I’ve read and seen (so far possible) all of the inauguration speeches of the 45 presidents and this one will go into the records as one of the most contradictory speeches ever. But what may we expect from his words?
Fear, lies and illusion are still Trumps favourite tactics for arousing the people, but foremost to critique his speech was because of its lack of vision. Trump seems to want become a new Reagan, where he can save America by making it great again…. Pure nostalgia it is, furthermore, Trump doesn’t have the appeal Reagan had. Also, the US is already the most powerful and richest country in the world, only on social level the US is a relative poor country. So to make it great again, against what can we measure this?
A few parts summarise Trumps speech and what we can expect of his presidency.
- “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.”… “This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.”
- “From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first, America first.”
- “We will follow two simple rules. Buy American and Hire American.”
- The Bible tells us, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.”……”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. And, yes, together, we will make America great again.”
Reagan came immediately to mind because of the similarities Trump tried to reach. Reagan was a president believing he was on earth with a mission, not to make America great again, but to ensure it’s survival as a great and exemplary nation for the world to see and follow. Reagan didn’t see a weak United States, only an insecure country where it shouldn’t be, America should lead and shine again as an example to the world. This idea of having a mission to lead the world by example of virtue is called American Exceptionalism.
Trump couldn’t have made it more clear by saying: “We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example. We will shine for everyone to follow.” John Winthrop’s sermon, City upon a Hill of 1630, is still alive. Times are different again, the communists are gone for now, but following Trumps words, the US has many new enemies in the form of the US government, aggressive foreign nations, immigration, radicalism, racial and income inequality, diminishing economic growth and unfair trade agreements.
To attack the government is standard procedure for the republicans. In the eye of every republican, every government is always too big, too influential, too costly and inefficient. Till a certain degree this is true, but as a republican billionaire to say that Washington flourished, but not her citizens and that the carnage is going to stop right now, is highly contradictory.
How Trump will come up for these people I don’t know, my best guess is that he already forgotten them. More indirectly, lowering taxes could be helpful, but this will influence the deficit negatively as most social government programs in existence are fixed for years or protected by congress and senate. Also on income and racial inequality I don’t expect progressive laws or reforms. Moreover I think racial inequality will be one the most difficult domestic themes to control. With Obama as president gone, I am afraid the discussion can escalate easily. It’s an open wound that got infected again, I don’t see Trump carefully and thoughtfully bandaging this wound.
Trumps promise to bring jobs back by forcing production back to the United States through positive tax incentives and raising import-tariffs is a flux. Though a few companies have already informed to bring back a part of the production to the United States, at the most this will create a few hundred thousands jobs. So far, around 25.000, by far not enough. Also Trump two rules: Buy American and hire American, is more than contradictory for a president who build his skyscrapers with Chinese steel and manpower… It seems Trump is losing sight on some simple economic rules, to be competitive your product need to be better and CHEAPER. Good luck competing with the asian labour force and also development in robotics will only diminish available production work.
American foreign policy will be based on strength through power. Trump already announced new advanced nuclear programs, a new Star Wars shield (SDI) and upgrading the military in general. A new truly global cold war has started with Trump abandoning the START-treaty, maybe one the most important agreements ever made.
Trump is more a runner than a walker and is going head over heals towards the future. Better relations with Russia can do good internationally, but from an European perspective I am afraid it will drive European states themselves and the United States more apart. In the far east it seems Trump is willing to start a trade war with China. China is not a small puny country, they are millennia old and have a proud culture. Moreover, the US hasn’t had any real competition last thirty years, with an inexperienced presidential staff I hold my heart for what may come. In the East, Trump can cause major problems when the U.S. embassy is moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
So what this means for the coming 100 days? Change for real. That’s one, but moreover I fear a more volatile and insecure world. Domestically the US probably will see social unrest in regard to income, racial and gender inequalities, Obamacare is already partially dismantled and Trump will soon start his deregulation and immigration programs. I don’t expect him to replace Obamacare with anything substantial. For sure the new high judge will be conservative, forming a conservative bloc in the highest courtyard of the US. Also Trump will start build a wall for blocking Mexicans, I am curious how effective this will be.
Economically and military we will see massive amounts of money being made free and invested in DARPA, the army, infrastructural projects and by lowering taxes Trump hopes to stimulate the economy. Internationally, trade wars and military development programs will set the tone for all major world players.
With Trumps proposed policies, DC doesn’t shine, it has become a weak whisper of old promises and dreams. The American people have let themselves rule by nostalgia while America is still great. If there is one thing that needs to be great again, it should be Trumps ability of self reflection.