“We’ve never had a major national leader as professionally unprepared, intellectually ill informed, morally compromised and temperamentally unfit as the man taking the oath on Friday. So let’s not lessen the shock factor that should reverberate across this extraordinary moment.”
No. It’s columnist David Brooks, a Republican writing in the New York Times this morning, inauguration day.
Those are powerful accusations. Have we elected a loon? Brooks seems to think so.
I watched the inaugural speech and thought Roy Blount, the Republican senator who was master of ceremonies, made by far the best remarks, putting in historical perspective the remarkable transfer of power we were witnessing. Since 1789 every four years without fail. No other country can come close.
There was a wonderful moment for Mike Pence, grandson of an Irish immigrant who drove a bus in Chicago and is now inaugurated as vice president.
But then came the main course. Trump’ speech was straight off the campaign trail, but extra disturbing in the use of one phrase --America First, the 1930s fascist slogan.
Whoever gave him that America First slogan knew well what he was doing. It is just short of Sieg Heil in its symbolic inference. The alt-right are on the march, we could hear their footsteps on Pennsylvania Avenue today.
Blount Quoted Lincoln with “malice towards none and charity towards all.” After his remarks Trump looks like the embodiment of the opposite, malice towards everyone. charity towards none. No handshake with the Clintons? How mean spirited was that?
Remember that this is the man who began his campaign calling Mexicans rapists and has refused to put an Hispanic in his administration and has but one token African American. It looks like America -- of the 1930s.
If I was gay, black or in need I would now fear this presidency. Lincoln appealed to the” better angels;” Trump appeals to the worst devils within us.
Will I be proved wrong? For the sake of the country I hope so. I really do. But based on his first day in office it looks an awful lot like the last days of his campaign: fiercely partisan, vindictive and lacking grace. Suddenly it seems the enemy is within.