A dance squad from Texas State University, a marching band at a historically black college, and New York City’s Radio City Musical Hall Rockettes have all been embroiled in controversies about whether they should perform during Republican Donald Trump’s inaugural because of the divisive, smash-mouth nature of his campaign against Democrat Hillary Clinton.
But inaugurals are about more than the person taking the Oath of Office. They symbolize that the United States can peacefully hand off power from one administration to another without the government collapsing.
That was affirmed today as former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, announced that they will attend the inauguration on January 20. “They are pleased to be able to witness the peaceful transfer of power—a hallmark of American democracy—and swearing-in of President Trump and Vice President Pence.”
A short time later, Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton also announced they will attend the event at the Capitol. Former President Jimmy Carter had previously announced he would attend. Former President George H.W. Bush declined for health reasons.
None of these people are Trump fans. The Bushes announced last fall that they would skip voting in the presidential contest. Carter last summer denounced Trump as someone who “seems to reject the most important moral and ethical principles on which our nation was founded.” As for the Clintons, some bitter pills just have to be swallowed “out of a sense of duty and respect for the American democratic process.”