January 23, 2017
With a hand on the Bible and an eye toward the future, Barack Obama's successor didn't wait until Monday to start building voters' trust. His new title was barely hours old when President Donald Trump got to work writing a new chapter for America. By lunch, he'd already signed an executive order targeting Obamacare -- with promises of more to come. "The time for empty talk is over," he vowed to the masses on the National Mall. "Now arrives the hour of action."
And he meant it. Before the city even began sweeping up the streets from Friday's parade, President Trump was beginning to clean up a mess himself: eight years of liberal lawlessness. Of course, not everyone was happy to see the wheels of change start turning. Angry activists on the Left streamed into the streets, setting cars on fire, and vandalizing everything in their path. At security checkpoints around the city, police arrived in riot gear, trying to hold back the wave of protestors. Reporters and Trump supporters watched, stunned, as demonstrators turned violent, throwing concrete at officers (some of whom had to be hospitalized). "After the swearing in, protesters arrived at the Franklin Square area and clashed with police. The protesters were throwing rocks, bricks... and taking newspaper boxes and barriers and putting them on the streets," the Washington Post wrote from the chaotic scene.
"Meanwhile, police appeared to be using a flurry of flash-bang grenades and chemical spray to hold the protesters back, pushing them block-by-block west along K Street, from 12th Street toward 14th Street. During the afternoon clash, the protesters started a fire in the middle of the street using garbage bins and newspaper boxes, and some climbed trees and light poles... They also threw fireworks and broke glass at bus stops, businesses, and the windows of a limousine." More than 200 people were arrested, dozens were left injured, and D.C. Interim Police Chief Peter Newsham told the press later that there'd been "significant damage to a number of blocks in our city."
But that was nothing compared to the damage done to the Left's reputation. In one of the more shocking displays of the day, one video captured an outraged crowd chasing the former governor of North Carolina, Pat McCrory, into an alley behind the U.S. Chamber of Commerce where Fox Business was broadcasting their coverage of the inaugural activities. Shouting "shame" and "bigot" (and other threats we can't repeat), the group pursued the conservative leader down the street until police arrived on the scene. And liberals accuse us of intolerance? They must be referring to 2008 and 2012 when conservatives were lighting garbage cans on fire and hospitalizing officers. Oh, you mean they didn't? If you're wondering about the difference between the two ideologies, this is it. As disappointed as we were when Barack Obama was elected (and more so when he was re-elected), Christians didn't march on Washington and destroy everything in their wake. They didn't hunt down a governor who was trying to protect the privacy of his state, screaming threats. If the Left is looking to eliminate hate and intolerance, they should first look in the mirror.
Fortunately, even the vitriol from the masses of angry Left couldn't detract from a night to remember across the city. At the Faith, Freedom & Future Ball, FRC had the privilege of hosting its first inaugural ball with friends from across the conservative movement. Together with almost 800 men and women of faith, we celebrated this new chapter for America and looked forward to being co-laborers in rebuilding the values that set our nation apart. From the toe-tapping sounds of the big band to the inspiring worship of some of Christian music's most famous faces, we ushered in the inauguration with gratitude and hope for the restoration that lies ahead. We laughed with comedian Chonda Pierce, praised God with husband and wife teams Kari Jobe and Cody Carnes and Amanda and Aaron Crabb, and clapped along with Guy Penrod.
It was a night to remember-- not because of the incredible food or entertainment, but because of what it represents for our nation: a new day and opportunity for the church. As the Psalmist wrote, "The plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord." To watch the festivities, follow this Facebook link. For more on the inauguration -- including the record number of prayers and religious influences -- along with my politically incorrect take on the rioting, don't miss my interview with Fox News's Neil Cavuto.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.