Trump's defiant inaugural address reveals how the new president is coming out of the gate swinging, exactly as he promised over the course of his successful campaign.
Michelle Obama’s embittered expression practically summed up the entire situation for adversaries of the new president. In front of outgoing President Barack Obama, as well as George Bush — who he also lambasted, albeit indirectly — Donald Trump said that everything had gone wrong for the country.
Speaking to all, but particularly to the “forgotten men and women,” Trump delivered an aggressive, provocative speech, which neither spared Obama’s feelings nor showed any desire, beyond some quickly stated platitudes for national unity, to pacify those segments of the public that didn’t vote for him.
Like a revolutionary leader haranguing the masses, Trump repeated, and even raised the ante of, his campaign speeches. And the nationalist tone increased: no one would take advantage of the American people’s good will, or rob Americans of their jobs or cheat them, he promised.
He went on to promise that the country would be completely rebuilt — even if those looking in on the United States from afar don’t see it as being in ruins — with roads, bridges, airports and railroads being reconstructed with American labor.
Among his other promises: “We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth. And we will bring back our dreams.”
But where had those dreams gone? He explained: “… we’ve defended other nations' borders while refusing to defend our own; and spent trillions of dollars overseas while America’s infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay.”
In yet another jaw-dropping turn for the world, Trump laid out a personal challenge: “We will … unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth.”
This populist manifesto, were certain parts of it to be removed, could be mistaken as befitting the lexicon of a leftist leader. “… [W]e are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American people,” said the leader of the Trump revolution. “… [T]his moment is your moment: it belongs to you.”