Trump had won, and my feared doomsday scenarios had not come to pass. However, there immediately arose the self-styled “Resistance,” as well as government insiders (soon to be termed the “Deep State”), who were intent on thwarting Trump at every turn or even driving him from office. Still, with the election over, I breathed a sigh of relief.
The next major hurdle was the inauguration. I was particularly concerned someone would try to assassinate Trump during the inauguration, such as while he was giving his inaugural speech at the Capitol. I was asked by the president of the student association at GW that I was serving on to be one of a handful of students who would attend an inaugural event put on by Politico, as a representatives of our school. I accepted, but was a little concerned about being in D.C. if chaos unfolded.
The event was held at the rooftop level of the W hotel next to the White House. I saw protestors on the other side of the W at the fences blocking off the inaugural parate route. They had locked arms so that people couldn’t pass through the fence to attend the parade. One held a sign that said, in Russian, “Not my president,” a reference to the newly-minted liberal scapegoat theory that Russian hacking had won Trump the election.
Later when I got home and posted the photos, a friend saw the human barrier and amusingly commented, “So they do like walls.”
When I finally got in and got to the coat check, I had planned ahead of time that I would have to be separated from my coat during the event (a nice black Calvin Klein pea coat I got at Men’s Wearhouse for $80, a good deal), and I had a few survival items I wanted on my person at all times. So, I stuffed them into my suit jacket pockets. I surrendered my coat and headed to the elevator in the gilded hotel lobby. I head a medical face mask on me in the event of tear gas (to dispel a riot) or, God forbid, a chemical or biological attack, either from disgruntled leftists or from Islamic terrorists. I had a snack on me also, cash, earplugs in case of loud rioting, and one or two other things. I knew I would not be able to take much.
I got upstairs to the top level of the building, where I met my handful of fellow students. We commenced mingling. The president of my org asked me to do some social media posting for our Twitter and Insta accounts, so I did, which was great for me because I’m an introvert and was totally sick of the networking scene of DC, which basically consists of 2+ people yelling past each other over the noise while sipping drinks that aren’t that good. I had already decided by this time that I was only taking one more class at GW, and that I never wanted to live in or work in D.C. I did join a few conversations though, in between the televised inaugural events. One of my friends and fellow students, we’ll call him Alex, found a student who was in one of his other classes (Alex and I had been in several classes together) and together we laughed about various crazy moments from the entire 2016 primary and general cycles. I respected Alex because although he was a liberal, I could at least talk politics with him without getting scolded for voting for Trump. People like that are all too rare in D.C. Perhaps it’s because he was not from the area, and his family, to my knowledge, was not part of the Swamp. He had been a lawyer out in SoCal and decided to make a career change into politics, and came to GW.
I was very pleased to see Rev. Franklin Graham give an opening prayer before Trump’s speech. I drank that in, and I thought about the DC elite and future elite around me who probably had no concept of what I was feeling while watching Rev. Graham’s prayer and statements. I caught myself thinking, “That’s right, Swamp Creatures, for 364 days this year you can forget all about flyover Americans, but today you are forced to look at us and acknowledge our existence!”
Trump gave his speech, and thankfully no shenanigans occurred. When it was over, he and Melania walked Barack and Michelle Obama to the South Lawn and the latter boarded Marine One, which took them to Andrews AFB across the Potomac. Anticipating their flight path, I hurried to a window and managed to capture a photo of their helicopter flying past! Let me tell you, it was a very welcome sight. Bye bye Barry. I texted the photo to my dad and gave him permission to post it to Facebook with an accompanying witticism. He said he would let one of his friends do the honors—this friend basically epitomized the conservative middle-aged white male ex-mil stereotype to the T and I knew he would do us proud.
I did some more mingling in between speeches and social media posting on my phone for my org, and eventually said goodbye to my friends and left. The parade was in progress, but I frankly didn’t want to wait for President Trump to reach our location. I was nervous and wanted to get out of town, especially with Beltway traffic to worry about. So, I got my coat, left the W, and hoofed it to the nearest red line metro stop. New York Avenue was completely empty—a bizarre sight—due to being barricaded off. I made it home without incident.
After the inauguration, my pace of acquiring prepper items slowed. At this point I had most of the things I wanted to have, and I didn’t want to spend more money on it. At GW, my team won a social media contest and I received a $125 Amazon gift card, which I used some of to buy a few remaining items I wanted: More medical masks, glowsticks, and mortar and pestle, and one or two other things.
The next prepping scenario that arose was the threat of a nationwide set of riots on November 4th and 5th, 2017. This was all over the internet and I watched every YouTube video about it I could that I thought might give me valuable information. Basically, the left wing group Refuse Fascism was calling for a day of nationwide protests. It was also being said that Antifa was going to make a major move in our cities on that day. This was roughly one year since Trump was elected, and it also coincided with the meme of the “Fifth of November” from V for Vendetta, in which the protagonist blows up the UK Parliament as a strike against the totalitarian regime. Additionally, the Great American Solar Eclipse had happened not much earlier, and there were a lot of other possible signs and coincidences including planetary alignment (potential biblical prophecy) and other factors I learned about. Needless to say, I had plenty of reasons to be on edge about November 4th.
Part of the supplies I had bought back before the election were several pieces of dirt bike armor. It was both affordable and provided some level of protection in the event of a fistfight in a riot. I had armor for my arms, legs, and hard plastic knuckle dirt bike gloves (I checked the laws and metal knuckles are illegal in Maryland) just in case I had to fight my way out of some Anitfas or other rioters during civil unrest.
I accumulated a small burst of prepping items just before the 4th, including a respirator and the coup-de-grace of my suit of armor, a dirt bike helmet. Those helmets aren’t cheap—it was something like $70—but I returned it a couple days after the 4th was over and the feared riots had not occurred. It offered full-head protection, not just the top of the head like a bike helmet. One driver in my desire to get a helmet was a video I saw of protests at Berkeley in spring 2017, the one during the daytime where the conservatives actually beat back the liberals and forced them to retreat. At one point though, before the chase started, there was a guy wearing a red sriracha hot sauce shirt (you can look this up), arguing with liberal protestors. Someone, who was later ID’d as a faculty member, ran up and hit him on the head with a bike lock. The poor guy was in shock and was just standing there staring at the blood on this hands and clothes, because the hit had immediately drawn blood from of his head. Some people nearby surrounded him and had him lay down and to my knowledge he ended up being OK, but I did not want something like that to happen to me if I ended up fighting Antifa. Clearly, they have some bad apples on their side who don’t mind risking brain damage to shut down an argument.
I also saw some videos about liberal gun clubs. In one video, I saw a group of gun-toting socialists marching in formation down the street somewhere in Arizona, and a journalist was questioning them and arguing with them. The socialists were in fatigues with red bandanas and other socialist insignia. There were other videos with people talking about a potential Antifa uprising.
November 4th came and went, and the Refuse Fascism marches ended up being a total laughingstock, and Antifa didn’t try anything. I breathed a sigh of relief. There weren’t any big dates coming up on the political calendar, so I returned the helmet for a full refund.
Summer is always a worse time of year for crime and civil unrest. It remains to be seen what might happen this summer. However, although I am basically done buying prepping stuff except replacing some canned food I left in Maryland when I moved to New Mexico, I sleep better at night knowing I have some basics if something bad really happens. And I’ll say this: I’m way, way less concerned about an uprising out here in Albuquerque than when I was in Maryland, sandwiched between Baltimore and DC.
So in conclusion, some people take prepping way, way further than I have. There is no way to know if those people are wrong because we don’t know the future. I am comfortable with having spent around $500 over a period of over a year to acquire some basic supplies. If you are uneasy about the future, you might give it some thought. I am not here to persuade anyone to be a prepper, but I will share one thought that continually ran through my mind: Many nations have experience economic and social collapse. When the world becomes an unsafe place, the last thing you want is to have to leave your home to go stand in a bread line.
A great online forum about prepping can be found at www.survivalistboards.com and as far as I know it’s free to read.