Much is being said about Donald Trump’s inaugural address, especially his use of some awkward phrases. For example, George Will’s column in this morning’s Washington Post focused on the term “American carnage.” He expressed both surprise and disgust.
That was a phrase the likes of which has never hitherto been spoken at an inauguration.
The other phrase which caught most of the attention was his declaration that his overarching philosophy, whether dealing in commerce, energy or international relations, was “America First.” Despite being asked by the Anti-Defamation League and others not to invoke what began as the rallying cry of those who felt Jewish Americans were pushing the U.S. into World War II, Trump choice to turn a deaf ear.
But I am less worried about Trump sending a signal to his alt-right supporters than what I believe is simply an extension of his life philosophy, “ME FIRST.” Was winning the election merely one more business acquisition in which America became a wholly owned subsidiary of the Trump Organization?
Viewed from this perspective, Trump and America are now co-branded. And Trump and his family will treat this latest acquisition just as they have other business deals. Instead of stiffing contractors and workers to maximize corporate profits, Trump and Associates will stiff the American people in order to cover the costs of tax cuts for the wealthy. To paraphrase his own words on Friday:
The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes (just ask my nominee for Treasury Secretary) and then redistributed all across the one percent (see my tax plan).
It appears Kzhir Khan was half right when he said, “Mr. Trump, you have sacrificed nothing and no one.” Mr. Khan spoke in the past tense. What we now know is Trump is still not willing to sacrifice anything, continuing to put his business interests ahead of his oath to the Nation. A president who truly puts America first would not hesitate to divest his personal assets as every one of Trump predecessors has done.
To see American carnage, Trump need only look at his tax returns. Don’t be surprised if we are told we have no right to see the Office of Management and Budget’s annual reports. I’m sure Trump will not want us to scrutinize those either.
For what it’s worth.