“The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer,” Trump thundered in his inaugural address. “From this moment on, it’s going to be America First” — as if an American president could rule by any other creed. But the people erupted, hearing a pledge foreign to their ears.
With this simple promise, Trump espoused a visceral understanding of the Constitution in a way his Ivy League predecessors did not: Power resides in the people. Trump’s campaign centered around one “crucial conviction: that a nation exists to serve its citizens.”
And on Jan. 20, we witnessed not a transfer of “power from one administration to another” but a transfer of power from an out-of-touch political class to an administration championing the “just and reasonable demands of a righteous public.”
Trump’s conservatism is not one of airy platitudes. It is tied to real people and a particular nation. He seeks to conserve something concrete in our republic by reestablishing the people as sovereign masters of government.
He lambasted the squirming politicians sitting around him. But he was not speaking to them; he looked out over the crowd of citizens, and to them alone he spoke. He pointed out their observations: Washington has thrived, but they have not.
In light of the people’s righteous anger at a political class which shows them only disdain, Trump realizes “what truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people.” He presents a clear dichotomy not between Republican and Democrat, but good and bad.
All those who said he was unfit for office were right. He is unfit for their system. But that’s the point.
The crowd erupted yet again when Trump uttered three words all Americans know but our last Commander-in-Chief refused to say: radical Islamic terrorism. The enemy’s impetus has been named, a sword has been driven through the heart of political correctness. No more will our dialogue bend reality to accommodate a false vision.
In his first week, Trump has advanced boldly. Obamacare has been gutted, awaiting a final death blow from Congress. He has withdrawn the U.S. from the Trans Pacific Partnership, a 5,000-page supposed “free trade” deal which jettisons our sovereignty to foreign institutions and undermines our working class.
In the same spirit, reports say Trump is drafting an order to cut funding to international institutions such as the U.N. The Mexico City Policy has been revived: no more American dollars will go overseas to nongovernmental organizations that encourage abortion. He ordered a freeze on all new regulations and federal hirings, as well as EPA grants. The Dakota Access and Keystone pipelines have been approved, and Trump has announced his hopes to cut taxes and slash regulations by up to 75 percent.
Most importantly, Trump has kept true on the defining issue of his campaign: immigration. He ordered the construction of the wall, and is moving to strip sanctuary cities of federal funding. Reports say he plans to unveil a temporary ban on immigration from seven volatile Middle-Eastern countries.
In all of these actions, Trump has been careful to issue only executive orders in conformity with the law as it currently exists. Everything he has done has been within his just and legal authority.
Trump’s first inaugural address was ruthless and optimistic, and his first week has been equally ambitious. With an unapologetic reliance on God and a heartfelt appeal to patriotism, he cleanly broke from the status quo.
The political class, the “experts,” writhed at that sacred guarantee: “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.”
Thus far, Trump has kept all of the promises he made on the campaign trail. It appears Donald Trump is going to govern as Donald Trump. All of his predictions are coming true, except perhaps for one: No, Mr. President, We the People are not tired of winning. Not quite yet.
Mr. Grisedale is a sophomore studying politics.