Jan 262017

Trump oath

In keeping with past Inauguration addresses made by American presidents, Donald Trump‘s Inauguration Address last Friday turned out to be very presidential indeed.

Criticized as being a “dark speech” the likes of which has never been heard before, it would be more accurate to suggest that Trump’s Inaugural Address followed a tradition that has been a presidential practice since the days of John Adams, the second president of the United States.

The parallels are striking and are part of the conversation on today’s Just Right, along with our point-by-point analysis of some key essentials in Trump’s address. Could Donald Trump’s address be resurrecting the symbolic “ghost” of John Adams?

“A nation exists to serve its citizens,” Trump declared, in stark contrast to the opposing philosophy that has been running the White House since the days of John F Kennedy.

Under Trump’s “America first” agenda, is “Buy American” an un-American slogan? Can trade restrictions and import/export taxes possibly benefit the general welfare, or are they simply a continuation of crony politics that benefit the few at the expense of the many?

Due in part to his reputation as a private capitalist, Trump’s political policies are seen by some as a form of “unrestrained capitalism” – and still by others as an unjustifiable “restraint” on capitalism. Which is it?

Either way, talk of “restraining” capitalism is contradictory. What is it that is to be restrained? Both freedom and capitalism are conditions under which the initiation of force is already legally and morally “restrained” by a prohibition on the use of force. To “restrain” capitalism would mean to lift restraint on force itself.

To “restrain” capitalism, one requires unrestrained government. But a government unrestrained ceases to be what can properly be called government. The condition of freedom becomes one of a growing tyranny.

It is not a restraint on capitalism, but a restraint on government that is needed – in every nation. The American Constitution was drafted to protect individual rights by limiting the powers of government. It was solely that idea that made America “great.”

If Trump’s promise to “transfer power from government to the people” means restraining the right of American citizens to freely trade with each other and people of other nations, then the prospect of unrestrained government remains. There’s nothing “great” about that.

Should Trump’s promise to “transfer power” actually mean “from government to the INDIVIDUAL,” then Americans have much to be hopeful for.

Ambiguities abound, as they have with every new president. Whether Donald Trump’s presidency turns out to be Just Right for America and the world is a question that only time can resolve.

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