about. It’s not about how good of a party he can throw.”
Donald Trump may not be the President America wanted, but he’s the President we need.