President Trump’s improbable rise to the White House is complete. Now begins the hard work of governing.
Trump, who was sworn in Friday as the 45th president of the United States, made a lot of bold promises on the campaign trail and in his inauguration address. Many of his supporters are expecting quick fixes and big results.
After a divisive campaign, Trump devoted little of his speech toward trying to unite a divided country, as past presidents have done. Instead, he repeated his campaign promise to restore power to average citizens and place “America first” in every decision from trade to taxes, immigration and foreign affairs.
Striking the theme that helped to propel him to the Oval Office, Trump talked about transferring power from Washington, D.C., to the people.
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Trump promised to look out for the “forgotten men and women” of our country. In particular, the new president promised to build new roads, bridges, airports and railways. He also said his administration would crack down on crime, drugs and gangs. “This American carnage stops right here and stops right now,” he said.
In another promise, Trump said he would “unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth.”
The president’s address was short on details, but long on promises surrounding his main theme of making America “great again.” He has never fully articulated exactly what that means. Indeed, despite Trump’s dark view, many have argued that America, despite its flaws, is already great.
In fact, many of the things that make America so admired around the globe are ingrained in the Constitution, especially the First Amendment, and the rule of law. The Declaration of Independence mentions the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These basic tenets are intangibles that everyone — regardless of their politics — should agree must be preserved.
The intensity of protests before, during and after Trump’s address was an indication of the many skeptics he must win over, including the majority of voters, who did not support him.
At 70, Trump is the oldest person elected president. He’s the first to have neither held a previous elected office nor served in the military. Troubling questions remain about conflicts of interest stemming from his business empire as well as broader concerns about his temperament.
But Trump’s biggest challenge will be to deliver on all his promises. As he said in his inaugural address: “The time for empty talk is over. Now arrives the hour of action.”