On Day One of the Trump Presidency
THE INAUGURAL ADDRESS AND THE CROWD THAT WITNESSED IT: Twenty minutes into his presidency, Donald Trump, who is always claiming to have made, or to be about to make, astonishing history, had done so. Living down to expectations, he had delivered the most dreadful inaugural address in history. He also did it before a very small crowd. Despite his predictions that his turnout would top the Obama Turnout in 2009, it looks like he had one of the smaller crowds in modern history. Obama had 1.8 million. Trump had 230,000 yesterday. That's 13 percent of Obama's total!
How big was the Trump Crowd? Take a Look!
Obama 2009 11 AM
Obama 2013 11 AM
Trump 2017 11 AM
Not impressive.....especially in light of the Trump team predictions. Excuses that his supporters "had to work" or "were holding local celebrations" are shallow excuse making. When many of those who voted for you were voted against someone else the support is soft. Polling reveals that Trump has lost nearly 15 percent of his support since the election.
Bottom Line: The Turnout was Not-At-All impressive considering previous performances.
Barack Obama, 2009: 1.8 million (generally considered a record for people on the National Mall)
Barack Obama, 2013: 1 million
Bill Clinton, 1993: 800,000
George W. Bush, 2005: 400,000
George W. Bush, 2001: 300,000
Donald Trump, 2017 280,000
George H.W. Bush, 1989: 300,000
Bill Clinton, 1997: 250,000
Ronald Reagan, 1985: 140,000 tickets sold, but record cold moved the swearing-in ceremony indoors
Ronald Reagan, 1981: 10,000, according to the New York Times. This was the first year the ceremony was performed on the west side of the Capitol.
THE INAUGURAL MESSAGE- "AMERICAN CARNAGE" THAT ONLY HE CAN SAVE THE NATION FROM: Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s White House counselor, had promised that the speech would be “elegant.” This is not the adjective that came to mind as he described “American carnage.” That was a phrase the likes of which has never hitherto been spoken at an inauguration.
Oblivious to the moment and the setting, the always remarkable Trump proved that he is likely to remain in campaign mode: negative and demeaning. In what should have been a civic celebration serving national unity and promoting confidence, he vindicated his severest critics by serving up reheated campaign rhetoric about “rusted out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape” and an education system producing students “deprived of all knowledge.” ALL? Really?
He managed to insult nearly everyone on the platform for their failure (GOP and Dems alike; Congress, Presidents, Governors). ALL HAD FAILED and ONLY HE can rescue the nation.
AND, he also managed to anger nearly every ally with his statement that only America's needs count. America First is being heralded as a return to American isolation and protectionism.
EXECUTIVE ORDERS ON DAY ONE:
Making Home Ownership More Expensive: Trump made it more expensive for working- and middle-class Americans to buy their first homes. The move will increase costs for 750,000 to 850,000 Americans in the next year alone, according to the National Association of Realtors.
The Obama administration had said last week that the Federal Housing Administration would drop the cost of mortgage insurance it sells by almost a third to 0.60 percent. But after Trump took office, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which oversees the FHA, informed lenders that the fee cut was off. The reversal of the reduction will mean that homebuyers who borrow $200,000 under the program will see their mortgage insurance fees go up by $500 a year.
Undercutting ObamaCare's Mandate and Standards (with no replacement in sight): Trump instructed the agency overseeing Obamacare to interpret she laws/regulations loosely ― in ways that could undermine it even before Congress gets around to repealing it.
This order is basically Trump doing what he can, on his own, to get the process underway.
“While this executive order doesn’t directly make any changes to the ACA, it directs federal agencies to start unwinding the health law in a variety ways without waiting for Congress,” Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Health Foundation said.
Obamacare, which became law in 2010 and took full effect in 2014, has helped narly 20 million Americans to get health insurance, while extending new consumer protections to millions more. Today, the number of people without health insurance is the lowest government agencies have ever recorded.
But in the process, the law has also caused some people to pay higher premiums or bear greater out-of-pocket costs than they did before because insurance companies did not get the large inflow of the young and healthy thanks to a weak Mandate that let those who chose not to do this slide. The GOP refused to consider any fixes in the law. The Executive Order is expected to further weaken this.
Obamacare standards have created the most consumer oriented health insurance program in the nation's history. The Executive Order is expected to allow states more freedom in setting up their own (and likely weaker) standards. This will immediately affect Medicaid which serves the poorest citizens.
Certain pages seemed to have disappeared altogether. LGBT Concerns. GONE. Climate Change. GONE. Immigration Reform. GONE.
What's there. The pages from the Campaign Site regarding the Trump Agenda....with nothing new in regard to any of them. So, not only has the Trump Transition failed to fill the largest number of positions in the federal government in memory but it has failed to develop any policy priorities.
One of the repliers made this comment: Besides the crowd at the inauguration do you know what else was different? The words I, me and my were rarely heard.
Let's look at the numbers shall "we."
The use of the word "I" and "me." Here is how Trump's use of these words compared to other presidents' first inaugural addresses:
- Trump: Three.
- Barack Obama: Three.
- George W. Bush: Nine.
- Bill Clinton: Seven.
- Ronald Reagan: 13.
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt: 13.
- Woodrow Wilson: 5.
The use of the word "we." The term "we" has been far more prevalent in inaugural addresses than "I" or "me":
- Trump: 34
- Obama: 42.
- Bush: 23.
- Clinton: 30.
- Reagan: 33.
- Roosevelt: 19.
- Wilson: 25.
Of note "We" can be used broadly to speak of a generation, a nation, a community, or narrowly to refer to the administration of the particular president In Trump's case he used it in the narrow fashion 23 times- i.e. he or his administration. By contrast Obama used "we" in the narrow fashion 11 times in two inaugural addresses.
Length. In terms of word count, Trump's speech was actually relatively short:
Word choice. Here are some words that Trump used that haven't been used in previous inaugural addresses:
References to God. Here are the references to God in Trump's and some previous first-term inaugural addresses:
- Trump: Five.
- Obama: Three.
- Bush: Three.
- Clinton: One.
- Reagan: Five.
- Roosevelt: One.
- Wilson: Two.
References to liberty or freedom:
- Trump: One.
- Obama: Two.
- Bush: Two.
- Clinton: One.
- Reagan: Eight.
- Roosevelt: Zero.
- Wilson: Zero.
The figures have been taken from transcripts from the Washington Post, ABC News, and the American Presidency Project here, here, here, and here.
* Until Mr. Trump has earned the title, I will refrain from referring to his as President Trump, or The President, or Mr. President. While I respect the office, my complete lack of respect for him overshadows that historic sentiment. I am open to being surprised. I am also going to bring the same level of energy and purpose to my critique of him that opponents of President Barack H. Obama did during his 8 years as our President.