Donald Trump begins his first term as one of the least popular presidents in history. After spending a year alienating and offending Democrats and mainstream old-line Republicans, his inauguration speech was boycotted by Democrats as well as establishment Republicans including some who had openly declared support for Hillary Clinton in protest of Trump.
Trump spent MLK weekend insulting and attacking a civil rights leader who had marched with Martin Luther King Jr.. This was the culmination of a campaign in which Trump distinguished himself as someone who insults and degrades women and minorities (as well as quite a few men). He has thoroughly attacked and alienated the media.
During the speech, the few politicians who did attend were told that they’ve exploited citizens for personal profit which has destroyed the country:
“For too long, a small group in our nation’s Capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished – but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered – but the jobs left, and the factories closed… rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation.”
Donald Trump’s campaign could be summarized succinctly as a year-long ‘Roast‘ in which just about every class of American has been insulted, except for his supporters who represent what Trump calls “the forgotten men and women of our country.” These are people who you and I don’t likely know, but perhaps see from a distance at a construction site, factory, or driving a semi-truck. The tobacco chewing, construction boot wearing, diesel truck driving, deer hunting, NRA members. They came in masses. They filled stadiums by the tens of thousands. Beyond who we imagine the stereotypical Trump supporters to be, there were others who gave Trump their vote as a protest vote in defiance of a dysfunctional government that no longer serves the interests of the people.
Trump speaks in generalities that can be interpreted differently by different people, so it’s not surprising that Trump gave several radically different inauguration speeches. Your reaction will depend on which speech you heard.
- Evangelical Christian Franklin Graham heard Trump quote the Bible and say that we’re going to eradicate Islam from the face of the earth.
- White Nationalist David Duke heard Trump say we’re going to Make America White Again. Read the full speech below, and substitute the word America with the words “White America” and you will hear the speech that David Duke heard.
- Progressive Democrat Dennis Kucinich heard Trump say we’re going to stop waging war, take government away from corporate interests, and invest in a socialist jobs program to rebuild America’s infrastructure.
Right wing white supremacist David Duke responded to Trump’s speech on Twitter:
“We did it! Congratulations Donald J. Trump President of the United States of America! What an amazing day, and to think -> this is just the beginning.” This tweet was followed by emojis of winking faces, Nazi salutes, and Pepe the frog who has become a disdainful racist meme.
Dennis Kucinich, a liberal progressive Democrat, had this to say:
GREAT #inauguration speech! Donald Trump’s message of unity is critical at this moment. I call upon all Americans to join in a common effort to create a great vision for our country, our people and for peace in the world. Let’s give him and ourselves a chance. 🇺🇸🇺🇸 ~ Dennis Kucinich, 20 January 2017 at 11:48 a.m (source)
That post from Kucinich resulted in a firestorm of angry comments such as:
- “Would the real Dennis please return to your computer?”
- “Was your account hacked?”
- “We must have been listening to different speeches.”
- “What is wrong with you?!”
- “Have you been hacked by Putin?”
- “Have you lost your mind or has your page been hacked? The orange, sociopathetic toddler will never have my support.”
Yet there were other positive comments, presumably from those who watch him on Fox News. For commentary on Kucinich’s strategy, read “Dennis Kucinich: ‘GREAT Inauguration Speech!‘”
The full transcript of Donald Trump’s inauguration speech is below.
Donald Trump Inauguration Speech
20 January 2017
Chief Justice Roberts, President Carter, President Clinton, President Bush, President Obama, fellow Americans and people of the world, thank you.
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.
Together, we will determine the course of America and the world for many, many years to come. We will face challenges, we will confront hardships, but we will get the job done.
Every four years, we gather on these steps to carry out the orderly and peaceful transfer of power, and we are grateful to President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for their gracious aid throughout this transition. They have been magnificent. Thank you.
Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning 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.
For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished, but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered, but the jobs left and the factories closed. The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories. Their triumphs have not been your triumphs. And while they celebrated in our nation’s capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.
That all changes starting right here and right now because this moment is your moment, it belongs to you.
It belongs to everyone gathered here today and everyone watching all across America. This is your day. This is your celebration. And this, the United States of America, is your country.
What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people.
January 20th, 2017 will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.
The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.
Everyone is listening to you now. You came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement, the likes of which the world has never seen before.
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.
But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists: 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.
This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.
We are one nation and their pain is our pain. Their dreams are our dreams. And their success will be our success. We share one heart, one home, and one glorious destiny. The oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans.
For many decades, we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry; subsidized the armies of other countries, while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military. We’ve defended other nations’ borders while refusing to defend our own.
And spent trillions and trillions of dollars overseas while America’s infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay. We’ve made other countries rich, while the wealth, strength and confidence of our country has dissipated over the horizon.
One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores, with not even a thought about the millions and millions of American workers that were left behind. The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed all across the world.
But that is the past. And now, we are looking only to the future.
We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital, and in every hall of power. 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.
Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs.
Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength. I will fight for you with every breath in my body and I will never ever let you down.
America will start winning again, winning like never before.
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.
We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world, but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first. We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example. We will shine for everyone to follow.
We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate from the face of the Earth.
At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other. When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.
The Bible tells us how good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity. We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity. When America is united, America is totally unstoppable.
There should be no fear. We are protected and we will always be protected. We will be protected by the great men and women of our military and law enforcement. And most importantly, we will be protected by God.
Finally, we must think big and dream even bigger. In America, we understand that a nation is only living as long as it is striving. We will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action, constantly complaining, but never doing anything about it.
The time for empty talk is over. Now arrives the hour of action.
Do not allow anyone to tell you that it cannot be done. No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America. We will not fail. Our country will thrive and prosper again.
We stand at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space, to free the earth from the miseries of disease, and to harness the energies, industries and technologies of tomorrow. A new national pride will stir ourselves, lift our sights and heal our divisions.
It’s time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget, that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots.
We all enjoy the same glorious freedoms and we all salute the same great American flag.
And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the wind-swept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the same night sky, they will their heart with the same dreams, and they are infused with the breath of life by the same almighty creator.
So to all Americans in every city near and far, small and large, from mountain to mountain, from ocean to ocean, hear these words: You will never be ignored again.
Your voice, your hopes, and your dreams will define our American destiny. And your courage and goodness and love will forever guide us along the way.
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.
God bless America.