Mr President's Inaugural Speech - Thoughts?

Events occurring and how they relate/affect Anabaptist faith and culture.
Neto
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Re: Mr President's Inaugural Speech - Thoughts?

Postby Neto » Wed Jan 25, 2017 12:37 pm

My wife was listening to it, and called me into the room when it came time for his speech. I also noted the comment which Adam pointed out, but I took it as an culturally & ethnically inclusive statement. I would contrast patriotism with ethnocentrism. America is a mixed bag of different ethnicities, and in that sense cannot be compared to the Germany of the middle 19th century. The point where the comparison might be valid, however, is in the sense that the culture of the USA appears to be increasingly fractured, but at the same time, it is not totally along ethnic lines. (Do you get the sense that I'm arguing with myself?)
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lesterb
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Re: Mr President's Inaugural Speech - Thoughts?

Postby lesterb » Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:34 pm

Adam wrote:
EdselB wrote:
Adam wrote:The statement that disturbed me the most was when he said, "When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice." I would argue that it is the exact opposite (Hitler anyone?).


My that was pretty quick in the discussion for Godwin's law to take effect. Could we have a gentleman's agreement on mennonet to leave Hitler and the Nazis out of our frequently used arsenal of arguments and analogies? I say frequently used, because there are cases where the analogy might be appropiate.

For those unfamiliar with Godwin's law see,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law


I had never heard of Godwin's law before, Edsel. Allow me to restate my comment in deference to your stated preference.

The statement that disturbed me the most was when he said, "When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice." I would argue the opposite and say: the more we open our heart to patriotism, the more we are likely to be prejudiced against those of other countries. Whereas the more we open our hearts to the Kingdom of God, the more we are likely to show no prejudice. There are past examples in history where an increased emphasis on patriotism lead people toward prejudice and not away from it, particularly in Germany during World War II.

For the record, I was not saying that Trump was like Hitler. Rather I was making the comparison to the time period in Germany during World War II when increased patriotism lead to increased prejudice. And I was making that comparison to demonstrate that the statement Trump made was fallacious. In that sense I think the historical reference is appropriate because if we do not learn from past history we are doomed to repeat it (even if not on the same scale). However, I can see how someone could misinterpret what I intended by my comments and conclude that I was comparing Trump to Hitler. And as much as I think Trump is unfit for the office of the presidency, I do agree with you that the comparison to Hitler is not appropriate, even though there may be some similarities in terms of populism and inspiring hatred and racism.

I heard the speech live, and I remember the statement you are referring to. But if you take it in context, he was calling for unity in the American public. He wasn't calling for no prejudice against other countries. In fact his focus was "America first". Certainly patriotism will do what you say, but Trump is okay with that. He also gave other countries the right to do a "Canada first" or "UK first".

On the whole, for Trump the speech wasn't really that bad. Compare it with some of his earlier speeches, and especially some of the debates, and you will see that he is actually trying to be president for everyone. I was surprised how easily he left Mr Obama off the hook. If you listen to Obama's initial inauguration speech, you will notice that he was harder on the Bush administration than what Trump was on his. Plus, his speech was just as hard on the Republican ecosystem as it was on the Democrats.

Trump flies by the seat of his pants. You have to wait and see what actually happens to judge his actions. Most people are judging him by what they think he will do, or what their neighbor, or favorite news source says he will do. That doesn't work. You can't judge Trump's actions before that fact.

He takes a simplistic approach to government. When he says "America first" that is exactly what he means. I question whether some of his actions will actually do what he thinks, but I give him credit for actually trying. We can't read between the lines with Trump. He doesn't have a hidden agenda. What you see is what you get with him. It will take the American public and news media a while until they catch on to that.

Like I said, I'm not persuaded that his approach will work. In fact, I'm fairly sure it won't. But that's happened before. Reagan really shook up things in Washington and it wasn't the end of the country or the world. It seems to me to be fairly evident that God put Trump in office. Everything was against him the last month, and I didn't expect it to happen. So I'm going to sit back and see what God has in mind.

Could be quite a roller coaster ride! Hang on, here we go! :wave:
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When a man's ways please the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. (Pro 16:7 ESV)

RZehr
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Re: Mr President's Inaugural Speech - Thoughts?

Postby RZehr » Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:51 pm

I was recently at a business meeting and at the table one of the business associate which was commenting how he felt that Obama and Bush didn't do that great a job at running the country and governing, but he felt like they both made great Dads. He said how it seemed like they were both men that cared for their wifes and daughters, and thought they were decent men.
And he went on to say that in his opinion, Clinton and JFK did a great job of being President, and yet he felt that they were not honorable men, and he would not have wanted either of these men to be his father.

This got me wondering if the separation of the kingdom of God and the kingdoms of the world create a dynamic in which to excel in one comes at a cost in the other. I think it does, and I wonder if this tension between the two is what this man was seeing even though he is not a Christian.

Jimmy Carter came to mind to. It seems that he was a sincere christian, but people don't speak highly of his Presidency. So maybe Trump is going to do well. But I'm sure that there are Presidents that wouldn't seem to fit this.
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Dan Z
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Re: Mr President's Inaugural Speech - Thoughts?

Postby Dan Z » Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:58 pm

I also think the speech was very populist in nature - rightward leaning, but not consistently conservative in ideology. It is in line with a wave of right-leaning/authoritarian/nationalistic populist sentiment that seems to be rising in the western world these days (Brexit and Nigel Farage in Britain, Marine Le Pen of France, Geert Wilders of the Netherlands, and Norbert Hoffer in Austria for example).

BTW...I'm not convinced that populism, regardless of which direction it leans, is the best way to govern a nation.
Come to think of it, this may be a discussion in itself.
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appleman2006
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Re: Mr President's Inaugural Speech - Thoughts?

Postby appleman2006 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:20 pm

I am still a long long way from a Trump supporter but I will congratulate him on making a move towards the building of the Keystone pipeline in his first 3 days something that President Obama should have done years ago.

As to his patriotic comment, I too saw it as a positive thing. Read it in context what I heard him say was that a patriotic American is not a patriot at all if he is inclined towards racism of any kind. I fail to see what is wrong with that statement.

It was in a few of his following speeches that I found him to be way too full of himself. Unless he truly learns to listen to the advice of those close to him and the staff that he picks I fear that could be his undoing. If after his first year in office there has not been more than 1 or 2 firings of key people my fears will be at least partially allayed. Until than I will give him the benefit of the doubt.

Now in regards to some of the protestors on Saturday. If that is an example of who Trumps opposition is than it almost makes Trump look good. I could not believe some of the vile stuff that came out of them not to mention threats up to and including blowing up the White House. I still stand by my conclusions that as a rule those on the left are far more inclined to resort to violence. Nothing has happened to change my mind. In fact I am more convinced than ever.
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Dan Z
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Re: Mr President's Inaugural Speech - Thoughts?

Postby Dan Z » Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:39 pm

Oh...as was mentioned elsewhere...another point that resonated strongly with the crowd I was with was that, from this day forward, the power was going to be put back into the hands of the people (and away from the Washington elite and the powerful/intellectual/wealthy insiders that support them - and reap the benefits).
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joshuabgood
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Re: Mr President's Inaugural Speech - Thoughts?

Postby joshuabgood » Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:31 pm

Dan Z wrote:Oh...as was mentioned elsewhere...another point that resonated strongly with the crowd I was with was that, from this day forward, the power was going to be put back into the hands of the people (and away from the Washington elite and the powerful/intellectual/wealthy insiders that support them - and reap the benefits).


The irony of that statement coming from a billionaire that has bought and sold political insiders.
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