The countdown is on: It's only 10 days until the presidential inauguration. That means former reality TV host and WWE Hall of Famer Donald J. Trump — a man who, on tape, joked about grabbing a woman's genitals, mocked the disabled, and said he thought he could shoot somebody in the middle of 5th Avenue without losing voters — is going to be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States on Jan. 20. It's happening. There's no going back now, and there's not really anything your average American can do to stop the inevitable. With little else to change this improbable moment in American history, there is an abundance of inauguration petitions to sign out there.
While these petitions may not actually achieve many tangible results — and some would call these online petitions slacktivism at its finest — there's something to be said for the small act of signing a petition and both showing and feeling solidarity with others. Speaking to The Washington Post, clinical psychologist Thomas Plante spoke of the psychology at work when you sign a petition and what it represents:
We like having control. People feel they need to get control somewhere, whether that’s wearing a safety pin, or [signing] an online petition or posting things on Facebook.
With more than 200 online petitions protesting Trump's inauguration on the popular petition website Change.org alone, here's a quick rundown of what people are protesting.
Marching Bands Playing The Inauguration
Trump has had a helluva time trying to find anyone willing to perform at the inauguration. Well isn't that a cryin' shame, huh Donald? But Trump won't be without a full — if lackluster — lineup of performers on Inauguration Day. There are several college marching bands performing at the inauguration, from the University of Tennessee Knoxville, Talladega College in Alabama, to New York's Marist College. And for every band, there's a petition urging each marching band to boycott the inauguration.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir
It's not just the marching bands that are feeling the heat. After it was announced that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was the first confirmed performer, it drove one Mormon Tabernacle singer to quit the choir entirely. Thousands have signed a petition pressuring the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to not perform at the inauguration.
The Democratic Leadership
CREDO Action, the activist division of progressive social change company CREDO Mobile, has issued a powerful petition calling for Democratic leaders to skip "the inauguration of hate." As of Tuesday, it had reached 82 percent of its 150,000 signature goal. While it's unlikely Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer or House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will ditch the inauguration, some Dems have pledged to skip the inauguration out of protest, including Massachusetts' Rep. Kathleen Clark, California Rep. Jared Huffman, and Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer.
Rabbi Marvin Hier
Rabbi Marvin Hier is one of six prominent faith leaders who will be attending Trump's inauguration — and yes, there are plenty calling for Rabbi Hier to reject Trump's inauguration invitation. But that's not going to happen, given that Hier is a longtime friend of Jared Kushner's parents. You know, the Jared Kushner who just got a White House senior adviser position and just happens to be Trump's son-in-law.
A 19th Century Painting & Art In General
Trump's inauguration luncheon will have a particularly unique V.I.P. — Very Important Painting, that is. The St. Louis Art Museum has loaned a painting for Trump's inauguration luncheon, to be used as a centerpiece. (I'm hoping it's not an actual centerpiece just chillin' out in the middle of a table.) Not only is there a Change.org petition in the art community calling on SLAM to cancel its loan, there's also the J20 Art Strike, calling on artists to take part in a "global culture strike" on Inauguration Day.
President Obama's Inability To Travel Through Time
OK, this one is totally tongue-in-cheek, but I couldn't resist including it. Satirist Frank Lesser wrote a pitch-perfect Change.org petition for The New Yorker calling on President Obama to order NASA to build a time machine to "Send a political operative back in time to flip the Rust Belt states," as well as to "Send an I.T. guy to 2009 and sign Hillary up for a goddam Gmail account."
If time travel were possible and if this were a real petition, I'd sign it in a heartbeat — and then go back in time and sign it again just because I could.