Congressman Alan Lowenthal has thrown his name into the hat of nearly 60 Democratic lawmakers who will not attend the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump Friday.
Lowenthal, who represents California’s 47th District that encompasses Long Beach and several other southland cities, said that the decision not to attend was not one that he came to easily, given his respect for the office itself and for the idea of the peaceful transfer of power.
“However, President-elect Trump’s recent attacks on Rep. John Lewis were beyond the pale and served as a tipping point which made me reevaluate my original intention to attend,” Lowenthal said in a statement.
He referenced Trump’s latest inflammatory Twitter episode in which Trump said Lewis should focus on helping his district that is in “horrible shape” and that Lewis was “all talk, talk, talk.”
Lewis, a civil rights era icon who marched alongside Martin Luther King, represents Georgia’s 5th District which has an average household income of over $73,000 and over 40 percent of its residents holding college degrees. Trump’s comments about Lewis were sparked by Lewis’ comments that Trump was not a “legitimate president” because of the allegations of Russian hacking involved in last year’s election.
By declining to attend the inauguration Friday, Lowenthal has joined over 15 Democrats from the state of California alone that have opted not to take part in the ceremony. Lowenthal has been openly critical of Trump since he became the country’s president-elect, publicly denouncing Trump’s positions on climate change, immigration enforcement, and his desire to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. Lowenthal has also taken issue with multiple Trump appointments for cabinet and ambassador positions.
Lowenthal said that Inauguration Day is a day of anointing someone with the power of the office of president, not a day to be anointed with respect. He said that respect must be earned and so far the president-elect has not earned that from him.
“For that reason, and in solidarity with those he has attacked, I have decided not to attend the inauguration,” Lowenthal said. “I sincerely hope that over the next four years President Trump will work hard to earn the respect of all Americans, not just those who voted for him. The American people deserve it and the office of the President requires it.”