Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Sheer Demagoguery in Trump’s Inaugural Address

In a speech similar to those of his campaign and addressing his electoral base, Trump slammed the political establishment and spoke about borders, employment, trade, and military alliances.

Juan Andrés Gallardo

January 20, 2017
Facebook Twitter Share

Trump chose to begin his presidency with an address made in a clearly demagogic tone, in line with his campaign speeches, without referring specifically to any of his promises or to how he plans to fulfill them.

Speaking directly to his electoral base, many of whom are the so-called “losers of globalization” who have seen a decline in their quality of life over the past few decades, Trump began by attacking the political establishment.

After greeting the former presidents in attendance and thanking Obama for the cordial transition, Trump took aim at Washington: “Today’s ceremony (…) has a very special meaning, because today (…) we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the people.”

This was one of his slogans throughout his campaign, and he decided to make it a central part of his inaugural address. In reference to the conditions that have created mass indignation towards professional politicians, who most people see as indifferent to their needs, Trump stated: “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.” Trump ended his speech by assuring his audience that “January 20th 2017 will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.”

Borders, Trade and Jobs
Although he did not explicitly mention China, Mexico, or NATO, Trump described the core elements of his protectionist and anti-immigrant policy in his speech.

“For many decades, we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry; (…) we’ve defended other nations’ borders while refusing to defend our own; (…) One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores, with not even a thought about the millions upon millions of American workers left behind.”

On the basis of these arguments, Trump put forth his isolationist policy, saying that it’s time to focus on the country and that from this moment on, it’s going to be “America First.”

His only concrete promise seems to be his vow to put in place a public works plan for the construction of roads, bridges, or airports, which will be built with “American hands.” Beyond this, he only stated that with greater protectionism, the United States would return to the path of “prosperity,” although he did not specify how he would “bring back [their] jobs, “bring back [their] borders” and “bring back [their] wealth.”

So began this new administration, led by a multimillionaire , with the support of a cabinet of millionaires and conservatives, a fact that flies in the face of his anti-establishment rhetoric. There are still more questions than answers about the possibility of actually fulfilling his campaign promises, many of which are opposed by the country’s political and economic establishment. Meanwhile, his proposed xenophobic and anti-immigrant policies are starting to meet with resistance on the streets.

While Trump gave his speech, surrounded by Obama, Hillary, and even Sanders, thousands of protesters gathered in different parts of the capital as a prelude to the massive Women’s March that has been planned for tomorrow.

Facebook Twitter Share

Juan Andrés Gallardo

Juan is a journalist from Buenos Aires and the editor of the international section of our Argentinian sister site La Izquierda Diario.

Twitter

United States

Police office crouches behind a riot shield which reads "Shelby Township Police"

BLM Leader In Court to Challenge Racist and Retaliatory Charges

A Detroit leader of the Black Lives Matter movement is set to appear in court to challenge racist and retaliatory felony charges for marching to demand the firing of a Chief of Police who called BLM protestors “subhuman” and said they belonged in “body bags”.

Somali troops stand in formation during a graduation ceremony after being trained by U.S. forces in Mogadishu on Aug. 17, 2018.

Biden Is Expanding U.S. Military Intervention in Somalia

President Biden recently approved an order to send hundreds of troops to Somalia. This move serves the interests of U.S. imperialism by taking advantage of the very political instability it helped create.

Sam Carliner

May 20, 2022
Semi-empty store shelf with a few cans of baby formula.

The Baby Formula Shortage Is a Capitalist Crisis of Social Reproduction

The baby formula shortage is a consequence of capitalism and a crisis of social reproduction. Formula should not be commodified and sold — it should be free and a basic right for all parents.

In the Latest Primaries, the Battle within the Parties Continues

Tuesday's primaries delivered wins to Trump endorsed candidates and some progressives, signaling that the fight for the parties is far from over.

Ezra Brain

May 18, 2022

MOST RECENT

The Kids Are Alright: Meet the 17 Year Olds That Want to Unionize Starbucks

They haven't finished high school yet, but they are already fighting to organize the first union at Starbucks in the San Francisco Bay Area. Driven by the unionization wave sweeping the country, two 17-year-olds are organizing with their coworkers through a chat called "Union Babes" and fighting the company's union-busting campaigns.

People protest in support of the unionizing efforts of the Alabama Amazon workers, in Los Angeles, California, March 22, 2021.

Amazon Won’t Stop Union Busting and Firing Organizers

Amazon hasn't recognized the Amazon Labor Union and, like Starbucks, is continuing to union bust and fire organizers.

Luigi Morris

May 20, 2022
A protester waves a sign that read "unionize" near the Country Club Plaza Starbucks store where dozens of Starbucks employees and union supporters protested alleged anti-union tactics by the company Thursday, March 3, 2022.

El Paso Starbucks Workers Are Organizing in the Face of Relentless Union Busting

Starbucks’s preemptive union-busting tactics in El Paso, Texas, have backfired and inspired workers at the Fountains to unionize.

Paul Ginestá

May 20, 2022
SEIU local 721 members at a rally wearing purple and holding signs for fair wage increases.

SEIU 721, Vote No! A Better Contract Is Possible

Union leaders of SEIU 721 have reached a deal with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. But there are big problems with the proposed agreement, and the rank and file should vote against it.

Left Voice

May 20, 2022