The inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States was as strange and controversial as his campaign. The day saw thousands gather to celebrate and thousands gather nearby to protest. Late in the evening, an executive order was signed that points to at least one campaign promise being true in that federal agencies are to do anything within their legal power to defer costs associated with the Affordable Care Act. Another order came from the newly minted POTUS placing a moratorium on any new federal regulations. If the day was any indicator of what is in store for the country, it’s going to be an interesting four years.
This American carnage stops right here and stops right now. – Donald Trump, Inaugural Address
A Unique Inaugural Speech
The inaugural speech of President Trump echoed much of the aggressive, nationalistic rhetoric of candidate Trump. The American carnage makes it seem like he’s entering office in the middle of the Great Depression. He also issued a promise to the world that we will hold to the philosophy of America first.
Mentions of gangs, drugs, and crime in the speech also painted a grim picture that doesn’t really exist. Violent crime in the country is at historically low levels despite an uptick in the last year in some urban areas.
The speech departing from reality wasn’t really as surprising as the tone. Traditionally inauguration speeches are more uplifting and positive in tone. Perhaps the only constant thing that can be expected from the 45th President is a sharp departure from the norm.
People took to the Streets to Protest in a Big Way
On the day of the inauguration protests erupted across Washington D.C. A small number of the protesters broke windows and set fires in the streets as their anger boiled over. Unfortunately, a great deal of the media attention focused on the violent few. When the night ended, over 200 people were arrested. As bad as the destruction of property and clashes with police were, the media had no qualms about indulging in their lust for a good fire.
On the day following Trump’s inauguration, millions of people marched in hundreds of cities across the country, and even across the world. The marches were peaceful, and illustrated the enormous swell of a wholesale rejection of Donald Trump as president. In those marches, the seeds of resistance movements were sewn. It remains to be seen whether this march will lead to real change like the Tea Party, who put dozens of candidates into congress, or if it will be another Occupy Wall Street, who failed to field a single candidate.
Sean Spicer Fired Punches at the Press
After comparison of the crowds for the inaugurations of Barack Obama and Donald Trump were tweeted out by the National Parks Service, the Trump administration ordered the feed to stop tweeting. The move did little to stifle talk of Trump’s authoritarian appearance.
By any measure, the crowds were nowhere near equal. That fact didn’t stop White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer from saying that the use of a white floor covering caused the two crowds to appear different while Trump’s inauguration had a bigger crowd. The assertion that Trump drew a bigger crowd is a bold-faced lie, but Kellyanne Conway referred to Spicer’s comments as alternative facts, which is a new term. In the lexicon of the Trump administration, fake news is anything that is not complementary and alternative facts are bold faced lies told with no shame or hesitation.
“This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration – period.” – Sean Spencer
The frequency of lies from the administration will no doubt be effective as a strategy to control the conversation. If the Trump administration continuously says that the press is out to get them, and then tells an obvious lie, the ensuing news cycle filled with, “Trump lies again!” headlines will do nothing but galvanize their supporters and create skepticism of Trump being treated fairly by the press among moderates. There is a very real possibility that scandal fatigue will allow this administration to do whatever they want while the twittersphere erupts with outrage at false claims about crowd size.
The Reality TV Candidate Promises to be the Reality TV President
In an address to the CIA, President Trump chose to discuss the media’s lies even more in-depth. He claimed that the crowd looked more like a million and a half people, and that it stretched all the way back to the Washington Monument. It clearly didn’t.
Even more egregious, Trump chose to tell the gathered agents that we (the US) should have kept the oil in Iraq, and that maybe we’ll have another chance.
The perceived rivalry between Trump and the intelligence community, he said, was a fabrication of the press.
The first few days of President Trump’s term in office were as much of a circus as his campaign promised. The rest of his term seems like it will follow.