Trump takes the office and the next four years begin
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After months of preparation for the day, on Jan. 20, Trump was sworn in on Capitol Hill and assumed the office of president of the United States.
The new president delivered a 16 minute speech that laid out his plans for the country for the next four years. His speech consisted of a very similar rhetoric to the promises he made on the campaign trail.
For the people who helped him win the office, the speech was an affirmation of the values to which his supporters are holding him.
“We are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another,” Trump said. “But we are transferring power from Washington, D.C., and giving it back to you, the people.”
An important theme in Trump’s address was calling out the establishment of Washington. Even though he thanked President Obama for a smooth transition, it was as if Trump was pointing the finger at the four formers presidents who were in attendance at the ceremony.
Trump made direct appeals to his supporters during the speech, those who elected him because they feel like their voices are not being heard in Washington.
“The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer,” Trump said.
Trump echoed his campaign promises on foreign and domestic policy to put America first whenever a decision is being made in the oval office. His speech was littered with evident nationalist language.
However, there is a concern that Trump may not have accomplished the most important task of the inaugural address, and that is unifying both his supporters and his opposition to support the new administration.
The last few weeks have been plagued with opposition from Democrats as Trump has selected his cabinet and they have been receiving their senate hearings.
There are many legitimate criticisms for his cabinet picks including potential conflicts of interests to concerns about the lack of qualification for his picks i.e. Housing and Urban Development Secretary pick Ben Carson and Secretary of Energy pick Rick Perry.
The largest concern is the fact that Trump has put together the least diverse cabinet in modern history compared to other presidents. Unlike the previous two presidents, Trump has not chosen a single member of the opposing party to represent his cabinet.
The United States have not faced divisiveness like this since the Civil Rights Era. We fail to come to a consensus on any single political issue.
The campaign formed a gap in the American collective, and this gap may turn out to be the biggest issue Trump faces in his presidency. Trump managed to bring together a large base of support by identifying foreign threats and using the fears of the American people to his advantage.
“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,” Trump said.
However, the biggest fight this country faces will not be overseas. It will be right at home, where Americans will have to live together in a country with a president that the majority of the people did not want elected.
These facts cannot be ignored by Trump. It will no longer be enough to make enemies out of his critics, from the press, to fellow political leaders, to even other nations in order to achieve his means.
Now is the time for Trump to reach out to his opposition for the sake of his country where possible, and also where possible, his critics will need to be willing to work with him to help make the best decisions for the American people.
For many Americans it is not the most preferred scenario, but it is the only scenario there is. The next four years will be a trial to determine if the idea of the “melting pot” that is the American experiment can survive without leading to turmoil.
Trump hit an important chord in his speech. We cannot live together in a country that ignores the voices of large segments of its population.
Americans will need to have open ears for the next four years.