The United States welcomed President Trump to his new office a week ago, and his first words as president to the public were lackluster. While the Editorial Board doesn’t believe all is lost now that Trump has taken office, we do have a few gripes with his inauguration speech.
While Fox News praised the speech as “muscular,” “populist” and “masterful,” it seems that they were the only news corporation to do so. This may not be much of a surprise, but NBC, MSNBC, CNN, the Los Angeles Times and TIME Magazine were far less complimentary of the speech.
Some made claims that the address was militant. Others said it incited a general feeling of hate. While the Editorial Board doesn’t take it that far, we believe it was a speech mainly aimed at people who voted for Trump to begin with.
The large emphasis on “America first” was a bit grueling to sit through. We began wondering how many times Trump could remark on factories leaving the country and jobs stolen by sneaky foreigners.
Overall these two repetitive claims are just more of the same from Trump. He’s told us he’s going to bring American jobs back so many times that it may as well be burned into our brains.
The Editorial Board understands this is a problem many Americans care about and a large part of Trump’s campaign, but he should have taken his Inauguration Day speech as an opportunity to talk about something we haven’t heard a million times.
Let’s move on to what we thought were the best and worst quotes from the speech. Both were about patriotism.
In light of some of his past comments, we liked when Trump said, “Whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots.” This eases some claims that Trump is just a racist, and it’s a nice sentiment that all of the U.S. is in this together.
What the Editorial Board took from this is that we will all fight together to make the U.S. as great a place as it can become. It’s a unifying thing to hear after an election cycle that felt so racially charged.
Now to go from the good to the ugly. Earlier in the speech, Trump said, “When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.”
Firstly, that isn’t true. Nationalism is a dangerous thing — too little and you have no unification, too much and you start truly looking down on other nations.
Telling the U.S. that being a patriot means you are unable to be prejudiced encourages people to look at those from other countries with disdain. We don’t want Trump’s U.S.-first plan to turn into Trump’s U.S.-only plan over time, so statements like this are unsettling.
Though a few lines in the speech do call for unification as a nation, the inaugural address we heard last Friday was mostly more of the same. We expected a little more.