For my brothers and sisters who boycotted Donald Trump’s Inauguration, my instant analysis:
Donald J. Trump, now the 45th President of the United States, shunned grandiloquence or complex sentences for simple (very) and compound sentences that heralded a populist tone. Trump twice referenced struggling families in the inner cities, rusted out factories in the Midwest and how starting today, his government will seek to protect American workers.
(Hobbs’ analysis: Sounds good, but Congressional Republicans are notoriously laissez-faire and beholden to the captains of industry who have shipped jobs overseas so good luck with that).
Trump also referenced the trillions of dollars spent overseas on military and diplomatic expeditions while Americas infrastructure is in decay.
(Hobbs’ analysis: Sounds good, but war with ISIS and in Afghanistan will continue to prove costly while enriching the military industrial complex that has the Republican Party by the gonads so, again, good luck with that).
Last, Trump promised to protect our borders from immigrants (no surprise there) and corporations from “raiding our companies and stealing our jobs” while vowing that his form of protectionism, including his promise to fight “Radical Islamic terrorism,” will “lead to great prosperity and strength “while “Making America Great Again.”
Folks, Trump’s speech lacked the grandiloquent “nothing to fear but fear itself” of a Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
The “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country” of a John F. Kennedy, or an optimistic “shining city on a hill” grandiloquence of a Ronald Reagan. Rather, Trump speech was a seeming anachronism; he spoke of a doomed economy as if today, we are on the verge of a Great Recession like 2009, a notion that ignores eight straight years of gradual economic growth under President Obama.
Trump also spoke of “protecting our borders” as if he was promising a “return to normalcy” like Warren G. Harding promised after Americans were aghast about the horrors of World War I in Europe. But since then, the industrial world has grown smaller and America, clearly, is the world’s great economic and military super power. Still, Trump’s speech today echoed his campaign promises and transition period comments that our relationships with NATO and other Allies may be starkly different under his administration.
But perhaps the boldest comments from Trump was his rhetorical disdain for Washington politicians, an homage to his “drain the swamp” pledges to his middle and lower class supporters that Washington insiders have been the primary reason behind the lost jobs and losses in buying power over the past two decades.
This, no doubt, sounds similar to themes that Bernie Sanders provided on the campaign trail but with one major difference—the corporate and political insiders that Trump referenced are HIS people, too, people who will soon be confirmed as his Cabinet secretaries and key advisers. As such, while Trump’s populism sounds legit, whether it is faux populism or fecund for growth will play out quickly within the next 100 days….