Donald Trump, a former real estate mogul and reality television star, was officially sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. Amongst a litany of rhetorical promises to help American workers through protectionism and improve foreign relations to put “America first,” Trump reinforced his combative populism and claimed that the country's forgotten “will never be ignored again.”
During his inauguration speech on Friday in Washington D.C., Trump thanked former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle on their service, but quickly went on the attack claiming that “January 20, 2017 will be remembered as the day that people became the rulers of this nation again.”
Drawing reference to his plan to “drain the swamp,” Trump said that while politicians in Washington have flourished and the “establishment protected itself,” there were many U.S. citizens that were left out in the cold and claimed that “we will get the job done.”
Trump spoke of “rusted-out factories” and the deterioration of the U.S. middle class because of foreign markets. “Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength,” he said and went on to explain his two rules: “Buy American and hire American.”
The president said that the U.S. had made other nations rich, but its own wealth and strength had “disappeared over the horizon.”
During the transition period, Trump filled his cabinet with millionaires who are worth an estimated $4.5 billion total. He still has not released his tax returns that would show how much his company is worth and how much he has paid in taxes in recent years, if at all.
Trump painted a country in a crisis, with a lack of good jobs and a wave of crime, gangs and drugs, which have “robbed the country of so much potential,” adding that he wants to bring back the country’s borders and dreams, while building new infrastructure and getting people off welfare.
He vowed to boost the country's military while uniting the “civilized world” to wipe extremist Islam “off the face of the earth.”
“We will no longer accept politicians that are all talk and no action,” he said adding that “the time for empty talk is over. Now arrives the hour of action.”
His speech then echoed a boosted-up version of his campaign rhetoric with ambiguous and ironic patriot rhetoric.
“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,” he continued.
“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,” the president said in his final remarks.
Ahead of Trump, Mike Pence was also sworn in as vice president. Political figures from all parties gathered at the inauguration, including outcoming President Barack Obama and former presidents Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and defeated Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Many protest groups braced the cold and the rain in the capital and were kept far away from the main proceedings. Several protesters formed barricades to block entrances to the inauguration ceremony.
Ahead of the official ceremony, Black Lives Matter Protests shut down a police checkpoint at Indiana Avenue, Democracy Now reported. Heavy security was on hand around the capital and clashes between protesters and police occurred in the downtown region.
Police were seen using teargas and pepper spray, with a number of angry protesters breaking the windows of a Bank of America branch, a McDonald's and Starbucks shop. The crowd chanted anti-Trump slogans including "Make Racists Afraid Again." A number of protesters were dragged away by authorities, leading to chants of, "Who do you serve? Who do you protect?."
Others around the country held “teach-ins” at universities and schools to help educate others about Trump and what many believe will be a dangerous agenda for many, particularly for minority groups.
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