The central theme of Trump’s Inaugural Address was that he is going to keep his campaign promises and follow through on his rhetoric. “January 20, 2017 will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again,” he said. “The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.”
This was redolent of Lincoln, and his government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” George Will missed the whole point of Trump’s address, dismissing it as “reheated campaign rhetoric, and “the most dreadful inaugural address in history.”
Wiser insight comes from Taylor Swift, who reminded her fans that “haters gonna hate,” and graphically advised them to “Shake It Off.” That should be Trump’s theme song in response to all of his critics, from Rachel Maddow to CNN to ABC and NBC “News.”
For it was precisely the corrupt, infiltrated, highly partisan, so-called “mainstream” media which forgot the forgotten man and woman in the first place. They, and the Democrat Party, self-proclaimed champions of working people, who by the last election had forgotten blue collar workers altogether, and took to campaigning against coal miner jobs.
To the contrary, Trump pledged to empower the forgotten man and woman. “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.”
That Power to the People is reflected in Trump’s plans to repeal and replace Obamacare, enact major tax reform, deregulate American energy producers, liberating them to achieve American energy independence for the first time in decades, and to cut government spending to balance the budget. That is a very promising agenda for restoring booming, American, economic growth and prosperity.
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.
Trump proposed the antidote to this anti-American aristocracy, “We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, 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.” Media talking heads derided this as a dark vision from a dark past.
But Trump carefully explained what this will mean, “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.”
Trump’s vision of the problem is broad and inclusive.
But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists: mothers and children trapped 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.
Trump further recognized broadly, “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 will their heart with the same dreams, and they are infused with the same breath of life by the same almighty creator.”
And Trump’s vision of the solution is similarly broad and inclusive. “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 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.”
Trump offered an olive branch to the world. “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 citizens first. We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example.”
But unlike his predecessor, he also exhibited the leadership to name the battle of our age: “We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate from the face of the Earth.”
Trump called the nation to action, in contrast with his detractors. “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 time for action.”
Uhler is Founder and Chairman of the National Tax Limitation Committee and National Tax Limitation Foundation (NTLF). He was a contemporary and collaborator with both Ronald Reagan and Milton Friedman in California and across the country. Peter Ferrara is Principal and General Counsel for the Raddington Group, an international economic consulting firm, and a Senior Fellow with the Heartland Institute and NTLF. He served in the White House Office of Policy Development under President Reagan, and as Associate Deputy Attorney General of the United States under President George H.W. Bush.