What Donald Trump said as he was sworn in as US President – and what he really meant

‘I will fight for you with every breath in my body – and I will never, ever let you down.’ Translation: I am the most unpopular president on taking office, so the surprise will all be on the upside

John Rentoul@JohnRentoul
Friday 20 January 2017 19:32
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Donald Trump, the new US President, delivers his inauguration speech
Donald Trump, the new US President, delivers his inauguration speech

What he said: Chief Justice Roberts, President Carter, President Clinton, President Bush, President Obama, fellow Americans, and people of the world: thank you.

What he meant: Big audience. Huge. Whole world watching this episode. Greatest reality TV show ever.

Together, we will determine the course of America and the world for many, many years to come.

Get used to it. I’m going for two terms. I may be old but I don’t drink.

We are grateful to President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for their gracious aid throughout this transition. They have been magnificent.

I’m not going to let that Obama couple out-gracious me. They are good at it, but I can learn.

Watch the moment Donald Trump is sworn in as President

We are not merely transferring power from one administration to another, or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington DC and giving it back to you, the American People.

I’ve got a plan for how to run the country. It is going to start, “We, the people…” and it’ll go on to describe a new form of government: of the people, by the people, for the people.

Washington flourished – but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered – but the jobs left, and the factories closed.

It’s not true, because employment is at record levels, but I have seen the same focus-group transcripts as Theresa May. Different country, same gripes.

The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories.

You look up and you see a rich family on a platform high above the common people, behind a bullet-proof screen. Well, it’s kind of my victory too.

There was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.

I call them the people who are Just About Managing.

That all changes – starting right here, and right now.

In my book – it’s called ‘The Art of the Deal’ – I call this bravado. It makes people feel good.

You came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement the likes of which the world has never seen before.

Nobody has ever won an election with so many votes fewer than their main opponent. Unpresidented.

Rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation.

Poetry too. I can do poetry. But this is a bit downbeat isn’t it? Wait up, we’re getting to the uplift part.

We are one nation – and their pain is our pain. Their dreams are our dreams; and their success will be our success. We share one heart, one home, and one glorious destiny.

In my book I call this “truthful hyperbole” or “innocent exaggeration”. Well, I say “I”. It was that ghostwriter guy. He went bad afterwards. Sad story. Said bad things about me. But those were good words. Truthful hyperbole is what people want to hear.

The oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans.

Well, all those whose parents came here before 1930. Truthful hyperbole.

We’ve defended other nation’s borders while refusing to defend our own.

That’s a great line isn’t it? A great line. I could tweet it.

We’ve made other countries rich while the wealth, strength, and confidence of our country has disappeared over the horizon.

If this is the richest country in the world, how come it doesn’t feel like it? Somebody must be to blame. My priority over the next four years is to make sure it isn’t me.

From this moment on, it’s going to be America First. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families.

You heard.

Donald Trump's inauguration speech was very similar to Bane's in The Dark Knight Rises

Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength.

Usually candidates promise a bit of protectionism during the election and then sign free trade deals when they get into office. I am different. I actually believe in protectionism, contrary to all known laws of economics.

I will fight for you with every breath in my body – and I will never, ever let you down.

I am the most unpopular president on taking office, so the surprise will all be on the upside.

We will build new roads, and highways, and bridges, and airports, and tunnels, and railways all across our wonderful nation.

I’m a businessman. I wrote a book about it.

We will get our people off of welfare and back to work.

Yes, that’s what Bill Clinton promised 24 years ago, but I am different. I will make it happen. The people want to hear some bravado. Truthful hyperbole.

We will follow two simple rules: Buy American and Hire American.

All Trump merchandise is currently made in China, but we can change those labels.

We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones – and unite the civilised world against Radical Islamic Terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth.

That’s what Tony Blair said in 2001, anyway. Said it better than George W. The kaleidoscope has been shaken. They didn’t do it right though. Let’s shake it again, see if the picture is more beautiful.

The Bible tells us, “how good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.”

The Bible. Good book. Good people, Bible people. Lots of them voted for me.

The time for empty talk is over.

I’ve nearly finished.

We stand at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space.

I’m announcing a new calendar. You think this millennium is 17 years old already. That’s loser-think. This is year zero of the first millennium of the Trump era. And we’ll go to the Moon. Never done that before. It’ll be done in a studio.

Trump inauguration: Protests turn violent

Whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the windswept plains of Nebraska ...

Hit me with your rhythm stick.

To all Americans, in every city near and far, small and large, from mountain to mountain, and from ocean to ocean, hear these words: You will never be ignored again.

I will pay attention to you again in 2020.

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