Trump’s inaugural speech was strikingly radical
Memorable inaugural addresses come during a time of crisis. President Trump brought his own crisis with him. Rather than calm the waters, he decided to stir them further.
Trump delivered the speech forcefully. He displayed less preening narcissism than we have come to expect (though there was no nod to humility, either). It was populist rather than conservative. We heard no rote denunciations of big government. He spoke with passion about building infrastructure, a genuine national goal. The writing was blunt and clean. Mostly it sounded like an amped-up stump speech. [Read more]
Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, was director of speechwriting for President Bill Clinton. He is the author of “The Fight to Vote.” His Twitter handle is @mawaldman.