Opinion: A dismal inaugural speech, in many ways

434455339-08-trumpobama

Donald John Trump was sworn in Friday as the 45th president of the United States of America, but in his angry, graceless inauguration speech he described this as a country that I do not recognize.

He described a small and petty nation closed off and fearful of being victimized by the rest of the world, an idea that other countries would find astonishing. He described us not as “the shining city on the hill,” the biblical phrase borrowed by Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy, but as a fortress city, hemmed in by enemies, surrounded by a wall, and a moat, and minefields.

To hear him tell it, our schools are a disaster, “leav(ing) our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge.” The economy is in collapse, with “rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation.” Violence and mayhem are the order of the day. Government of the people, by the people and for the people had been lost, and the country itself had been stolen from those who by right ought to own it.

But fear not, he told us. Fear not, for “from this day forward, a new vision will govern our land.” Fear not, because “January 20th, 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.”

As of this day, “we are transferring power from Washington, D.C., and giving it back to you, the people.”

As of this day, “this American carnage stops right here and stops right now.”

Listening to our new president, you would never know that the percentage of Americans with high school degrees and college degrees has never been higher, that we have created more than 15 million jobs in the last six years, that the rate of violent crime has fallen by almost half in the past 25 years, that “help wanted” signs are everywhere you look, that wages are rising.

Do we have problems? Of course we do. As a whole we are wealthier today than we have ever been in our history, but that wealth has not been distributed equitably. Substantial pockets of our nation, both demographic and geographic, have been left behind while others have benefited enormously.

During the campaign, one of Trump’s key themes was the promise to correct that inequity. He railed often against the economic elite, Goldman Sachs, Wall Street bankers and corporate CEOs — “big business,” he called it in his GOP acceptance speech — “that have rigged our political and economic system for their own benefit.”

In an inaugural speech that basically rehashed his campaign rhetoric, that talk of a rigged economy was notably absent. This time, when he talked of the establishment enriching itself, it was pointedly and precisely the political establishment that he targeted. “For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have bore the cost,” he said. “Washington flourished, but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered but the jobs left and the factories closed.”

Having installed billionaire after billionaire in his Cabinet, having turned control of the nation’s treasury, economy and foreign policy to Goldman Sachs and Exxon-Mobil executives, having fully embraced tax cuts that will overwhelmingly benefit the overwhelmingly wealthy, I guess it was time to quietly retire such talk and hope no one noticed.

People are going to notice.

In his speech, Trump presented himself as the avatar of “a historic movement, the likes of which the world has never seen before,” but the world has seen such movements many times. Many many times we’ve seen people sell themselves as the champion of the forgotten man, to use Trump’s term, and many, many times it is the forgotten man who is forgotten.  I see no sign this time is going to turn out differently.

Reader Comments 1

3496 comments
Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

J-Reb, I'm not "running from" this, I had to take care of a personal matter, that ok with you?


both kill the baby.

So who is being thick?


a) not a "baby", an embryo, in the first trimester. Please stop imagining otherwise.

b) your scenario posits that a man punching a woman in the belly and inducing an abortion is equal to a woman having a legal procedure whose mortality rate is less than that for having a wisdom tooth pulled. And I'll add, way less than that of carrying a pregnancy to term.

Equivalent? on what flippin' planet, J-Reb?

And I'll add because I can, and should: Pro-"life", my arse.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

Trump to Sign Executive Order on Plan to Renegotiate NAFTA With Mexico, Canada

RENEGOTIATE, not "Rip Up". 

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

Are you kids still arguing over who threw the bestest inaugural party with the mostest people in attendance?

:-OMG!!!!!

honested
honested

@FIGMO2 

No, that was long settled with provable facts.

However, there does seem to be some discussion as to why the new administration prefers to ignore reality when making pronouncements.

Many Americans prefer to be told the truth.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@honested @FIGMO2

I would love to send President Trump a personal memo and ask that he quit letting the media goad him...

to ignore that which has proven itself (the media) irrelevant when it comes to presidential elections.

Paul42
Paul42

@FIGMO2

The president chooses what he either initiates or responds to.  His tweets are designed to goad, to distract, to make, not the election's over, the press his go-to enemy.  

Perfect example was his weekend focus on crowd size.  The only person who seems to care is Trump, as it conflicts with his image of the best, the winner, tops in everything.  So he not only tweets, he uses his first moment in front of the CIA's wall of heroes as a time of self-aggrandizement.  Then the Spicer press conference.  The story would have been over in a day.  But Donald wouldn't let it die.

_GodlessHeathen_
_GodlessHeathen_

@Paul42 @FIGMO2 

"The only person who seems to care is Trump"

Seems a lot of others care, particularly progressives. Based on the emphasis placed on it Friday PM.

Agree Trump should ignore it, but he didn't bring it up first.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Paul42 @_GodlessHeathen_

This is political amateur hour.

As predicted by many who were justifiably alarmed that a man with zero public service experience had been elected President.

Paul42
Paul42

@_GodlessHeathen_

He saw a story he didn't like, one that questioned his brand and he attacked.

He should get beyond such pettiness, but it seems it's part of a strategy.

Heard one report this morning that Trump's advisers have been telling him 25% of the people he voted for him didn't vote for him, they hated Hillary more.  That is a big part of the group that has shown his approval rating plummet.  Get down to a certain level, what he gets from Congress is thumbed noses.  

It's not a campaign any more.  It's about governing.  This is political amateur hour.

Paul42
Paul42

JohnnyReb

"Meanwhile, Chuckie tried to take down Kelly Ann stating over and over he had the facts on the crowd size at the inauguration. "

You didn't watch that Meet the Press episode, did you?  Either live or recorded.  Else you wouldn't be presenting alternative 'facts of what happened.  

Chuck Todd repeatedly asked "Why did the President send out his press secretary, who is not just the press secretary for Donald Trump, he serves as the press secretary for all of the country at times,  why put him out there for the very first time, in front of that podium, to utter a disprovable falsehood?"

Here's a recording.  You can watch if for yourself.  The question had been asked prior to this point.  Todd repeatedly, over the course of the exchange, said "you did not answer the question" then he repeated the question.

I think that is what we'll see from many in the press.  State the question was not answered, then repeat it.  For the entire allotted time, if necessary.  

This was also the exchange where Todd gave the perfect rebuttal:  "Alternative facts are not facts.  They are falsehoods."

BTW, 'falsehoods' is a polite term for 'lies.'

http://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/video/conway-press-secretary-gave-alternative-facts-860142147643

honested
honested

@Paul42 

The words from the Ministry of Truth are to be absorbed and obeyed.

Refusal indicates one does not love Big Brother.

Paul42
Paul42

@FIGMO2

Same one.  

You never did figure out the fallacy of ad hominem attacks, did you?

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Paul42


Chuck Todd is going to turn out to be a thorn in Trump's untruthful psyche.  He and Alec Baldwin.  Thank God for journalists who question or challenge lies, like Jay Bookman.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@Donnie_Pinko

I've come to notice the headlines surrounding anything Trump proposes or does come with a "good" bit of media hyperbole.

Fan fare.

schnirt

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Donald Trump does not have the caliber of mind to understand that globalization is a phenomenon that is going to continue well into the future, even after he is dead.  


Hillary Clinton/Barack Obama, however, did have the caliber of mind to understand that fact.  That is why Hillary ran on a complex policy that would balance our oncoming globalization with bringing more jobs to Americans, particularly in hiring for infrastructure improvement and retraining our coal workers to more currently needed jobs.  (I do not think even Bernie Sanders has that complexity of pragmatic thought that is needed today, morally righteous as he is.  That is why I communicated that Hillary was steadier and more pragmatic than either Bernie or Trump.)

Peachs
Peachs

Just build a wall around these ploughboy's drug dealers, sober them up and let them realize what they have done.  Or lock em up, either way works.

OldJacketFan
OldJacketFan

Back later when a new sheet is up, everybody play fair. 

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Donald Trump was having a televised public conference with CEOs, not press people, around a conference table this morning in which the CEOs ask the questions of him, regarding free trade in this instance, instead of the press.


This is how the model of Hamilton (the business world) thinks.  The business professional, like Trump, thinks that "real" leaders in America - who make money for themselves in their professional jobs - are to be the all-consuming American leaders. Trump does not value those who lead through working in the "public service" arena for little financial gain, personally, but prefer to serve people with their lives while they accrue retirement benefits.


That is why Trump is cutting so many government, federal jobs, and that is why he is trying to get a billionaire with no educational experience confirmed as his Secretary of Education.  She wants to do away with traditional public education and instead put in action a business-controlled educational system throughout our nation (using public tax dollars to transform our educational systems).


Call 202-225-3121 today at the U.S. Capitol and protest the confirmation of Betsy DeVos, along with thousands and even 10s of thousands of other Americans who will be making the same phone calls.  (Thanks for that level of Democratic organization, Michael Moore.)

Heezback
Heezback

Enough silliness for this morning.  

Time to turn in the free phones and seek employment.  

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Heezback

turn in the free phones [sic]

let's see, would those be the ones millions of Americans have paid for by their employers, who in turn get to write it off as a business expense rather than having it reported as income, even though a massive amount of data/voice/text stuff is for personal use?
(see also company cars, frequent flier miles...)

and seek employment.  

Good luck seeking employment without a phone.


Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

certain utterances subject a person to legal action when it comes to security of our leaders and nation.

-

Fascism baby.  It's so close they can taste it.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@Donnie_Pinko it's nothing new, and you know it.

Try to contribute with substance next time, will you?

Peachs
Peachs

@Heezback is that why you rubes take all those drugs, clarity, well it ain't working, in fact you are getting worse. 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

 the baby killing crowd.

Yes, we are the "hateful" ones. Apparently!

Seriously, DiA, if you can't drop stuff like that from your regular artillery, you have zero cred accusing others of deliberately inflammatory/hateful rhetoric. None at all.

OldJacketFan
OldJacketFan

@JohnnyReb @PaulinNH


And what law school did you graduate from JohnnyRedneck? What state are you admitted to the Bar. Your opinion here is like most of the b.s. you post and you couldn't care less about being wrong you simply love to hear the sound of you own voice. Kind of like your dear leader. 

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@PaulinNH certain utterances subject a person to legal action when it comes to security of our leaders and nation.

Madonna's pop culture status does not exempt her from those laws.

Performers have the same rights as the rest of us, but also the same responsibilities, except when they try to use their celebrity in politics their responsibilities grow.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@OldJacketFan @JohnnyReb @PaulinNH

it might take an educated lawyer on the Lib side to explain to you what is legal and not.

For us Cons, we know without advice you can't make public threats to the president like blowing up the White House without there being ramifications. 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

I think I might be running out of reasonable things to say to the unreasonable posting here.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@Visual_Cortex in other words and in reference to our exchange below, you have nothing of substance to support your positions.

Trackbacks

  1. […] to his column regarding the inauguration of President Donald Trump, on January 20, 2017: (Link: http://jaybookman.blog.myajc.com/2017/01/20/opinion-a-dismal-inaugural-speech-in-many-ways/ […]