Donald Trump will be sworn-in today as the 45th president of the United States.
Trump’s unprecedented rise to the highest office in America began in June 2015 when he first announced his candidacy. The man’s focus on deregulation, growing the economy, immigration reform and plans to “Make America Great Again” struck a chord with the U.S. citizens.
November 8 was a historic day for the New York real-estate magnate, as he defeated Democratic nominee for president Hillary Clinton in a 306-232 electoral college victory.
Trump made a name for himself on the campaign trail, drawing massive crowds everywhere he went. His often brash rhetoric also generated a lot of discussion and protests on both sides of the political spectrum.
But, Trump’s magnetism was noticeable, and during the election process, Republicans who may have even initially opposed the man could sense the change that would come along with a Trump presidency.
The campaigning is over, the discussion, disagreements and rhetoric are put aside. Trump will be sworn-in at 11 a.m. at the foot of the U.S. Capitol, the next president of the United States.
Rep. Nathanial Ledbetter, R-Rainsville, is looking forward to the next four years under Trump.
“I feel like there’s a positive tone with President-elect Trump,” Ledbetter said. “Our economy has kind of been slumbering for quite some time now. I think his experience in growing business and economic development is positive, and I think the market has shown that.”
Ledbetter made the trip with friends and family to Washington D.C. to take part in the celebration. He said the town is “rampant” with anticipation over the big day.
He said it was the first inauguration he’s been able to attend, and it was made even more special because of the presence of his 10-year-old granddaughter.
“This is huge for her,” he said. “She’s never been to Washington, and she’s got the big eyes with all of the monuments and things, and I think it’s something she’ll never forget — to see the inauguration and hear the president give his speech. I think that’s a big deal.”
The state of Alabama will be well represented in Friday’s activities. In addition to Ledbetter, Gov. Robert Bentley will be in attendance, as well.
Bentley said he was honored to be able to attend the ceremony, but it’s more than just a leisure trip.
“Thursday I [met] with other governors to discuss how we can best repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act,” Bentley said. “Alabama also has a remarkable role in this new Trump administration, and I am pleased to be in attendance to help honor our state as Donald Trump takes the presidential oath of office.”
Trump has often stated his desire to repeal the ACA, and has vowed to replace it in his first 100 days.
Ledbetter said the ACA has hurt families and businesses, specifically small businesses, by placing strict requirements and regulations in place.
Trump’s focus on removing regulations put in place by the previous administration was part of what drew Jordan Doufexis to Trump.
Doufexis was originally a digital grassroots coordinator for Sen. Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign. It was the Rubio “talent and vision” that stood out to him.
“I wasn’t a Trump guy,” Doufexis said. “But, since Trump’s election, the change of morale has been spectacular, especially in Republican circles and the media I follow. It’s almost like a switch was flipped and there’s just a different feel about the country.”
Doufexis considers himself more of a moderate Republican. He helped found the Young Republicans Federation of Northeast Alabama, and he serves now as the vice chairman of the Young Republicans on the state level and the co-chairman for the National Young Republicans.
“What makes me a Republican is personal responsibility, protection of the homeland and free market and deregulation,” Doufexis said. “Again, I wasn’t a Trump guy, but I feel like he checks all those boxes, and until he does something that’s going to cause me to go after him then I’m excited to see what he does when it comes to anything other than campaign rhetoric.”
Jack Stiefel, president of the DeKalb County Republican Breakfast Club, in anxious and optimistic of Trump’s future.
The man likened Trump’s magnetism and viewpoint to that of former President Ronald Reagan.
“I think what we’re seeing is something very similar to what people have referred to as the Reagan revolution,” Stiefel said. “I think our country is making a real turn for the better. I’m very optimistic about the future of our country at this point.
“I think we’ll see our economy improving and the government improving in every way possible.”
Doufexis agreed saying Trump’s business acumen would help a country that has been “hampered” by unnecessary regulation.
“There’s so many small businesses and corporations and tax codes that are just hampered by regulations that’s just unnecessary, in my opinion,” Doufexis said. “Things that restrict people, especially the small business guys.”
Doufexis is partner with Native Rewards, an app designed specifically targeting small businesses, and he said he has first-hand knowledge of their struggles — they’re a business focused on helping out the little guy.
Trump ran his campaign partly on his plans to help grow the economy by removing regulations and bringing jobs back to this country. They are things that have resonated with this state specifically and this country as a whole.
Ledbetter, too, is optimistic about what the next four years will bring. But, he said something is obvious, Trump has reinvigorated the Republican party, and he feels it’s a good sign of things to come.
“I think there’s a positive tone as far as growth is concerned,” Ledbetter said. “We have kind of been stalemated in the last several years… saving jobs like the Carrier jobs and Ford jobs and keeping those jobs here instead of going overseas is big. We’ve got to be able to manufacture goods and produce items.
“Maybe Trump will be able to bring energy back into growing the economy and getting back to where families won’t have to worry about where the money is going to come from to… provide for their families.”