President Donald Trump took aim at the political establishment leaders from both parties when he delivered his inaugural address Thursday. The speech was watched by 31 million on television and millions more on the internet. It was largely panned by the media as “dark” because he cited real problems that exist in American cities, our dysfunctional education system, and the decline of American manufacturing.
Trump told the crowd assembled at the Capital Mall, “We are transferring power from Washington, DC back to you, the American people.” Trump then took aim at many of the political leaders seated behind him. “We will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action. Do not allow anyone tell you it can’t be done. No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America.”
A major theme in the speech was the plight of the “forgotten man and forgotten women.” More than 70,000 factories have closed in the past several decades, and the median household income has declined. In South Carolina, the median household income is only $42,000. Trump pledged, “We will get people off welfare and back to work, rebuilding our country with American hands. In America, we understand that a nation is only living as long as it’s striving.”
Trump will not accept the status quo of crime, poverty and failing schools in our inner cities. More than 4000 people received gunshot wounds in Chicago in 2016. Trump said, “Mothers and children are trapped in poverty in our inner cities. We have an education system flush with cash which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge. The crime and gangs and drugs have have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.” We can dismiss those statements as “dark” or we can acknowledge the problem and come up with solutions.
A lot of media and political figures scoff at Trump’s America First agenda. The forces of globalization have displaced millions of American workers. Trump recently scored a victory when he influenced Ford to cancel plans to build a new plant in Mexico and instead expand a plant in Michigan. He said, “Every decision on trade, taxes immigration and foreign policy will be made to benefit American workers and American families. For many decades, we have enriched foreign industry and the expense of American industry.”
The speech closed with a message of unity and renewal. Trump said, “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! 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!”
President Trump is not afraid to tackle long-standing problems and take on the entrenched interests who have benefitted from the status quo. The tens of millions who heard his inaugural address understand that he intends to work to increase our standard of living and quality of life.