Fifty five Democrats in Congress chose to boycott Trump’s inauguration on Friday December 20. This came after released information that the election was influenced by the United States’ greatest threat, Russia. Congressman John Lewis of Georgia told NBC News “You cannot be at home with something that you feel is wrong,” and subsequently announced that he will be boycotting Trump’s inauguration. Many other congressmen followed Lewis’ lead. Before holding his position in Congress, John Lewis was one of the youngest Civil Rights leaders and was a mentee to Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. As a veteran civil rights activist and long-term representative, his opinion holds significant weight. Lewis also stated that Trump is not a ”legitimate president” on NBC News. In response, Trump tweeted that Lewis is “all talk” and “no action,” which many pointed out to be false considering Lewis’ long career as a prominent activist in the Civil Rights movement.
There has never been a requirement for congressmen to attend the presidential inauguration, but a widespread boycott is new. Trump’s divisive rhetoric has shaken many to their core and with the information about Russia’s involvement in the election, Representative Lewis’ position was valid in the eyes of many. Even though Lewis did not ask for people to follow his lead, many others continued the boycott due to Lewis’ long-standing reputation in the Democratic Party. Although the boycott has done nothing legislature it has shown that Trump will have opposition in the congress.