Heartland Institute President Joseph Bast on Trump’s Inaugural Address

Published January 20, 2017

President Donald Trump gave a terrific inaugural address. His willingness to speak without apology about America’s special place in the world and national pride was a welcome departure from eight years of subtle (and often not so subtle) criticism and cynicism from the nation’s highest public office. Trump is changing the tone and substance of the national debate over public policy, and it is a change that is long overdue.

Trump’s repeated promise to put the interests of Americans first sounded odd, to me and probably to many people listening to this address, because it is so rarely heard from our national elected leaders. But this promise was central to Trump’s appeal as a candidate, and it ought to be central to the beliefs and plans of all elected officials. That it sounded strange coming from a President is only testimony to how far the nation’s elected officials, from both major parties, have strayed from the views of the Founding Fathers and the language of the Constitution of the United States.

So too, Trump’s repeated references to God and his statement that Americans are “protected by God.” Such a claim is politically incorrect, as the globalists and “citizens of the world” among us say it implies that God does not also look over the wellbeing of the citizens of other countries. One suspects their real objection is to the explicit assertion that God exists and pays attention to His creation. Good for Trump for saying out loud what millions of Americans believe and need to hear.

Finally, I liked his promise to Americans that “you will never be ignored again.” This is what the national election was all about – a massive public rejection of at least one former president and a political class that put their own theories and interests ahead of those of the great majority of American people. He spoke to those who rightly resent the arrogance of President Obama and his sycophants in the mainstream media and elsewhere, who pretend to know better than teachers and parents what should be taught in the nation’s schools, better than patients what kind of health care they need and can choose, better than judges what is constitutional, and even better than scientists what is the truth behind complex issues such as climate change.

Whether Donald Trump will be a good president remains to be seen, but this inaugural address, like his appointments to his cabinet, is a sign that good things lie ahead.