Four years ago this week, Rick Reiss, while visiting his wife’s family in the Philippines, got up at 3 a.m. to watch President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

On Wednesday, Jan. 20, Reiss will be home in Temecula. But instead of watching President-elect Joe Biden’s swearing-in, Reiss might grab his “Don’t Tread on Me” flag and join fellow conservatives at an outdoor rally.

“With what’s happening now, obviously I’m not happy about how things turned out,” he said. “I’m not in a depression though … I’m somewhat sad for our country. … I hope and pray that maybe (Biden) sees the light and he gets some wisdom.”

Biden’s inauguration brings a role reversal for Southern Californians who spent the past four years defending or fighting Trump. If there’s a common thread this time around, it’s unease — conservatives at the thought of Democrats controlling the White House and Congress, liberals at the prospect of more violence after the U.S. Capitol riot and the notion that Trump is a symptom and not the cause of what they’ve seen since 2016.

This inauguration comes against a backdrop of heavy security — 25,000 National Guard troops are in the nation’s capital — and deep division over the legitimacy of Biden’s win, which many Trump supporters reject despite no evidence of widespread voter fraud and court rulings, many from Republican judges, dismissing legal challenges to state election results.

While 60% of Americans overall trust the election’s outcome, 78% of Republicans do not, according to a National Public Radio/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll conducted Jan. 11 to 13.



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