Enter President Trump

Newly-installed president pledges to put ‘America First’, vows to eradicate ‘Islamic terrorism once and for...


Reuters January 21, 2017
US President Donald Trump acknowledges the audience after taking oath. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON: Donald Trump took power as the 45th president of the United States on Friday and pledged to end ‘American carnage’ of social and economic woes in an inaugural address that was a populist and nationalist rallying cry.

Sketching a bleak vision of a country he said was ravaged by rusted-out factories, crime, gangs and drugs, Trump indirectly blamed his predecessors in the White House for policies that helped Washington at the expense of struggling families.

Donald Trump sworn in as 45th US president

“From this moment on, it’s going to be America First,” the Republican told thousands of people gathered on the grounds of the National Mall as he took over the presidency from Democrat Barack Obama.

“Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families,” Trump said. “This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.”

Trump, 70, takes over a country divided after a savage election campaign. The dark vision of America he often paints is belied by statistics showing low levels of unemployment and crime nationally, although Trump won many votes in parts of the nation where the manufacturing industry has all but disappeared.

A wealthy New York businessman and former reality TV star who has never held public office, Trump will set the country on a new, uncertain path at home and abroad. His address revisited the themes of the campaign speeches that carried him to an improbable victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Under pressure to unite the country after the bitterly fought campaign, Trump said that through allegiance to the United States, “we will rediscover our loyalty to each other” and called for a ‘new national pride’ that would help heal divisions.

Abroad, Trump signaled the possibility of a more aggressive approach to Islamic State militants. “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,” he said.

After repeating the 35-word oath of office, Trump stretched his arms wide and hugged his wife, Melania, and other members of his family. Ceremonial cannon blasts fired. The transition from a Democratic president to a Republican took place before a crowd of former presidents, dignitaries and hundreds of thousands of people on the grounds of the National Mall. Crowds looked much smaller than those for Obama’s two inaugurations.

Imam to offer call to prayer at Donald Trump's inaugural event

Trump’s agenda

Trump’s ascension to the White House, while welcomed by Republicans tired of Obama’s eight years in office, raises a host of questions for the United States. Trump campaigned on a pledge to take the country on a more isolationist, protectionist path and has vowed to impose a 35% tariff on goods on imports from US companies that went abroad.

His desire for warmer ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin and threats to cut funding for Nato nations has allies from Britain to the Baltics worried that the traditional US security umbrella will be diminished.

In the Middle East, Trump has said he wants to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, at the risk of angering Arabs and stirring international concern. He has yet to sketch out how he plans to carry out a campaign pledge to ‘knock the hell out of’ Islamic State.

However, Trump’s to-do list has given Republicans hope that, since they also control the US Congress, they can quickly repeal and replace Obama’s signature healthcare law, approve sweeping tax reform and roll back many federal regulations they say are stifling the US economy.

Democrats, in search of firm political footing after the unexpected defeat of Hillary Clinton, are planning to fight him at every turn. They deeply oppose Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric from the campaign trail and plans to build a wall along the US border with Mexico.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 21st, 2017.

COMMENTS (6)

curious2 | 4 years ago | Reply American's demonstrate a certain style/grandeur when they pass power onto the next President - something India/Pakistan haven't yet mastered.
Sexton Blake | 4 years ago | Reply Could anybody be worse than President Obama? Let us hope that President Trump's methodology works.
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