Donald J. Trump was sworn into office today as the United States’ 45th president, and subsequently addressed the American people for the first time as Commander-in-Chief. His speech touched on many of the themes he emphasized during his campaign, particularly the re-empowering of the American people, and the re-establishment of the United States’ supremacy as a world power.
“Today’s ceremony has very special meaning,” President Trump proclaimed. “Because today, we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another… we are transferring power from Washington D.C. and giving it back to you, the people.”
While the new president had kind words for the now former president and first lady, Barack and Michelle Obama — thanking them “for their gracious aid throughout this transition… they have been magnificent” — he offered an unsurprisingly derisive analysis of the state of Washington, D.C. under their watch: “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.”
The populist bent continued throughout Trump’s speech, with the president repeatedly emphasizing: “This moment is your moment, it belongs to you… This is your day, this is your celebration, and this — your United States of America — is your country.”
President Trump vowed to make it a priority during his tenure to bring jobs and security back to America: “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.” He went on to declare that he was “issuing a new decree… 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.”
Among the issues he promised to deal with as Commander-in-Chief were “the crime, and the gangs, and the drugs that have stole too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential,” and what he referred to as “radical, Islamic terrorism,” vowing to “eradicate [it] completely from the face of the earth.” He also decried “politicians that are all talk and no action,” insisting that “the time for empty talk is over — now arrives the hour of action.”
President Trump closed with a credo that, of course, worked its way up to the signature catchphrase of his initial candidacy, solemnly swearing to the American people: “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 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.”