Often, in life, one finds oneself in a situation in which he is uncomfortably out of place. Welcome to my attendance at the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the 45th president of the United States.
Sitting among the throngs of Trump supporters, it didn’t take me long to realize I was in somewhat foreign territory.
Was it the fact that they applauded individuals and statements that I found objectionable and that individuals who I admired were derided such as the shout out, once again, to “lock her up”? I must say that if there ever was an example for Michelle Obama of someone going “high when they go low”, it was Hillary Clinton’s attendance at this crowning of a clown as president.
Certainly this contributed to my feeling of being somewhat of an outsider even in my own country and at a location, the U.S. Capitol, that I frequent quite regularly in my capacity as a columnist.
However, it was much more profound than that. It was Trump’s speech and the reaction to all of the substanceless rhetoric in it by these sheep being herded to slaughter that made me so very disappointed in my fellow Americans.
In all honesty, with regard to Trump’s speech, I really didn’t expect anything different than what he gave.
I did, however, have hope for a great deal more. It was an opportunity for him to say something that could have actually helped begin the process of bringing this divided nation together. He chose, rather, to give a campaign speech that plays to his base. He chose rather to miss a golden opportunity. He chose rather to rally the half that supported his election and dismiss the half that didn’t.
From the speech he gave, it is quite clear that Trump feels most comfortable in campaign mode. The only problem with that is that he won and no longer has to attack his competition.
He won; he is no longer running for office. He is now in the office. Now his focus must be on solutions, not campaign rhetoric. Nothing in that speech provided anything approaching what could be considered ideas, solutions, or proposals for achieving America’s goals. Nothing! Actions do speak louder than words.
Enough with the words, especially the word “redisTRIButed”, not “redistriBUTEd” as he so incorrectly pronounced it. Word to the wise: if you can’t say it correctly, stay away from using it until you mastered it.
Ordinarily, when I trash what a person says, I like to provide specific examples to support why I found the statements so objectionable. In this case, let us just say, it was the entire speech.
Yes, he said we need to address jobs, schools, crime, drugs, etc., etc. etc. How about a vision for exactly how that will happen? That is what I was hoping to hear but to no avail.
He said he would “give the power back to the people”! How? Did his cabinet picks reflect that dream? Not even close!
He said he wants to rebuild our depleted military. Aside from the fact that the military already accounts for more that 57 percent of the federal budget, exactly what needs to be added, fixed, revised to improve our military and how would whatever needs to be added, revised, or improved do just that?
Trump, in his speech, made it clear that America comes first. Well, sounds a bit patriotic but also quite naive.
Yes, America must always consider its self interests when dealing in a global economy, but patriotism must never be confused with isolationism which is exactly what he was describing. We are no longer in the 1950’s during which America clearly had the strongest economy and was in position to call all of the shots. We are now in a global economy with other strong players on the playing field and we have to work within that framework if our own industries are not to be left behind.
The fact that “Mr. Businessman” can take an isolationist view in the global world is quite disturbing to say the least. Elections have consequences but none more so than this one.
He ended his speech by saying “We will make America strong again! We will make America wealthy again! We will make America safe again! We will make America great again!” A great rallying cry; his base literally “ate it up”! What America truly needs, however, is not a “King of sound bites” and 142 characters, but real ideas for making America better than it is, for narrowing the partisan divide, for competing in the global economy in such a way as to strengthen domestic industry.
A somewhat out-of-the-box suggestion to the new president for narrowing that partisan divide if he is really honest in wanting to be a president for ALL Americans.
Call it a peace offering. If he is really serious about working with the “other side”, the side I clearly am on, there is no limit to how many he could potentially win over if he does just one thing.
My suggestion is that he nominate to the Supreme Court someone who was universally supported by both Democrats AND Republicans…that is until he was nominated by President Obama.
Trump should nominate to the Supreme Court moderate Judge Merrick Garland.
He won’t do that of course, but, if he did, he might even get me to reconsider my position on him.