Donald Trump’s Inauguration Speech: Piece by Piece

Donald Trump’s Inauguration Speech: Piece by Piece

If you listen to the mainstream media, the left, the right, Republicans, Democrats, men, women, and any other group you can split, Donald Trump’s inauguration speech was the worst thing that’s happened to this country since 9/11 or the best thing that’s happened since George Washington.  We’re going to run this country into the ground and we’re going to “Make America Great Again.”

So let’s analyze the speech piece by piece, and let’s see if it’s really as bad (or as good) as we’re being told it was.

Chief Justice Roberts, President Carter, President Clinton, President Bush, President Obama, fellow Americans, and people of the world: Thank you.

We, the citizens of America, are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and to restore its promise for all of our people.

This kind of language is what drives me crazy about Trump.  It’s like it’s intentionally vague so that anything that works out can be “on message.”  I’m not a fan of platitudes.

Together, we will determine the course of America and the world for years to come.

We will face challenges. We will confront hardships. But we will get the job done.

Again, what does that mean?  I understand what he’s saying, but there needs to be more meat to statements like this.  These are campaign slogans, not a vision for the future.

Every four years, we gather on these steps to carry out the orderly and peaceful transfer of power, and we are grateful to President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for their gracious aid throughout this transition. They have been magnificent.

This is undeniable.  Obama, aside from his last minute “throw monkey-wrenches into every gear possible” stuff, has been rather gracious.  Not surprising.  He’s not the best President ever, and his intentions are always open to debate in my mind, but I think he does at least mostly respect the office itself.

Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another, or from one party to another — but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.

For too long, a small group in our nation’s Capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished — but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered — but the jobs left, and the factories closed.

The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories; their triumphs have not been your triumphs; and while they celebrated in our nation’s capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.

That all changes — starting right here, and right now, because this moment is your moment: it belongs to you.

This section right here?  100% on message with his campaign messaging and promises. Washington is out of touch with the country, isolated, and living in a bubble.  They benefit while the poor get poorer.  There’s a lot of irony in what he’s doing here and the reactions to it.

Firstly, he’s playing to the Democrats’ assertions of “power” not being in the hands of the 99% (Bernie’s entire campaign was based on the evil of millionaires and billionaires), but he’s also reinforcing what got him elected: the perception that Washington’s bubble benefits them so much that they ignore the country and the plight of the working people.

Trump is smart to bring back his campaign messaging here because, after all, it’s what got him elected.  He’s establishing, at least at this point, that all of that is going to change.  Let’s move on to the next section.

It belongs to everyone gathered here today and everyone watching all across America. This is your day. This is your celebration. And this, the United States of America, is your country.

What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people. January 20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.

Everyone is listening to you now.

You came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement the likes of which the world has never seen before. At the center of this movement is a crucial conviction: that a nation exists to serve its citizens.

While everyone tried to debate whether or not Trump was a “real” Republican, I was gnashing my teeth pointing out that it didn’t matter.  He was a populist.  Just like Bernie Sanders.  The reason both of them connected with the country and Hillary Clinton clearly did not was that they spoke to the things that these people cared about, but also said the things that people wanted to hear.  Sanders’ and Trump’s campaign messaging could be boiled down to the same basics: “You’ve been wronged by the powerful, and we’re going to give the power back to you and punish them.”

That is the populist message.  The only thing that changes is the target of the wrath.  Now you’ll see him establish those ideas:

Americans want great schools for their children, safe neighborhoods for their families, and good jobs for themselves. These are the just and reasonable demands of a righteous public.

Yes, they are, and honestly, these are as much the ideals of the DNC as Trump, which is why their anger over the terms being co-opted makes so much sense.  He’s stealing their message right out from under them.

But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists: Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge; and the crime and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.

This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.

The people that voted for Trump feel all of the pain outlined here intensely.  Donald Trump courted it.  Hillary Clinton ignored it, assuming that people who thought these things would see her as an agent of change and him as out of touch; the polar opposite happened.

We are one nation — and their pain is our pain. Their dreams are our dreams; and their success will be our success. We share one heart, one home, and one glorious destiny.

The oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans.

Sorry to be a stickler, but no, it’s not.  It’s an oath to defend the constitution.  Period.  That’s your only job.

For many decades, we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry; subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military; we’ve defended other nation’s borders while refusing to defend our own; and spent trillions of dollars overseas while America’s infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay.

He’s not totally wrong here.  We’ve made it advantageous, through onerous policies, for companies to move to other countries to produce goods, and we spend as much in other countries on defense as they do.  But then he goes off the rails.

There is no depletion of our military, unless you consider deployment in places it shouldn’t be deployed in depletion.  As far as money, the Pentagon is awash in cash, so the idea that there’s some great military budget crisis is laughable.

And I’m not sure if he’s saying we’ve spent tons of money on other nations’ infrastructure and not ours, or tons of money on wars instead of our own infrastructure, but either way both are correct.

We’ve made other countries rich while the wealth, strength, and confidence of our country has disappeared over the horizon.

I completely disagree.  One of the reasons we have the standard of living we do is because we’re all wealthier, as a country.

One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores, with not even a thought about the millions upon millions of American workers left behind.

The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed across the entire world.

But the cost of things that make the middle class the middle class went way down.  Yes, factories don’t think about why they’re leaving, they just leave, but at the same time while people in “factory jobs” were left unemployed, there was a major uptick in the living standard for those who didn’t have “factory jobs.”  That’s tragic, but that’s life.

The “wealth of the middle class” myth is one of the things that demonstrate Trump’s economic illiteracy.

Let’s say we have a sample size of 100 people.  25 poor, 25 rich, 50 “middle class.”

Now 20 years later, 10 of the middle class are now poor, but 20 of the middle class are now rich, leaving 35 poor, 30 middle class, and 45 rich.  You would be technically correct in saying “the middle class is shrinking.”  You’d also be technically correct in saying that “the rich are growing.”

But you’d also be only telling a part of the story.

When the government measures growth and decline in income tiers, they don’t track the same people, just the number of people.  The fact that person A may move between classes isn’t relevant to the government, only that the sizes changed, but even a cursory thought on this reveals that mobility, either up or down, is the true important measure.  It says a lot more about the economy to say which direction the population is moving than just noting the fact that they are, in fact, moving.

Things like “the rich are growing” and “the middle class is shrinking” are empty campaign words. Nothing more.

But that is the past. And now we are looking only to the future. We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital, and in every hall of power.

From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land.

From this moment on, it’s going to be America First.

I do not have a problem with this.  The idea that we should makes me laugh.  Every country should put its own interests at the forefront.  I’d argue that any country whose leaders don’t do that have leaders who are derelict in their duties.  This will rankle the left (and it has) because they 100% believe in self-immolation, and they also believe that saying you put your own needs first is one step removed from being a Nazi.

It’s stupid, it’s laughable, it’s purile.

And it’s modern leftism in a nutshell.

Let’s move on.

Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies, and destroying our jobs. Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength.

Uh oh.  This is starting to turn now.  I could get into huge discussions on comparative and competitive advantage, but something tells me none of that matters.  Trump, here, is economically illiterate.   Protectionism never leads to a higher standard of living or a better economy.  Period.  History literally demonstrates the polar opposite: prosperity is a product of a a global economy (not to be confused with globalism which includes global government and other terrible ideas).

I will fight for you with every breath in my body — and I will never, ever let you down.
America will start winning again, winning like never before.

A: “Winning” is very vague for me.  Sorry, it just is.
B:  Saying you’ll never let us down is literally begging for failure.

We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth. And we will bring back our dreams.

Not with your protectionist economic scheme we won’t.  But we’ve already had that discussion.

We will build new roads, and highways, and bridges, and airports, and tunnels, and railways all across our wonderful nation.

Ladies and gentlemen, the return of “shovel-ready jobs.”

We will get our people off of welfare and back to work — rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor.

Republicans love to say stuff like this, but I always wonder: what welfare recipient is going to go “Oh wait, the road-making company is hiring?  Let me get my ass over there!”  What makes Trump think that suddenly having jobs available means people will take them?

He’s literally talking about a big government “make work” program, akin to having 50 people dig holes and having 50 people fill them in.  We already know this doesn’t work, and yet here’s a Republican doing what Repbulicans mocked Democrats for: using the government to grow the government.

Bad.  Very bad.

We will follow two simple rules: Buy American and hire American.

What kind of stupid theory is this?  “Buy American” is bullshit protectionism with no economic reality accounted for.  “Buy American” means, literally, that consumers will pay more for American products, thusly buying less, and lowering the overall standard of living for everyone just so someone in Topeka can work in their factory job for another 20 years because they never bothered to make an investment in their own human capital.

This is not a solution, this is just rhetoric.

We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world — but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first.

Nothing wrong with this.  Every other country does this.

We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to follow.

This?  I can get with this.

We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones — and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth.

Jeez. Where have I heard this before?

He literally triggered an SJW with that statement…

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Settle down Laurie.  Seriously.

At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other.

That line right there?  That’s some scary stuff.  I’m not loyal to my family and friends because we’re American.  I have friends all over the world.  I’m loyal to them because they’re my friends.  I’m not going to be loyal to my neighbor because of the ground under our feet.

If that’s the core of the Trump Presidency, then he’s completely going in the wrong direction.  This borders on jingoism and should scare everyone, Trump hater and supporter alike.

When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice. 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.

Solidarity?  No thank you.  Individuality is what makes this country great.  Not lock-step mindless drone follow the leader.

When America is united, America is totally unstoppable.

There should be no fear — we are protected, and we will always be protected.

We will be protected by the great men and women of our military and law enforcement and, most importantly, we are protected by God.

We’re protected by God?  Well if we are, then why do we need military and law enforcement at all?  I’m sorry but when you combine solidarity and unity (from above) and God (from this section) then holy crap, you’ve now made this into a theocracy aiming its hatred at “them.”  This is truly scary.

Finally, we must think big and dream even bigger.

In America, we understand that a nation is only living as long as it is striving.

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.

Do not let anyone tell you it cannot be done. No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America.

We will not fail. Our country will thrive and prosper again.

Funny that in the midst of this part he says the time for empty talk is over, yet this whole section is nothing but empty talk.

We stand at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space, to free the Earth from the miseries of disease, and to harness the energies, industries and technologies of tomorrow.

And that will not happen in an isolationist and protectionist economy.  It just won’t.  That doesn’t mean we cede our sovereignty to other countries or transnational corporations, but it does mean that we can’t protect ourselves to the exclusion of everyone else, run our economy into the ground, and then solve everything.  A broke populace is not a thriving one.

A new national pride will stir our souls, lift our sights, and heal our divisions.

It is time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget: that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots, we all enjoy the same glorious freedoms, and we all salute the same great American Flag.

K…

And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the windswept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the same night sky, they fill their heart with the same dreams, and they are infused with the breath of life by the same almighty Creator.

K…

So to all Americans, in every city near and far, small and large, from mountain to mountain, and from ocean to ocean, hear these words:
You will never be ignored again.
Your voice, your hopes, and your dreams will define our American destiny. And your courage and goodness and love will forever guide us along the way.
Together, We will make America strong again.
We will make wealthy again.
We will make America proud again.
We will make America safe again.
And yes, together, we will make America great again. Thank you. God bless you. And God bless America.

K…

Final Analysis

Was this speech as terrible as some of his opponents say?  No.  Like most things Trump, it was hopelessly exaggerated in both directions, so let’s understand something important.  There is a lot of talk in this speech that chills me.  The talk of “unity” and “solidarity” and so on used to motivate me, but the more I see what our government is capable of doing to those that aren’t in lock step, the more I think that that’s terrifying.  I may have ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder) so I may not be your norm, but I do think there’s a lot to be concerned about in this speech.  Protectionism, jingoism, economic illiteracy, the expansion of government…  All of it warrants major concern.

At the same time, though, it wouldn’t be the first inauguration speech to amount to nothing, and it’s important to temper the fear and rhetoric with that knowledge.  I don’t think this speech was terrible, I don’t think it was great.  In the end the only measure of Trump should be what he does, not what he says, and for those things alone we should hold him to account.

To The #womensmarch and The Anti-Trump Left

To The #womensmarch and The Anti-Trump Left

Today thousands of women (and likely a few cucked men) will march in protest of a democratic election, an act that clearly demonstrates they do not “accept” the results of the election, which was something that was so important when they thought they were going to win. They will stand in unison, chanting the same shit they’ve been chanting for 2 years, which is boilerplate text for any Republican that could’ve won, it just so happens to be Donald Trump. They’ll hold professionally printed signs and sing pre-written famous songs, and they’ll revel in their unoriginal uninspired and uninformed nonsense with very little to say and no new ideas. It will all boil down to “My mass murdering psychopath war-hawk with a vagina didn’t win and I’m mad about it”

None of them are educated on the power of the President. I know this because I’ve seen what they argue. He’s going to “overturn Roe vs. Wade.” He’s going to “Overturn gay marriage.” He’s going to “deport all my Muslim and Hispanic friends.” “He’s going to get us into World War 3!” He’s going to do all the things I don’t like, so I need to make sure I say what I’ve been saying for two years again before he’s even had a chance to do anything.

See that’s the thing with these bullshit marches. Irrespective of the fact that most of the people who would march today are utterly clueless about the office of the President, the deeper problem is that they’re uneducated on the issues.

They worry that Donald Trump is going to turn this country into a police state, but they ignore the fact that he can only do it due to powers held and enhanced by the prior President, in their eyes, the greatest man ever to hold the office.

They worry that Donald Trump is going to end all funding for all health care, not even realizing that Barack Obama didn’t provide that in the first place, and that the 30,000,000 number includes people who were added to Medicare and Medicaid, not the people who are getting subsidies. They won’t quibble over details like that.

They worry that Donald Trump is going to deport all their friends, while they ignore the fact that Obama presided over more deportations than any President in history.

They talk about how Donald Trump is going to tank the economy, not recognizing that for the past 16 years we’ve seen no signs that the economy is anything but tanked already. Barack Obama presided over eight years of anemic growth, an unemployment rate that declined by moving people into part time work and service jobs, and the lowest labor force participation rate in the past 20 years, and that doesn’t even begin to address the trillions of dollars in debt Obama racked up.

They talk about how Donald Trump is going to remove educational opportunity by cutting into public school funding, all while ignoring the fact that our public schools have turned into mediocrity mills regularly churning out high-schoolers who graduate unable to read.

They talk about how gay rights will be under assault while Donald Trump is the most pro-LGBT President in our lifetime and probably in history, and is the first president ever to walk into office believing both in gay rights and gay marriage, unlike his predecessor who started believing it right around the time the Supreme Court said it was legal, or his heir apparent who told everyone on numerous occasions that she didn’t believe in gay marriage at all and only supported civil unions, again, up until the Supreme Court made it safe to support.

They talk about how it’s going to be a field day for gun owners, ignoring the fact that in Chicago, where guns are outlawed, dozens of people die every week in gun-related violence.

They talk about an uptick in hate crimes when nearly every hate crime that has been presented with specificity of any kind has turned out to be a hoax, and the ones that haven’t been determined to be a hoax are so vague they’re un-verifiable.
They talk about how “his mouth” is going to “get us into a war” ignoring the hundreds of thousands of dead bodies our Nobel Peace Prize winning former President left in his wake, and the economy that those wars cratered, all the while he and his war-hawk cronies were trying to find new bomb targets.

It’s disturbing watching people melt down over the President, but it demonstrates something profound as well: there’s a gross amount of uninformed and dishonest arguing being done against Donald Trump. I’m not seeing a lot of talk about his terrible ideas on trade, his idiotic belief that the military is teetering on death because of lack of money, or that putting a gun to a company owner’s head and forcing them to stay in the United States is bad policy.

Instead, I see the same people with hollow vapid slogans, signs, and chants, saying the same thing they have been saying for the past two years. Why? Because they literally have nothing to say. They have nothing to add. They have nothing to bring to the table.

The anti-Trump crowd may be strong, and they’ll have their feel good moment today, but if they want to truly change hearts and minds and bring them around to their side they might want to do one thing: vote on issues not on parties. Barack Obama was an eight year extension of George W. Bush’s terrible management of the economy, awful foreign policy, and horrendous violations of the fourth amendment. It would be nice to see people talking about that rather than how much money Planned Parenthood is entitled to, how many marriages the state needs to get behind, and whether Black Lives or Blue Lives matter more.

Enjoy the march, but when you all get back into your buses today and head back home, satisfied that you’ve done your job and made your voice heard, start working, and not just on making a stronger case for those who identify as women. Educate yourself on the issues (all of them, not just ones related to vaginas) and then vote on issues. Then work with people who agree with you on real issues of importance and build coalitions. You know why that’s important?

Because when you go to bed tonight, Donald Trump will still be President. And when you wake up tomorrow Donald Trump will still be President. And every day for the next four years Donald Trump will be President.

Recognize the fact that people heard you and your message sucks. Then change it.

Hillary Clinton Didn’t Motivate New York

Last week, I wrote a piece about how in my home county of Rockland, Hillary Clinton did not perform as well as her down-ballot compatriot Charles Schumer who was an incumbent running, essentially, unopposed (he had an opponent but you would have to be a special kind of crazy to think she had any kind of chance of winning). This got me thinking; if Clinton didn’t do well in this county, which she won, what about the state, which she also won?

In New York State overall, Clinton beat Trump by approximately 1.6m votes in a race that garnered roughly 7.1m votes. She scored an aggregate total number (a total for each party she was on the ballot for) of 4,159,500 votes and beat Trump’s 2,639,994. New York State is a reliably blue state and it stands to reason that Hillary Clinton would outperform Trump.

That isn’t interesting, though, because finding out why Hillary Clinton won New York, a state that she not only should win, but was a lock to win, isn’t as interesting as finding out why she lost the general election. It would appear that when she was proclaimed the candidate it made voters do what party apparatchiks fear the most: stay home. I haven’t gotten around to doing the research for the rest of the country yet, but I think it might even be worse than that: Democrat voters did go to the polls, they just didn’t vote for her.

Taking the earlier numbers, Hillary Clinton scored 4,159,500 votes.

Down the ballot line, Charles Schumer scored 4,795, 288 votes. Charles Schumer’s turnout bested Clinton’s total by 635,788 votes.

Let that sink in for a minute while we explore Chuck Schumer to erase any doubt about what this means. I could write a few thousand words about their policies relative to certain issues, but there’s an easier way to understand my larger point. On The Issues is an amazing website that compiles candidate positions in a format designed to give you a policy position digest. At the end of each candidate’s dossier, they show a political compass. Here are the relative compasses of both Clinton and Schumer.

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Ideologically, they’re almost perfectly aligned with Schumer slightly more populist than Clinton, but for the purposes of this discussion we’ll set aside this nearly-insignificant difference and call these two candidates ideological equals.

This is important because it belies the idea that there was some major crossover for Schumer and not for Clinton. If a voter was willing to vote for Donald Trump and, at the same time, vote for Senator Schumer, they’d have a level of cognitive dissonance going on that even in this country I’d find hard to believe.

So now that we’ve dispensed with the idea that there was some massive crossover vote accounting for Schumer’s thrashing of Clinton (sounds weird when you put it that way, doesn’t it?) let’s pile on some more factors that make it even crazier.

Senatorial elections are never as highly turned out as Presidential elections.

Incumbents, when running unopposed, turn out even fewer people than that.

In spite of those two things, Schumer still beat Clinton in a state she won in the general election.

There’s only one explanation:

Democrats did go out and vote, but they skipped the box where they picked a President, choosing to neither vote for Trump nor Clinton.

This could be a reflection of the fact that many primary voters felt cheated when leaks about Clinton’s collusion with media outlets and the DNC to make sure that Bernie was buried started to surface. It could be a reflection of the fact that the FBI investigation into Clinton’s mishandling of classified data and the FBI’s later assertion that they wouldn’t proceed because in spite of her actions it would be hard to secure a conviction.

Or it could just be that people are tired of Hillary Clinton.

It’s early yet, and we don’t know what the demographics from this election really look like except for exit polls which are historically unreliable anyway, but the numbers are the numbers, and when Democrats turn out to vote for the Senator but not the Presidential candidate in a state you win by a large margin, you’re being told something.

Lots of folks are spending time analyzing why Hillary lost in the middle of the country, devoting thousands of words to analysis about some Midwest funk that claimed a liberal progressive that’s rooted in either poverty or racism or misogyny or whatever. If I allow you that as a given (for the sake of argument) the more troubling question if you’re a Hillary Clinton supporter or you managed her campaign is how did she lose to Charles Schumer, assuming all of the other factors, in New York, unless you want to make the wild claim that New York is, at its heart, one of those overtly racist and misogynist states its become trendy to mock post-election.

The data told by the states she won is going to be way more interesting than the data from the states she lost. You don’t need to be Nate Silver to know that.

The next analysis like this I’m going is a much bigger project: the entire country, state by state, to see if the trend of people going out to vote, just not for her, continues. Stay tuned!