Four Years of Isolationism and Nationalism

Trump’s inauguration speech focused on many off the themes that he had echoed during his campaign, primarily that, as president, he will bring back what once made America great – borders, jobs, security, and wealth. Wrought with a nationalistic, populist message that continued to attack the previous establishments of Washington, Trump was certain that his election was bringing the power of the government back to the people.

This sentiment that Trump has been shouting even before he announced his candidacy for the 2016 election surely caught the attention of the country, whether out of disgust and disdain or in heartfelt belief in and encouragement for the candidate. As is evident today, his inauguration proves that a large population of our culture felt disenfranchised and underappreciated, either by the previous administration or administrations past. To say that Trump’s presidency, as it currently stands, is going to provide change is uncertain. It is simply too early to know. However, as he embodied the spirit of Reagan following his 1980 election, Trump’s notion that the current state of the government is going to be overturned and returned to the people is murky. With current picks for his cabinet being millionaires and billionaires – Oil CEO Rex Tillerson, former Washington politicians, Wall Street insiders, under qualified HUD-pick Ben Carson, and further under qualified Secretary of Education pick and billionaire Betsy DeVos – it becomes difficult to justify how in touch with the average American these people are, along with how invested they’ll be in the American people rather than their personal conflicts of interest.

Beyond the incongruities with factual validity for Trump’s remarks and where his current administration and the country stand, he continued with his speech, recalling the detriments facing the American public – loss of jobs through the shutdown of factories, the depletion of our military strength, failure in infrastructure reform, and the redistribution of wealth to other nations at the detriment of middle class individuals. After this brief, recounted episode of fear mongering in the audience, Trump stands tall and advises the American people to no longer worry about the past, voicing that we must only look towards the future. From this point on, Trump begins revealing his nationalistic message in how we will “Make America Great Again,” saying:

“From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first – America first.”

This message comes as no surprise, considering how often Trump accosted the Obama administration and their foreign policy, referring to it and the current Democratic ideology as globalism. To many Americans, Republicans, and Trump, the United States government had caused America to take a back seat, becoming second class to once it once was. Or, as Trump often referred to the nation’s infrastructure, “third world.” Viewing this as a deplorable condition that needed change, Trump’s version of America needed to close its borders and focus solely on itself and the so-called, singular American.

But change was coming, Trump assured, by putting America first, stating:

“America will start winning again, winning like never before…We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth, and we will bring back our dreams. We will build new roads and highways and bridges and airports and tunnels and railways all across our wonderful nation. We will get our people off of welfare and back to work rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor. We will follow two simple rules — buy American and hire American.”

As expressed, there is a lot of change on the way, along with a great deal of optimism. Where the money will come from to bring back jobs to this country, to strengthen the border, to rebuild and revamp all infrastructure, and to wholly reform welfare is unknown to many experts and some of Trump’s cabinet nominees. Also, the notion of “buy American and hire American” can only go so far, when people believe that pricing for some items is already too high, when considering how much more Americans will have to pay once American businesses begin hiring more laborers and producing materials at higher costs within our borders.

Trump continues stroking the American ego, expressing his allegiance for the continued growth in pride and supposed cultural unity that once made our country whole. Through the misinterpretation of the Bible through a nationalist lens, Trump calls for an honest, united America, although his earlier calls for “America first” contrasts the very notion. Furthermore, in calling for friendly and honest political debates, one begins to recall Trump’s disposition and mannerisms during the election cycle. However, my memory might be hazy in regards to his temperament.

Following that articulation, Trump moves on from the heavy petting, assuring the American people of the bright future that is just around the corner.

“There should be no fear. We are protected, and we will always be protected. We will be protected by the great men and women of our military and law enforcement. And most importantly, we will be protected by God.”

What happened to all of the fear that was induced during his campaign, the belief that America was currently in deplorable conditions. What happened to the fear of Islamic terrorism and weakened borders, of extremists and immigrants invading your communities and devastating what American experience you once had. I suppose all of those fears are relinquished since Trump is now President of the United States.

Trump arrives at his orgasmic climax of nationalism towards the end of his inaugural speech:

“A new national pride will stir ourselves, lift our sights and heal our divisions. It’s time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget — that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots.

We all enjoy the same glorious freedoms, and we all salute the same great American flag.

And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the windswept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the same night sky, they fill their heart with the same dreams and they are infused with the breath of life by the same Almighty Creator.”

I suppose that the people of other nations do not bleed the same as red us, do not look up at the same night sky, and are not infused with the breath of life by the same Almighty Creator. I suppose that only an American citizen, someone enclosed within our borders, can understand that experience. Under this ideology, there may be unity within the country, a resolve that will heal all of the scars and incisions that are still present in America, but we are only left with an isolationist country that provides no humanistic solution except for the red-blooded American. Through closed borders an in inward-looking approach, we can, as a nation, heal the issues that have subsisted since the formation of our country – monetary disparity, racism, sexism, etc. So says Trump.

Having reached climax, Trump grabs for a towel, wiping himself and the American people clean, assuring them that his campaign promises will come true:

“Together, we will make America strong again. We will make America wealthy again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. And yes, together, we will make America great again.”

We now have four years to see just how true this message is. And remember, if you’re displeased with the current political state, do not sit back and allow for it to continue – only political action will bring about change. Be active and debate with others. Silence to any political administration brings about nothing for the people.

Image: Patrick Semansky/ ASSOCIATED PRESS

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