Core Values as Displayed in President Trump’s Inaugural Address

When any politician — especially a newly-inaugurated President — chooses not even to pay lip service to the core values that animate our Republic (liberty, freedom, rights, the Constitution), I worry.

Yet that is what emerged from today’s inaugural address delivered by President Donald J. Trump.

I did a word search of his address, which was largely recycled from his 2016 campaign stump speeches. This is what I found:

Number of times Donald Trump used these words in his inaugural address:

bill of rights void where prohibited by lawliberty – 0
rights – 0
constitution – 0
rule of law – 0
freedom(s) – 1
equality – 0
due process – 0
smaller government – 0
limited government – 0
restraint – 0
free enterprise – 0
decree – 1
allegiance – 3
borders – 3

This is not what we would have expected from a Republican president. It certainly bears no resemblance to the sentiment displayed by Ronald Reagan, who is supposed to be the lodestone of Republican, conservative leadership.

If this is what sets the tone for the Trump administration, we have good reason for concern. The values we have held dear are being at best ignored but more likely abandoned.

  • Stephen Spiker

    He’s certainly enamored with the potential of government power (as long as he’s wielding it). We now have two political parties who are officially Big Government.

  • Susan Sili

    I honestly missed the speech in it’s entity as was on deadline for another publication, however am reading reviews on social media. The majority by far, of my 1,700 plus friends, especially my less political friends and those who were not Trumpers was positive. The patriotism line from his speech has been copied and shared numerous times now. They understood the meaning quite differently from the way it is portrayed in this post, interpreting it as a statement of unity. Barack Obama used those words Trump left out often and they soon became meaningless.

  • First, the speech was historically short, so to expect even small word counts on certain things will lead one astray with this speech.

    Second, let’s look at the words he did use a lot: America, American, Country and Nation are his top 4 most frequently used words. If you believe America is a constitutional country based on freedom and liberty, and if President Trump does as well, then we’re in good shape.

    Third, there are other words for which your list does not seek a word count from his speech: like the name of God. President Trump mentioned God 4 times. Relying on God for our protection is one of the more important things he or any other president has said in an inaugural address. He also mentioned “righteous people and a righteous public.”

    Fourth, it is correct he did not use traditional conservative phrases like “limited government” or “smaller government.” Instead, he said, “What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people. January 20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.” That’s communicating the same conservative idea.

    Maybe one of our problems is we’re relying on technology too much to do word counts for us instead of thinking for ourselves.

    14,474 days

    • Stephen Spiker

      No, it’s not the same conservative idea. Trump’s idea of giving power to the people is by him being in charge of it all.

      • H G

        Except for when he returns power to the people.

        • God b watching U

          We do like that idea. Power to transgender people to pee where they need to pee! Power to Black youth to catch police in unlawful and un-Constitutional acts to put them in jail! Power to rural people to demand and to get what they need rather than having most of the ‘goodies’ flowing to you suburban elites! Power to the sick … once they get Trump Care… which he promised to be WONDERFUL, GOLDEN like the toilet fixtures in Trump’s Tower, great quality, accessible and affordable … for every American- 100% of them! in every village, rural corner and remote mountain survivalist preserve! 100%

        • Stephen Spiker

          What will that look like? What actions will he take to accomplish this goal?

          • MD Russ

            Smoke, mirrors, and empty rhetoric. Plus more taxes, like the repeal of home mortgage decreases that he has already ordered. That is returning power to the people, much like a jolt of electricity up the ass.

          • H G

            You clearly have trouble distinguishing between taxes and subsidies.

            “In the first hour of Trump’s presidency, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development sent a letter to lenders, real estate brokers and closing agents suspending the 0.25 percentage point premium
            rate cut for Federal Housing Administration-backed loans.
            That cut would have saved home buyers about $29 a month on a $200,000 mortgage.” -USA Today

            $29? You really want to compare a bolt of lightning up your ass to taxpayers not subsidizing your mortgage to the tune of 29$ a month?

            The only smoke and mirrors is the hype you and stevie boy bloviate.

          • Stephen Spiker

            HG, you’ll answer him but not me? All I did was ask a very, very simple question:

            What does returning power to the people look like?

          • MD Russ

            If I take $29 out of your wallet every month, do you care if that is a tax or if it is a subsidy denial? Either way, I am not doing you any favors if you are a middle class wage-earner. And over the life of a 30-year $200,000 mortgage, that is $10,440. So just how is Trump going to reverse “the establishment” policies that has been cheating the little guy for their own enrichment?

            Trump is going to screw the working class up the butt and you’re going to say, “Thank you, Sir. May I have another?” Just too stupid to realize what you have voted for.

    • MD Russ

      Trump’s speech was a model of efficiency. In just 16 minutes he managed to:

      -Insult every living former President, including the four who were sitting there behind him.

      -Attack every serving member of Congress, both Democratic and Republican, as greedy establishment pigs interested only in their own financial gain at the expense of the citizens.

      -Alienated every friendly foreign leader who has ever supported US interests.

      -Denounced every foreign treaty that the US is a party to, including the North Atlantic Treaty.

      -Declared that the foreign policy of the United States will now be isolationism.

      -Initiated a trade war with all of the United States’ major economic partners.

      Nice job. Good luck with getting any legislative agenda through Congress, if he ever actually comes up with one.

  • old_redneck

    The White House website has been scrubbed of mention of climate change, civil rights, marriage equality, and health care. First Lady Melania Trump’s page on the White House website includes a link to her “fashion jewelry” for sale on QVC

    The first executive order Trump signed repealed a previous action on FHA mortgage insurance. As a result, some 750,000 to 850,000 FHA mortgage holders will see their monthly mortgage payments increase in mid-year.

    God help us all.

    • H G

      Maybe you should help yourself?

      • God b watching U

        hog hog! … here hog …. hog! HOG!

    • God b watching U

      This is from the playbook of Satanic Lord Putin. Manipulate and deceive, then bully and subjugate, until they believe you have ‘god-like’ or ‘godly’ powers. Hordes of so-called ‘Evangelicals’ were fed so-called prophecies calling Trump ‘godly’ which he manifestly is not, and calling Trump ‘God’s choice’ …. which may or may not be true, and we widely recall that God also ‘choses’ worldly powers to scourge and carry off into captivity. So. all you so-called ‘Christians’ and ‘family values’ Republicans – especially your Roman Catholics because in the end Evangelicals actually mis-trust you and will force you to convert – had better be watchful .

    • FrankUnderwoodSr


      • Stephen Spiker

        lol he posted pictures of crowd sizes.

        Jeanine can’t physically or mentally handle anything that challenges her view of reality. That’s why she keeps her echo chamber as free from dissent as possible.

      • old_redneck

        I was banned from TBE for posting facts. The woman who runs TBE cannot tolerate facts. She bans anyone who questions her, especially if that person provides citations to real news.

  • H G

    Sounds like a sore loser.

    You folks must love getting it so very, very wrong.

    • God b watching U

      when Satanic Lord Putin rapes your bum it will indeed be sore

    • Stephen Spiker

      He quoted Trump’s speech. What is wrong about it?

  • Peacemaker

    Hi All! Happy New Year 🙂

    I watched the speech as well. I even recorded it. What I found surprising is that he was President for less than 24 hours before he broke is word. His speech was about “all” of the people? “America First”? Nope.
    His speechwriters should have taken a look at what Pence and Priebus had scheduled for the evening.
    The new POTUS spoke of “all the people” and then raised the FHA mortgage insurance rate.
    Now, who do you think that is going to affect? Here’s a clue…it’s NOT the rich.

  • JayD

    And so it begins.
    Of the nearly 20 inaugurations I can remember, there has never been one that felt like today. Not even close. Never mind the question of the small size of the crowds, or the boycott by dozens of lawmakers, or even the protest marches slated for tomorrow across the country. Those are plays upon the stage. What is truly unprecedented in my mind is the sheer magnitude of quickening heartbeats in millions of Americans, a majority of our country if the polls are to be believed, that face today buffeted within and without by the simmering ache of dread.
    I have never seen my country on an inauguration day so divided, so anxious, so fearful, so uncertain of its course.
    I have never seen a transition so divisive with cabinet picks so encumbered by serious questions of qualifications and ethics.
    I have never seen the specter of a foreign foe cast such a dark shadow over the workings of our democracy.
    I have never seen an incoming president so preoccupied with responding to the understandable vagaries of dissent and seemingly unwilling to contend with the full weight and responsibilities of the most powerful job in the world.
    I have never seen such a tangled web of conflicting interests.
    Despite the pageantry of unity on display at the Capitol today, there is a piercing sense that we are entering a chapter in our nation’s evolving story unlike one ever yet written. To be sure, there are millions of Donald Trump supporters who are euphoric with their candidate’s rise. Other Trump voters have expressed reservations, having preferred his bluster to his rival’s perceived shortcomings in the last election, but admitting more and more that they are not sure what kind of man they bestowed the keys to the presidency. The rest of America – the majority of voters – would not be – and indeed is not – hesitant in sharing its conclusions on the character and fitness of Donald Trump for the office he now holds.
    The hope one hears from even some of Donald Trump’s critics is that this moment might change him. Perhaps, as he stood there on a grey, drab, January day, reciting the solemn oath of office demanded by our Constitution, as he looked out across what Charles Dickens once called the “city of magnificent intentions”, he would somehow grasp the importance of what he was undertaking. Perhaps he would understand that he must be the president of all the United States, in action as well as in word. Perhaps, but there has already been so much past that is prologue.
    There is usually much fanfare around inaugural addresses. They are also usually forgotten – with some notable exceptions. I think today will be remembered, not so much for the rhetoric or the turns of phrase but for the man who delivered them and the era they usher us forth.
    Mr. Trump’s delivery was staccato and there was very little eye contact as he seemed to be reading carefully from a teleprompter. His words and tone were angry and defiant. He is still in campaign mode and nary a whiff of a unifying spirit. There was little or nothing of uplift – the rhetoric of Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy, or Reagan. We heard a cavalcade of slogans and one liners, of huge promises to “bring back” an America – whatever that really means to many who look at our history and see progress in our current society.
    The speech started with a message of an establishment in Washington earning riches on the back of struggling families across the country. It was an odd note, considering the background of many of his cabinet picks. President Trump painted a very dark picture of the current state of our nation, beset by gangs and drugs and violence, regardless of what the data shows. His words swelled with his economic populism and the nationalism of “America first.” The applause was sparse, and I imagine many more being turned off, even sickened, rather than inspired by what our new President had to say. President Obama looked on with an opaque poker face. One could only imagine what he was thinking.
    It bears remembering that one never can predict the arc of a presidency. It is an office that is far too often shaped by circumstance well beyond its occupant’s control. Those challenges, wherever and however they may rise, now will fall on the desk of President Trump. We can only see what will happen. We hope, for the security and sanctity of our Republic, that Mr. Trump will respond to the challenges with circumspection and wisdom. Today’s rhetoric was not reassuring.
    Our democracy demands debate and dissent – fierce, sustained, and unflinching when necessary. I sense that tide is rising amongst an opposition eager to toss aside passivity for action. We are already seeing a more emboldened Democratic party than I have witnessed in ages. It is being fueled by a fervent energy bubbling from the grassroots up, rather than the top down.
    These are the swirling currents about our ship of state. We now have a new and untested captain. His power is immense, but it is not bestowed from a divinity on high. It is derived, as the saying goes, from the consent of the governed. That means President Trump now works for us – all of us. And if he forgets that, it will be our duty to remind him.
    Dan Rather

  • Chris

    I thought this was a well written take on why people are attacking Trump so early and so vociferously.

  • old_redneck

    Tiffany Trump, Steve Barron and his daughter, Treasury nominee Steven Mnuchin all are registered to vote in two states.

    White House staffers are using non-government, non-secure private Republican National Committee email servers for official business. LOCK ‘EM UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • old_redneck

    I’m very, very confused.

    Every time President Obama issued an executive order, he was met with cries of “TYRANNY!!”

    Trump has been firing off executive orders at record pace and the word “Tyranny” has not crossed the lips of a single republican.

    Perhaps the word “HYPOCRITE” is in order.

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