Trump Has Me Pre-Mad

A new feeling I’ve never before experienced.

Peter Ramirez

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Photo by Elio Santos on Unsplash

For the first time in my political life, I am pre-mad. Angry over something that will so predictably occur, and upset because I know how I will react.

On January 20th, 2021, President-elect Biden will become President Biden during his inauguration.

However, against a backdrop of a viral surge, it’s unclear how many people will be allowed to attend the service. Given Biden’s resistance to hold mass gatherings or political rallies prior to the election, I doubt there will be encouragement from the Biden administration to pack the D.C. streets.

Trump will likely not be at the Biden Inauguration. Doing so would tacitly acknowledge he lost. It would mean facing failure.

Then, Trump will tweet (or retweet) images of his inaugural crowd vs. Biden’s — and it will anger me.

Trump’s audience fetish is well-documented. Sean Spicer, the first White House Press Secretary, led off his first press briefing with the lie that Trump’s crowd size was the biggest in history. “This was the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration, both in person and around the globe,” he said.

But it wasn’t. Of course it wasn’t.

Given satellite imagery, photographs, mass transit data, and other factors, crowd scientists (yes, an actual job) estimate that Trump’s crowd size was between 300,000 and 600,000 people. Bill Clinton’s first inaugural got about 800,000, and Obama’s first inaugural received a record 1.8 million gatherers.

And then there’s the eye test.

Trump’s crowd (left) vs Obama’s crowd (right), via Reuters.

It gets even better — The Guardian reported that Trump personally intervened to get a government official to edit the pictures to “make the crowd appear bigger.”

They added,

The photographer cropped out empty space “where the crowd ended” for a new set of pictures requested by Trump on the first morning of his presidency, after he was angered by images showing his audience was smaller than Barack Obama’s in 2009.

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Peter Ramirez

political science researcher. former valedictorian. reader/writer. host of “Politics Mostly” podcast.