Monday, January 23, 2017

The President's Speech

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

What did you think of President Trump's Inauguration speech? Chris Matthews, proudly clutching the last available Godwin's Law trophy (they're on backorder for the next four years, folks), felt a "Hitlerian" chill up his formerly tingling leg.

I'm in camp with the non-hysterical normals, which includes many who were not fans of his and still are not.
With four of his predecessors on the platform with him, President Trump blasted all those responsible for the recent government of the country as self-interested incompetents, compulsive, impotent talkers who had allowed America to decay and to be out-maneuvered by its rivals in the world and to take leave of the interests of the people of modest means and no influence within America.
It was a forceful message, powerfully delivered with a completely disciplined attachment to his prepared text.
Source: Conrad Black: Without the trite sanctimony, Trump invokes a sacred duty to raise up America’s magnificence
Peggy Noonan describes the scene well:
The inaugural address was utterly and uncompromisingly Trumpian. [...] It was plain, unfancy and blunt to the point of blistering. A little humility would have gone a long way, but that’s not the path he took. Nor did he attempt to reassure. It was pow, right in the face. Most important, he did not in any way align himself with the proud Democrats and Republicans arrayed around him. 
It was an unmistakable indictment of almost everyone seated with him on the platform.
She ends her essay by identifying the principle danger to politically-independent President Trump:
Normally a new president has someone backing him up, someone publicly behind him. Mr. Obama had the mainstream media — the big broadcast networks, big newspapers, activists and intellectuals, pundits and columnists of the left — the whole shebang. He had a unified, passionate party.
Mr. Trump in comparison has almost nothing. The mainstream legacy media oppose him, even hate him, and will not let up. The columnists, thinkers and magazines of the right were mostly NeverTrump; some came reluctantly to support him. His party is split or splitting.
The new president has gradations of sympathy, respect or support from exactly one cable news channel, and some websites.
He really has no one but those who voted for him.  Source: Peggy Noonan: President Trump Declares Independence
Trumpled and Scorned

President Trump dispensed with the soaring rhetoric, and his word usage and unpolished phrases suggest he wrote the speech himself, probably with Steve Bannon's help. He used direct, frank language, and to those just getting their bearings after this unthinkable election outcome, it was one more flash-bang grenade blowing out newly-installed windows, and sending the Trumpophobes back into a queasy vertigo relapse. No, it wasn't a nightmare: The Trumpening really is upon us.

It is refreshing and heartening to hear a president say things like this again:
"Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families."
The following broadside against the Dem-Repub DC Establishment was my favorite. President Obama's jaw was clenched and working at this point, senators were squirming, and the former First Lady's eyes were spitting daggers:
"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."
I liked this line...
"When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice."
What do you think?

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