With proud, angry, and primal remarks, President Donald Trump painted a dim picture of America’s past and present and promised a better tomorrow, as he delivered his inaugural address as our 45th president on the steps of the Capitol in Washington just after noon today.
He told those gathered, including four of our five living presidents, that his administration was more than a new political party in the White House; it represents “a great national effort to rebuild our country and restore its promise for all of our people.” He said this day would long be remembered as the day Washington insiders were out and “the people became the rulers of this nation again.”
Some of the bleakness he highlighted in our national situation was about our schools. The education system, he said, is “flush with cash” but “leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge.” That might be a little hyperbolic, but his point is well taken, and it conflicts with what he said Americans want: “great schools for their children.”
And they want “safe neighborhoods for their families, and good jobs for themselves. These are just and reasonable demands of righteous people and a righteous public, but for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists.”
The bulk of his speech resembled comments he made on the campaign trail, and no further direct references to education were to be heard.
“Hear these words,” he said, addressing people he said government had forgotten in recent decades. “You will never be ignored again. Your voice, your hopes, and your dreams will define our American destiny. And your courage and goodness and love will forever guide us along the way. 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.”
Earlier in the speech, he addressed ideas that could be heard as an attempt to unify a divided America: “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,” he said. “And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the wind-swept 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.”
For the record, President Barack Obama, in his second inaugural address in January 2013, also spoke about the schools: “Together, we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce, schools and colleges to train our workers,” he said. “No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores. Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation and one people.”
He also said, in that speech four years ago, that America needed to “reform our schools” and allow “bright young students and engineers [to be] enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country.”