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Power to the People: Inauguration Analysis

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Power to the People: Inauguration Analysis

Photo courtesy of ABC News

Photo courtesy of ABC News

ABC News

Photo courtesy of ABC News

ABC News

ABC News

Photo courtesy of ABC News

Mary Triplett

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President Donald Trump’s inauguration and ensuing few weeks in office have been met with both opposition and praise from many conservatives for fulfilling his campaign promises. He has nominated a Supreme Court justice, filled many of his cabinet seats, and created an executive order to temporarily ban immigrants from seven countries. Although his actions have generated wide-ranging reactions, his inauguration speech was, in fact, well-received by most. Trump’s main ideas were focused on the concept of unity, a wise choice considering the rifts he has created along racial, religious, and gender lines. He invokes a sense of camaraderie by saying, “The Bible tells us, ‘How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.’” Instead of emphasizing his divisive campaign issues, Trump reinforced the idea that he will do his best to represent all of America’s people, rather than a small group of political elite. In addition, Trump used the pronoun “we” significantly less than the pronoun “I”. In doing so, President Trump reminded the public that despite our differences, we are in this together as one country, one nation under God.

Interestingly, the speech was a mere 1,459 words, shorter than the previous nine inaugural addresses. He surprised many viewers due to his choice to have a simple parade, followed by a short and “to the point” speech. This decision was likely beneficial for his public persona, as he transitions from a star in the public eye to the face of our country. In addition, Trump used the word “dreams” in his speech more than any other word, aside from articles and other general terms such as “America.” This word choice seems fitting for the beginning of his term, given that he represents the lost dreams and aspirations for many in America’s working class, those hoping to find a better lifestyle during Obama’s administration. As shown by voting maps, Trump’s voters arose from many rural areas, as opposed to the industrialized north. As a result, Trump did not try to elevate his vocabulary for the address, so that he could better connect with the common people. In addition, it is interesting to note that Hillary Clinton only won the popular vote in 487 counties, while Trump won 2,626 counties. This electoral map reflects the idea that the majority of Clinton’s popular vote came from a consolidated group of industrialized areas, rather than more rural parts of the country. While it is clear that President Obama presented himself to the public in a more intellectual fashion, President Trump focused on connecting with people other than the educated elite.

Although many rebuke Trump for his seemingly biased viewpoints, he reminded us that, “When you open your heart to patriotism, there is not room for prejudice.” As a result, critics and supporters alike describe his speech as “America First”, rather than “Trump first” or “Republicans first.” Trump reiterated that instead of transferring power from one party to the other, his inauguration symbolizes the transfer of power from Washington D.C. to the American people. While he did not win the majority of the popular vote, Trump claims that in his term as President, people other than the politically powerful will have a say in the government.

Another point of contention about Trump’s inauguration has been the crowd size, which was significantly smaller than President Obama’s in 2009 and 2013. However, this fact must be taken in context, when considering that Obama’s inaugural crowd, reaching about one million, is believed to be the largest in America’s history. In comparison, the crowd size for Clinton’s inaugurations were around 800,000 and 250,000, while Bush drew about 300,000 and 400,000 in his years. The actual size of the crowd at Trump’s inauguration was likely 300,000 to 600,000, a historically average size. However, this number was significantly lower than what he stated was “about one and a half million people.” This confusion begs the point that we must not blindly believe information presented to us, in this case whether it comes from Trump himself or the media.

In my opinion, Donald Trump’s inaugural address was well written and focused on appropriate topics. Rather than pushing his political agenda, he focused on the quest for national unity. Disagreement about Trump’s political issues is inevitable; however, in the coming months, I hope that he will continue this effort to join together America’s citizens with the common interests of prosperity and hope.

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Power to the People: Inauguration Analysis