Today marks an undeniably monumental moment in American history as Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45 th President of the United States. The eyes and ears of the nation were focused on Capitol Hill as Trump spoke to the nation for the first time as president in his inaugural address.
President Trump’s address was the culmination of nearly two years of campaigning and represents an important rhetorical signal for the country. On the campaign trail, Trump promised to “Make America Great Again” and pledged to bring industrial jobs back to the United States. Along the way, he was also hampered by his unprecedented gaffes and controversial comments.
Overall, it was a poignant address from President Trump, and he stayed consistent with his campaign promises to focus on American industry. Trump began the address by reiterating his notion that America faces a period of recovery.
” We, the citizens of America, are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and restore its promise for all of our people ,”
the new president said.
President Trump was also keen to claim that his presidency was one that represented a pushback from the people against the traditional political powers.
” Because today, we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another. But we are transferring power from Washington, D.C., and giving it back to you, the people ,” Trump said.
Trump would actually go one step further and argue that this traditional power structure was one that has been self-centered and detrimental to the everyday citizen. The 45 th POTUS said that the establishment “protected itself” and told the nation that “their victories have not been your victories.”
And then Trump painted a very vivid picture of a tarnished America:
” Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities, rusted out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation, an education system flush with cash but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge. And the crime, and the gangs, and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential .”
So began the crux of Trump’s inaugural address: the newly sworn-in president was careful to remind the people of his take on depletion of the military and border security, but he focused on more relatable issues like infrastructure, industry, and the middle class.
Trump would continue with his patriotic call to action: ” From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first-America first .”
But he would also pin some blame on other countries: ” We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs .”
Here was the climax of the speech:
” We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth, and we will bring back our dreams. We will build new roads and highways and bridges and airports and tunnels and railways all across our wonderful nation. We will get our people off of welfare and back to work rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor. We will follow two simple rules buy American and hire American .”
If Trump’s address could be summed up into just a few words, it would be this “buy American and hire American” plea. It has hints of the rhetoric used during the post-WWII industrial boom, which was this nation’s most prosperous period. However, the more cynical would point out that we are living in a much different world today.
After this point, President Trump got the obligations out of the way, promising to strengthen out alliances and form new ones, restating the importance of American loyalty, and thanking God. Of course, there was also a uniquely-Trump promise to eradicate Islamic terrorism from the earth.
President Trump rounded out his address with a bit of speech-writing mastery that brought his campaign slogan back into play:
” Together, we will make America strong again. We will make America wealthy again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. And yes, together, we will make America great again. Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America .”
Overall, it was as vague as these things typically are. No specific policies were laid out, and no new stances were taken either. It was a continuation of the rhetoric that Trump won with-a rhetoric that resonates with a forgotten segment of the country and strikes fear in another.
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