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By Miriam Raftery

January 21, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – In an inauguration speech that Donald Trump has said he wrote himself, the new President pledged to “rebuild our country and to restores its promise for all of our people.”  

He pledged, “From this moment on, it’s going to be America First,” borrowing a controversial phrase used by pro-isolationists and Nazi sympathizers during World War II. Trump clarified, “Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affair, will be made to benefit American workers and families.”

His first actions as President however, arguably will hurt many American families – such as his executive order Friday night that hurts first-time homebuyers. The action means that low-income homeowners will have to pay up to $900 every year in higher insurance premiums on their FHA-insured mortgages- an action that could put home ownership out of reach for some.

His tone darkened as he spoke of the “American carnage” of jobs lost at shuttered factories, crime and infrastructure decay. “The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.”

Trump stated, “For many decades, we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry…we’ve defended our nation’s borders while refusing to defend our own…we’ve made other countries rich while the wealth, strength and confidence of our country has disappeared over the horizon.”

His words at time seem at odds with his own actions.

 His speech loftily pledged, “And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Destroy 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.” But far from acting to unify the racial divide his campaign rhetoric has fueled, including his attack on civil rights leader John Lewis last Friday as “all talk, no action,” he repeated the reference in his inaugural speech, chiding, “We will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action—constantly complaining but never doing anything about it.”  Lewis was repeatedly beaten, tear gassed and arrested when he marched for civil rights. 

Trump added insult to injury by Friday night, when the White House web site had removed civil rights off its issues page, along with climate change, gay rights, and the Affordable Healthcare Act.  His nominee to head the Justice Dept., Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, has made statements opposing civil and voting rights in the past.

Trump attacked past U.S. leaders. “For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost,” he said.

To some, however, Trump’s fiery words were viewed as a rallying cry for the kind of change his supporters sought when the voted for the billionaire businessman and reality TV star.

“This was pure Trump, just a declaration of war against the Washington establishment and President Obama,” said Craig Shirley, author of books on Ronald Reagan and a Republican political consultant, the Washington Post reported. “It was not the usual call for togetherness; it was Trumpism, the speech of a businessman — problems and solutions, very utilitarian.”

News commentators on the left and right were mostly critical of Trump’s speech.

 Conservative columnist George Will called it “the most dreadful inaugural address in history.   John Dickerson at CBS called the speech “combative” adding, “he offered unity, but only on his terms.”  NBC’s Chris Matthews said there was something “Hitlerian” about Trump’s repeated use of the slogan “America First,” while Chuck Todd said Trump seemed to be “insulting every living president” including four former presidents seated behind him during the speech.  The Los Angeles Times called the address “angry, blunt-spoken and deeply aggrieved” while CNN’s Jake Tapper referred to it as “one of the most radical inaugural speeches we’ve ever heard.”

Fox News did offer praise though at times as a back-handed compliment, with some commentators calling the speech “muscular” or “forceful” though Tucker Carlson noted it appealed to “popularism.”

Response from world leaders was largely negative, with Asian and European representatives voicing concerns over Trump’s message of economic isolationism, some Arab leaders taking offense at his references to destroying “radical Islam” and Mexico’s president tweeting, “Sovereignty, national interest and the protection of Mexicans will guide the relationship with the new government of the United States.”

The inauguration was the most sparsely attended in recent history, drawing only a fraction of the crowd size that came ot Barack Obama’s inaugural.  After a National Park Service employee tweeted aerial images showing nearly empty streets for Trump’s inaugural parade vs. a crowd-packed national mall during Obama’s, Trump ordered the National Park Service Twitter feed shut down indefinitely, an authoritarian response that struck critics as overly heavy-handed.

Trump inauguration attendees were also far outnumbered by more than a million protesters Saturday who filled the capitol mall for the Women’s March on Washington.

In a fact check of Trump’s first speech as President, USA Today found his “rhetoric did not always match realty.”  For instance:

• Trump portrayed the U.S. as crime-ridden and promised to stop the “American carnage.” But the U.S. violent crime rate in 2015 was less than half what it was at its peak in 1991.

• Trump promised to “bring back our jobs.” Manufacturing jobs have been on the decline for decades, but Trump inherits an overall economy that has gained jobs for a record 75 straight months and has an unemployment rate well below the historical norm.

• He said he would “get our people off of welfare and back to work.” But the welfare rolls have declined under President Obama, and they have dropped precipitously since President Clinton signed legislation in 1996 instituting work requirements and time limits.

• Trump promised to “bring back our borders,” blaming past politicians for “refusing to defend our” border. But the U.S. Border Patrol budget has tripled since 2001, and the number of border patrol agents has doubled. Southwest border apprehensions have dropped 75% from the peak in fiscal 2000.

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pledge allegiance to truth

"Unity" is a code word for compliance/acceptance with the constant wars, the exporting of jobs, the excessive violence etc., and opposition to those views is what got President Trump elected to replace the feckless Obama and his follower Hillary who offered more of the same. Give the guy a chance to correct these rotten policies. Trump did get elected so let's not be un-American.Pledge allegiance to the flag and all that.

Make America first is the way it should be

sour grapes from the left, and as always lies damn lies and statistics. President Trump spoke to the people who voted or him the same way obama did and hillary would have. They both slammed anybody and everybody who didn't fall on their knees to worship the greatness of the left. President Trump and his voters own nothing. The lft needs to step up to the plate which they sadly are intellectually unable to do.