It was the end of the work week on January 20th 2017. I was anticipating the weekend ahead but could not leave my desk as there was some unfinished business to attend to. Business that included witnessing either the peaceful transition of power of an American Presidency or the fall of the Republic. I sat down, put my headphones in and typed into Google: “Live Stream of the Inauguration of Donald Trump”. And just like that, the most divisive election and bizarre transition period was finally coming to an end. The inaugural address of the 45th President of the United States was about commence.
I have to admit, I find myself in awe of the pageantry and spectacle of Inauguration Day. Regardless of party affiliation and political preference, the overall pomp and circumstance surrounding the day evoked and elicited a patriotic pulse. Despite the ominous exclamations that it was doomsday, the experiment of America continues. However the tone and reality President Trump set fell short of inspiring confidence in an American public deeply divided over his ability to “faithfully execute the office of the President of the United States”.
Magic Sauce to an Inaugural Address
A great number of Trump’s predecessors have given an outline of what typically “should” be said. From George Washington to Barack Obama, I have noticed that each incoming President followed a general set of themes to guide them on how to make that first impression. The speeches seemed to follow the basic outline:
- Humility, Modesty and Gratitude for the Trust Placed and the Enormity of the Task
- Gratitude to Predecessors Service to the Country
- Reverence for God
- Overarching Historical Context of Where the Country Finds Itself in This Moment
- Vision for the Future
- National Unity and Call for Public Duty
Not surprisingly, at jarring moments this inaugural address broke away from conventional norms and precedent. But at this point, that is to be expected. What seemed to get Donald Trump this far was the fact that he did not capitulate to the norms but completely redefined them. Things about to really get interesting.
What were your thoughts of the speech?