News World The speech: Donald Trump’s dark vision

The speech: Donald Trump’s dark vision

Donald Trump inauguration
The 45th President of the United States delivered a fist pumping, rhetoric filled inauguration speech. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/ Getty
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Donald Trump has used his inauguration speech to present a strangely pessimistic view of the state of the nation he now governs and to put the world on notice that America will vigorously pursue its own interests, almost to the point of isolationism.

“From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it’s going to be only America First. America first!,” Trump said, adding: “Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American factories.”

Any hopes the world had that President Trump would transform into a diplomat after his inauguration died with a first speech that talked of the “American carnage” of crime, and said “wealth, strength and confidence had dissipated” because of jobs lost overseas.

In a rallying cry that sounded like a call to arms – or a campaign speech – Mr Trump also promised to eradicate radical Islamic terrorism from the face of the Earth, warning the world that when America is united it is unstoppable.

The speech was also a direct attack on the Washington establishment and promised to put the people first from now on.

“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,” he said.

“January 20, 2017 will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.

“The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.”

The inaugural address was about 16 minutes long and it began traditionally, acknowledging the presence of former Presidents.

But then the missiles flew.

President Trump painted a dark image of America, of its joblessness, crime, gangs and poverty.

As Barack Obama sat stoney–faced behind him, President Trump he sent out a full–throttle nationalistic and populist message with no sign of reconciliation after a fierce and dirty campaign.

Donald Trump inauguration
The Trumps and Obamas stand on the Capitol steps after the inauguration – all eyes were on Michelle Obama’s grim visage. Photo: Rob Carr/Getty

Mr Trump talked about politicians prospering while factories rusted, “scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation”; jobs leaving; and there being little to celebrate for struggling families all across the land.

“An education system flush with cash but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge,” he said.

“And the crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealised potential. This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.

“We are one nation, and their pain is our pain.

“Their dreams are our dreams, and their success will be our success. We share one heart, one home and one glorious destiny.

“The oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans.

“For many decades we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry, subsidised the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military.

“We’ve defended other nations’ borders while refusing to defend our own. And we’ve spent trillions and trillions of dollars overseas while America’s infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay.

“We’ve made other countries rich while the wealth, strength and confidence of our country has dissipated over the horizon.”

Then Mr Trump talked about America winning again.


“We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our product, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs.

“We will build new roads and highways and bridges and airports and tunnels and railways all across our wonderful nation. We will get our people off welfare and back to work, rebuilding our country with American hands and American labour. We will.

Follow two simple rules: Buy American and hire American.”

“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 interests first.

“We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example. We will shine, for everyone to follow. We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones, and unite the civilised world against radical Islamic terrorism which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth.”

To back up his agenda he used the Bible, telling the audience America would be protected by God.

In closing he talked about thinking big and dreaming bigger.

“The time for empty talk is over. Now arrives the hour of action.”

“Together we will make America strong again, we will make America wealthy again, we will make America proud again, we will make America safe again and, yes, together, we will make America great again. Thank you! God bless you! And God bless America!”

President Trump then raised his fist in salute – and his first duty as leader of the free world was done, in unique style.

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