Donald Trump has been sworn-in as President. As a candidate, and later as President-Elect, he was perhaps the most divisive man ever to stand in those positions. He may have outdone Obama in the level of intense dislike he has engendered.
His Inaugural Speech, however, showed little of the Trump we have gotten to know. There were no crude jokes or absurd gestures. Instead he conducted himself as a President should. His speech, written by himself, gives us a glimpse into the mind of the man we have chosen as President.
Trump said, “we are transferring power from Washington, D.C., and giving it back to you, the people.” While this is no promise of a return to federalism, it is a statement that Trump wants to give some measure of control back to the American people, rather than having our entire national existence dictated from Washington.
He declared war upon the current Washington system in saying, “For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have bore the cost. Washington flourished, but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered but the jobs left and the factories closed.” In these 3 sentences Trump has indicted the way our political system has operated for years. The corruption of congressmen, the wealth concentrated in D.C. and the growing wealth of politicians are all things many Americans deplore. Trump is the first President to openly call out the very system he will now head. CBS Bob Schieffer complained that, “I did not see any outreach either across or even to his own party. He basically took the hyde off of everybody sitting on the platform.” As well he should. Comfortable elites are the worst sort of elite, they grow like parasites on what was once a warm, vibrant body.
Later Trump said, “At the center of this movement is a crucial conviction that a nation exists to serve its citizens. Americans want great schools for their children, safe neighborhoods for their families and good jobs for themselves.
These are just and reasonable demands of righteous people and a righteous public.”
Trump says ‘nation’ but it would have been better to say ‘government.’ Nations exist as things in themselves, communities of people bound together by heritage, language, faith, law and habit.
Whether the American people or public are righteous is doubtful. What is not is that we all want the things he has named, good schools and safe neighborhoods.
Most noteworthy of all, President Trump declared an end to American leaders serving global interests, rather than national ones. Keeping up his campaign rhetoric he boldly said,“From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this moment on, it’s going to be America First.”
Such words must make transnational elites tremble and moan. As well they should; they have left the world less safe and less prosperous than it otherwise might have been. We look across the Atlantic, to our brethren nations of the West, to see the cost of political leaders who will not take their goal to be the good of their own people. When leaders will not labor to serve the interests of the people, the people are wholly permitted to replace those leaders with such as shall seem to them best able to serve their interests.
Trump is doing more than declaring nationalism. He is declaring patriotism without shame, patriotism without guilt over past misdeeds. He is stating, unequivocally, that Americans may be proud of their nation, without apology tours. “A new national pride will stir our souls, lift our sights, and heal our divisions.” National pride, grounded in shared sense of unity, is something many conservatives will stand behind.
For all the cries of ‘abnormal’ being put out by the Left, Trump’s speech was a good one, simple in its statements and rhetoric.
Tocqueville wrote, “The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.” Trump has said he’s the man for the job. I sincerely hope that he is.