Queens Clock Countsdown the Days Till Trump Leaves Office

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Elisha V

November 3 2016 was a day that shook the world. Even before Trump signed any of his policies into law, much of America was fearful of how this reality TV star’s ideology would affect all of our everyday realities. Throughout history, US presidents have certainly been unpopular during and after their time in office. But nothing demonstrates the immense hatred towards Trump like a huge countdown clock on the coast of the East River. 

In my pre-pandemic life, I never seemed to have the time to walk and explore in my neighbourhood, Roosevelt Island. In March, daily walking became a refuge for me to escape from Google Classroom. With a news podcast in my ears informing me of Trump’s suggestions of injecting bleach, I looked across the East River to Long Island City, Queens, and noticed a large, glowy sign displaying 298:12. The following afternoon it said 297:07. It was clearly a countdown clock, and after doing the math, I realised that 297 days time was not New Years Day like I suspected, but was in fact January 20, 2021 – Inauguration Day.  

The clock was installed in June 2017 by an editor for an online art magazine, Brandon Stosuy, counting down the days till Trump’s first term ends. The clock can be seen best from Roosevelt Island, in addition to the East coast of Manhattan. During Trump’s impeachment trial, Stosuy thought he may be able to prematurely unplug the clock. But when impeachment failed in the Senate and Trump seemed to be as popular as ever at the start of 2020, the possibility of having to reset the clock another 4 years loomed large.

Although Trump was born and raised in Queens and once the star of the Manhattan elite, this clock, as well as the roaring celebrations on November 7 when Biden was projected president-elect, demonstrate the strong anti-Trump sentiment in New York. As WESS Side Stories writer Emmanuelle Blanchard said perfectly in an article about Trump’s post-presidential life, “he doesn’t seem to have much of a home left in New York.”  Wednesday’s shocking events at the Capitol will permanently solidify Trump’s legacy as an undemocratic, uncooperative, and hypocritical President. Perhaps this week’s events have tainted any chance of Trump’s future political career and support, but Trumpism will not vanish – even after the numbers on this Queens clock close in on zero.