Local leaders share thoughts day before Inauguration

Local News

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – With Inauguration Day on Wednesday, we wanted to hear how those in the Upstate plan to participate and what they expect to see.

“We’re used to having the peaceful transfer of power and not having to have that many troops there,” Trevor Rubenzer said.

Trevor Rubenzer is a professor of political science at USC-Upstate and said he always looks forward to watching the inauguration. But, he told 7 News, this is the first year he’s ever really wanted to see it go exactly as it has in years past.

“The main thing I am hoping for is a boring inauguration,” he said.

He’s not the only one. Meghan Smith is a councilwoman for the City of Spartanburg and, as a politician herself, she said she’s always excited for Inauguration Day. But she, like Rubenzer, expects the event to look different after what happened at the Capitol a couple of weeks ago.

“I think this year’s inauguration and the thoughts that so many of us have leading up to it are different from previous years,” Smith said. “We’ve all seen the security and the National Guard and the barricades.”

Both Smith and Rubenzer told 7 News they understand why there will be heightened security measures in place at the event; but Rubenzer said he doesn’t expect there to be any violence.

“I pray, obviously, that I’m right about that and I think most people also would,” he said. “I think, when you have that many thousands of uniformed folks there, then you lower the probability of that.”

Because of COVID, Biden’s administration has encouraged everyone to join virtually.

“My kindergartner and I plan to watch it together online. Just the two of us. And I’ll be excited to talk with him about what the day means,” Smith said.

And while this inauguration will be remembered for looking so different, there’s another reason it will be historic and that’s because the first female–and person of color–will be sworn in as Vice President.

“I’m the first woman to represent my district here in the city, and so to have a first woman vice president is very exciting–not just for all of the young girls and women who might want to go into politics–they now see someone who looks like them represented in the second-highest position in our country,” Smith said.

It’s something Smith said is long overdue.

“It’s something that, in my opinion, should’ve happened before now,” she said. “Women, we make up half of the country, and our positions and thoughts matter just as much as men’s or anyone else’s; so, it’s time that we have a woman in that office.”

200,000 flags have been placed on the National Mall to represent the people unable to attend the inauguration because of the virus and security threats.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

High School Standouts
Ask the Expert
Livin' Upstate
Find A Job
wspa news app free for download choose your store below
download the wspa news app from the apple app store
download the wspa news app from the google play store