That Trump’s inaugural address was provocative is putting it mildly. Nowhere was this more obvious than in the initial reaction of the Financial Times. Consider the following excerpt:
For most presidents, a first inaugural address has been the occasion to set out a personal vision of the American idea. You do not necessarily lose points for failing to set out policy in granular detail. You are playing mood-music, making it as stirring as possible and positioning yourself in the grand flow of American history: reminding your audience of an essential continuity. Mr Trump’s theme was the opposite. From his first words, he stressed discontinuity: that his presidency would be a break. ‘Today’s ceremony, however, has a 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 DC, and giving it back to you, the people.’
That audience-shaping attempt, at least, had the right idea. Mr Trump made a lot of play with the second and first-persons plural: ‘This is your day’; ‘We will bring back our jobs.’ But he positioned his ‘great movement’ in a way that suggested not that the Washington government was the expression of democracy but its enemy. It was an unusually rancorous, backward look, given what he said about unity and solidarity. It was a dismissal of, rather than a humble doffing of the cap to, history.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 20, 2017.