Will Trump really make America great again?
The following is a video interview script
The inauguration was a wonderful event and I was actually there. I've always watched inaugurations on television and things like that, but this one I actually attended.
It was a beautiful ceremony and it was also very civilized. There were a couple of people screaming and so on, but basically it was a kind of old American event. Most of the people were not from Washington. I think everyone who lives in Washington was at home crying at that time.
Therefore, there were mostly outsiders, very well-dressed people, and everyone was very civilized.
When the presidential inauguration occurs, the hero of the occasion always tries to evoke John F. Kennedy's rhetoric: “What can you do for your country”; new frontiers; uplifting American values; triumph over the world, etc. That's usually what almost every president tries to evoke, even Richard Nixon, and certainly Barak Obama. George W. Bush in 2004 gave maybe the most globalist speech ever given by an American president. He affectively said: "There is one true way for all mankind, and that is the American way".
I thought that there was a chance that Donald Trump would have just a typical speech with words that most of us find hollow at this point, but he didn't do that. He gave a populist nationalist speech.and he said that from the very beginning: " This is not just a transfer of power from one party to another, this is a transfer of power back to the people". A lot of politicians are saying something like that, but he also said something that was rather harsh. And that is that we are transferring power from a small elite in Washington D.C., we are decentralizing the power to citizens.
Statements like that can be called edgy, and they place Donald Trump as a populist renegade against the system. And I think there is a lot of truth to that, actually.
Then again, he didn't give a "conservative" republican speech. He said that the government is here to serve us, the people. He didn't say things like conservatives usually say. He actually said that the government should bring back our jobs, our borders, and also said something very poetic - that he will bring back our dreams.
I don't think he meant the American dream in a sense that everyone can make it in America, I think he meant something bigger that that. He meant a sense of greatness and grandeur and majesty which Trump has been grasping at his entire life. Therefore, it was a very interesting speech.
We had President Andrew Jackson in the mid-nineteenth century who was a very different man from Trump. He was an Indian-fighter, a wild man. He came into office and brought all his cronyism voters and they destroyed the White House by having a party - this is very famous.
Trump was a little bit like that, there is a kind of Jacksonian populism that he was putting forth.
I don't know what's going to happen with Donald Trump. When he was elected, I was very euphoric. At this point I am skeptical, to be honest. Because I feel like I have seen this before. I do want him to be something different, I don't want him to have different rhetoric. But the rhetoric is startlingly different and he is presenting himself in a radically new way. Whether this is maybe the last gasp of an older version of America, or this is actually a new path of the story - we are going to find out.