By Abhinanda Datta
The people who took to the streets on Friday, to protest against the president- elect’s inauguration, are hoping for and simultaneously dreading an impeachment – considering Vice President Mike Pence the lesser of the two evils.
“Donald Trump has definitely got to go. His comments on grabbing women should have disqualified him, but it didn’t,” said Tom Sherman, who is exasperated enough to declare that he is ashamed of being an American. “I am not a big fan of Pence, but at least with him I don’t worry about nuclear annihilation. Pence will not be blowing us to bits.”
In order to mark the day, people decided to refrain from their daily activities and gathered in front of the Daley Plaza to support this protest. Susana Stacha, a veterinary technician at the University of Illinois at Chicago, stood in solidarity with other activists.
“I did not go to work today and came here to support every one,” Stacha said. “I am not in favor of anything that he stands for and he will be terrible for a lot of people in this country. If he continues to behave this way, his impeachment will be inevitable.”
The youth who attended the rally are perturbed by the state of the nation and they arrived, hoping to have their voices heard.
“I don’t agree with almost all of his decisions as a president,” said Brenda Estrella, a senior at Benito Juarez Community Academy in Pilsen. “I am in high school and I am scared because going off to college is challenging enough and now it will be worse with Trump threatening the economy and my rights.
“I am hoping for his impeachment, but Pence has already said that he has made sure that the members of the LGBT community will be sent to conversion therapy. That makes me very worried.”
Barbara Evans, a member of Fox Valley Citizens for Peace and Justice, said Trump’s behavior has horrified people to such an extent that Pence’s conservatism seems mildly innocuous compared with it.
“Pence is very conservative, but at least he is not narcissistic and irrational,” Evans said. “He is the safer option but honestly, I am tired of voting for the lesser of the two evils every time.”
While some contemplated Pence’s probable presidency, some envisioned a bleaker future for the country and were certain that impeachment is unlikely.
Rebecca Wolfram said she thinks that impeachment is not a possibility in the near future.
“We will not have a better America under Pence, but impeachment will not happen any time soon and I honestly don’t think we can achieve anything through these protests,” Wolfram said. “I have never lived through such a difficult time.”
Arny Stieber, 70, from Veterans For Peace, calls America a playground of the rich. He has spent his life fighting for America, but he said he did not risk his life to protect a country that has Trump as its leader.
“The billionaires run the government and it is not a democracy anymore,” Stieber said. They don’t care about the regular people, so impeachment is not possible. This has to be an internal process and I don’t think there is enough support to make that happen.”