Tag Archives: Trump

Donald Trump’s Inaugural Address

Here is a transcript of President Donald Trump’s Inaugural Address, delivered from the US Capitol on January 20, 2017.

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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 restore its promise for all of our people.

Together, we will determine the course of America and the world for many, many years to come. We will face challenges, we will confront hardships, but we will get the job done.

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. Thank you.

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 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.

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

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 all knowledge; and the crime and the gangs and the 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.

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.

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 nations’ borders while refusing to defend our own.

And spent trillions and trillions of dollars overseas while America’s infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay. We’ve made other countries rich, while the wealth, strength and confidence of our country has dissipated over the horizon.

One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores, with not even a thought about the millions and millions of American workers that were left behind. The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed all across the world.

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 day forward, it’s going to be only America first, America first.

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. 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.

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.

We will build new roads and highways and bridges and airports and tunnels and railways all across our wonderful nation. We will get our people off of welfare and back to work, rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor.

We will follow two simple rules; buy American and hire American.

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. 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.

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.

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. 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. 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 will be protected by God.

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 allow anyone to tell you that 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.

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

It’s 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.

And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the wind-swept 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.

So to all Americans in every city near and far, small and large, from mountain to mountain, 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 America 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.

Thank you.

God bless America.

The end of Ingersoll Lockwood’s “The Last President”

This is the end of Ingersoll Lockwood’s book 1900; Or, The Last President. The book, along with his earlier book Baron Trump’s Marvelous Underground Journey, contain eerie parallels to the story of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Read all of this. Remind you of the events of the past few weeks (and especially today)?

The Republican leader rose to his feet. His voice sounded cold and hollow. Strong men shivered as they listened. “Mr. Speaker: We have done our duty to our country; we have nothing more to say, no more blows to strike. We cannot stand here within the sacred precincts of this Chamber and see our rights as freemen trampled beneath the feet of the majority. We have striven to prevent the downfall of the Republic, like men sworn to battle against wrong and tyranny, but there comes a time when blank despair seizes upon the hearts of those who struggle against overwhelming odds. That hour has sounded for us We believe our people, the great and generous people of the North, will cry unto us: Well done, good and faithful servants. If we do wrong, let them condemn us. We, every man of us, Mr. Speaker, have but this moment sworn not to stand within this Chamber and witness the passage of this act. Therefore we go.”

“Not so, my countrymen,” cried a clear metallic far-reaching voice that sounded through the Chamber with an almost supernatural ring in it. In an instant, every head was turned and a thousand voices burst out with suppressed force: “The President! The President!”

In truth, it was he, standing at the bar of the House, wearing the visage of death rather than of life. The next instant the House and galleries burst into a deafening clamor which rolled up and back in mighty waves that shook the very walls. There was no stilling it. Again and again it burst forth, the mingling of ten thousand words, howling, rumbling and groaning like the warring elements of nature. Several times the President stretched forth his great white hands appealing for silence, while the dew of mingled dread and anguish beaded on his brow and trickled down his cheeks in liquid supplication that his people might either slay him or listen to him. The tumult stilled its fury for a moment, and he could be heard saying brokenly:

“My countrymen, oh, my countrymen.”

But the quick sharp sound of the gavel cut him short.

“The President must withdraw,” said the Speaker, calmly and coldly, “his presence here is a menace to our free deliberation.”

Again the tumult set up its deafening roar, while a look of almost horror overspread the countenance of the Chief Magistrate.

Once more his great white hands went heavenward, pleading for silence with such a mute majesty of supplication, that silence fell upon the immense assemblage, and his lips moved not in vain.

“Gentlemen of the House of Representatives, I stand here upon my just and lawful right as President of the Republic, to give you ‘information of the state of the Union.’ I have summoned the Honorable the Senate, to meet me in this Chamber. I call upon you to calm your passions, and give ear to me as your oath of office sets the sacred obligation upon you.”

There was a tone of godlike authority in these few words, almost divine enough to make the winds obey and still the tempestuous sea. In deepest silence, and with a certain show of rude and native grandeur of bearing, the Senators made their entrance into the Chamber, the members of the House rising, and the Speaker advancing to meet the Vice-President.

The spectacle was grand and moving. Tears gathered in eyes long unused to them, and at an almost imperceptible nod of the President’s head, the Chaplain raised his voice in prayer. He prayed in accents that were so gentle and so persuasive, they must have turned the hardest heart to blessed thoughts of peace and love and fraternity and union. And then again all eyes were fixed with intensest strain upon the face of the President.

“Gentlemen of the House of Representatives, this measure upon which you are now deliberating…”

With a sudden blow that startled every living soul within its hearing, the Speaker’s gavel fell. “The President,” said he with a superb dignity that called down from the galleries a burst of deafening applause, “must not make reference to pending legislation. The Constitution guarantees him the right ‘from time to time to give to the Congress information of the Union.’ He must keep himself strictly within the lines of this Constitutional limit, or withdraw from the bar of the House.”

A deadly pallor overspread the face of the Chief Magistrate till it seemed he must sink then and there into that sleep which knows no awakening, but he gasped, he leaned forward, he raised his hand again imploringly, and as he did so, the bells of the city began to toll the hour of midnight.

The New Year, the New Century was born, but with the last stroke, a fearful and thunderous discharge as of a thousand monster pieces of artillery, shook the Capitol to its very foundations, making the stoutest hearts stand still, and blanching cheeks that had never known the coward color. The dome of the Capitol had been destroyed by dynamite.

In a few moments, when it was seen that the Chamber had suffered no harm, the leader of the House moved the final passage of the Act. The President was led away, and the Republican Senators and Representatives passed slowly out of the disfigured Capitol, while the tellers prepared to take the vote of the House. The bells were ringing a glad welcome to the New Century, but a solemn tolling would have been a fitter thing, for the Republic of Washington was no more. It had died so peacefully, that the world could not believe the tidings of its passing away. As the dawn broke cold and gray, and its first dim light fell upon that shattered dome, glorious even in its ruins, a single human eye, filled with a gleam of devilish joy, looked up at it long and steadily, and then its owner was caught up and lost in the surging mass of humanity that held the Capitol girt round and round.

Facts don’t speak for themselves

Facts don’t speak for themselves.

Whenever anyone says they are “fact-checking” something, don’t believe it’s some sort of litmus test on the validity of what someone says. It’s just another way of framing assertions about the world, and it’s usually devoid of serious critical thinking about the topics at hand.

For example, when Donald Trump said the inner cities have never been worse, it’s probably possible to show that’s not the case. Maybe the murder rate is lower than it was in 1961. Or the jobless rate is lower than it was in 1958. Or the poverty rate is lower than it was in 1979. Whatever.

Media outlets love to do this—point out little “facts” that show Donald Trump is wrong. “Fact-check.”

But when Trump says the inner cities have never been worse, he doesn’t mean literally worse on every measure. He doesn’t even mean worse on most measures. He means that from his perspective, and (he probably thinks) from the perspectives of many other people, the inner cities have never been worse. It’s all a matter of perspective.

If I say my life has never been worse, who is to tell me I’m wrong? If I feel that way, it’s true. My friends can say, “Look, you’re making more money now than you ever have.” Or “Your new baby is happy and healthy – things have to have been worse.” But those things are just facts. Facts alone carry no weight. Facts must be interpreted. That’s the point of debates.

The inner cities have never been worse. That’s not a statement of fact. It’s a statement of opinion. And everything we say is a statement of opinion. Even facts like “the earth is spherical” are meaningful only insofar as they inform some further claim we’re trying to make (what’s the point of just saying “the earth is spherical”?).

Trump’s opponents try to damage him by pointing out these little facts that he supposedly gets wrong. But the problem for her is that 1) Trump doesn’t care, and 2) neither do his supporters. What Trump and most people care about that the inner cities are horrible and hellish. That’s it. Pundits hold up little flashcards showing him to be wrong, but he’s only wrong insofar as people don’t agree with him. For the media to prove him “wrong” in this regard, they essentially need to convince people that inner cities are not horrible. That’s a tough battle to fight.

Some lessons here for you, as you try to win debates and negotiations in your own life and work:

  • Focus on what your opponents believe and frame facts in that way.
  • Pose your arguments not in terms of this-is-true-about-the-world-and-you-simply-cannot-not-believe-that, but rather in terms of this-is-how-I-and-others-feel. The latter is more powerful than the former.

Like it or not, Trump is a strategic mastermind

I once explained my rationale (alongside my accurate election predictions) for believing that Donald Trump is not an idiot, but a strategic mastermind. He plays the fool just enough to incite scandal and dominate the news cycle, yet he maintains enough semblance of integrity in the eyes of his supporters to convince them—a good one-fourth of voters—that he’s 100% serious about “draining the swamp.”

Finally others are picking up on this. In today’s RCP, Bill Murray explains how the media is being played by Trump—especially his tweets:

As Michael Barone, the longtime co-editor of The Almanac of American Politics and senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner, points out, “Early on, he [Trump] realized that by sending out a tweet early in the morning, that was very provocative, very in violation of political correctness, he could dominate an entire news cycle.” What’s more, Trump knew he could feed the media’s “addiction” to anything remotely resembling “breaking news,” all to his benefit.

This failure of U.S. broadcast media to use proper news judgment in covering Trump is among the gravest professional sins the industry has committed in recent memory because it fails to recognize the manipulation involved. George Lakoff, a professor emeritus of linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley, asserts that Trump’s tactics are “all strategic” in nature, “not crazy,” as many observers believe.

Lakoff has written several books on political speech and is an expert on the concept of idea framing, which has become an influential technique in the art of political persuasion. He asserts that Trump’s tweets embody one of four strategic communication tactics: preemptive framing, diversion, deflection and trial-ballooning.

I tell everyone who tells me Trump is an unhinged idiot to look beyond the commentary, look beyond the narrative. Look at the facts and the actions. Trump orchestrated a campaign the defied all odds. This takes genius. He successfully navigated multiple PR nightmares that would have meant the career end for any other politician I can imagine. This takes genius.

If you start to see Trump through this lens, you’ll be better at critiquing his policies, which fly under the radar—he’s reforming government massively while the media can’t stop talking about Russia and his “crazy” tweets. This is what we ought to be concerned about. Who cares if he’s an idiot. Who cares what he might possibly do to us if he keeps acting this way. What is he doing to us here and now?

Whether you believe his policies are helping or hurting, there’s no excuse for ignoring them in favor of the juicier, yet slowly crumbling, Russian-collusion narrative. Then it’s you who’s being played.