A Brit’s eye view of the inauguration Speech
They’re a rum lot, American presidents, you never know what you’re going to get next. The ones that have been around in my lifetime have come in a succession of opposites. The first president I can truely remember was the young and suave JFK who, following his tragic assassination, was succeeded by Johnson, who escalated the Vietnam war. Then it was Nixon the slippery giving way to bumbling Ford. Carter, the peanut farmer from the sticks, was followed by the elderly smoothie Reagan (and I never understood what the facination was that Maggie Thatcher had for him). Bush the elder, the longest married man in presidential history, followed by Ol Bill Clinton, who couldn’t keep his pants zipped. Then Bush the junior, who just had to finish his dad’s war, giving way to Obama the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
And now we have the loud, pugnacious Trump replacing the cool intellectual Barack O.
I’ll say one thing for Trump though, he’s got me hooked. I’m facinated by what he might say next, and how so many Americans admire his every outragious rant. In fact, I’m so facinated that for the very first time in my life I actually paid attention to an incoming US President’s inauguration speech.
And I found his speech rather strange, very agressive, and isolationist. Trump doesn’t give a damn about the rest of the world. I had hoped it would be a speech that would bring people together, but instead I found it very negative. It’s not a speech that had anything in it to unify people, to bring Americans together, or to give hope to us non-Americans.
“From this day forward, it’s going to be only America First, America First.” Ummm, when was it exactly that for the US it WASN’T America First. America has always put its own interests first, ahead of the rest of the world. We all know it already. So why shout it out so loud?
“We will follow two simple rules: Buy American and hire American.” Scary. So, America’s closed for business with the rest of us then. And if you’re not American you’re not wanted. If you’re not American you don’t matter. The rest of the World is irrelevant, we’re out, excluded, not wanted.
“We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones – and unite the civilised world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth.” Why single out Islam? Does Trump not know of any other form of terrorism? Terrorism comes in many guises, including Christian, so don’t blame it all on the Muslims.
“The time for empty talk is over. Now arrives the hour of action.” This tells me nothing. What talk? What action? Scarily, it reminds me of the type of empty word speech dicators make to stir up their proletariat to violent action.
“We will not fail. Our country will thrive and prosper again.” What, you mean the USA is a failed nation? I don’t think so. That the USA isn’t prosperous? It’s the richest country in the world.
“A new national pride will stir our souls, lift our sights, and heal our divisions.” A new national pride? Why is that needed? American’s have always had national pride, what’s wrong with the pride they already have? And what does “new” infer, what will be “new” about it?
“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.” Too many “again’s”. America IS strong, IS wealthy, IS proud. Safe, well perhaps not, too many Americans shoot other Americans, but to stop that you have to get rid of the guns, and I don’t think that’s on Trump’s agenda.
“And, yes, together, we will make America great again”. The worst sentence of the lot. It tells me that he doesn’t think America is great, and that’s a very negative thing to be telling your own people.
Welcome to fortress USA.
If you want to read the full text of the speech, and make your own mind up, you can find it here at the BBC
Still interested? Then you might like to read this too What My Great-Grandfather Taught Me About Trump and the Press