Global Protests, Vandalism and Arrests Mar Trump Inauguration

Donald_Trump_swearing_in_ceremony-Jan.pngDonald John Trump promised to unite "this great country of ours" in his 16-minute Inaugural speech after he was sworn in Thursday, Jan. 20, as the nation's 45th President. Instead, his presence and the event itself triggered mass protests, vandalism and arrests in major cities across the United States.

Those protests aren't finished, either. On Saturday, Jan. 21, an estimated half million women from large and small cities across the U.S. plan to march, starting near Capitol Hill and walking through and near the allowable areas outside the White House at 1600 NW Pennsylvania Avenue.

A reported 600 'sister marches' are planned the same day in other American locales. They will be showing their dislike for Trump personally and their frustration with his announced governmental change plans.

In Washington Thursday, D.C. Acting Police Chief Peter Newsham confirmed at least 100 protesters were arrested within two hours of Trump's completed speech at 12:30 p.m.

Two police officers suffered hospital-treated injuries in their scuffles with protesters. Small business buildings were set afire and vehicles parked on city streets were trashed or damaged. Damage totals were in the thousands of dollars.

Newsham estimated the violent demonstrators numbered several hundred while the peaceful protesters numbered several thousand.

The protests weren't centered solely in the United States. Worldwide, the demonstrators voiced their anti-Trump feelings in London, Hong Kong and Berlin.  In the Middle East, Palestinians in the West Bank of Israel protested against the construction of new Israeli settlements and Trump's plan to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

An estimated 900,000 persons attended Thursday's Inaugural events.

As Trump was being sworn in at noon by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, a half-dozen protesters, each wearing a single letter of the world "RESIST", stood up just behind the VIP area of the Inauguration Platform. They began reciting the preamble to the U.S. Constitution just as Trump was voicing his oath of office.

The 2,000-word speech, which Trump claims he wrote himself, was a disaster. It was no speech at all. Certainly, it was no Inauguration Address compared with speeches presented by past Presidents.

Trump's speech was a rehash of all his campaign utterings. Over and over and over, he repeated the same lines. "We will make America Great Again."

What he didn't realize, or if he did, he refused to accept it, is that the United States has been on an economic forward roll for the past 18 months. Things aren't better for everyone, but they are better for a growing number of so-called Middle Americans.

What is terrifying those Americans are Trump's plan to rewrite or scrap the current Obamacare health insurance program that is covering an estimated 18 million Americans who never were able to get covered before.

His address was dark and depressing. Inauguration speeches are supposed to be uplifting, light, sometimes humorous and generally optimistic in nature. His words insulted and offended many current legislators and offended European government heads as well.

For instance, Trump said, "For too long, a small group in our nation's Capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.

"Washington flourished, but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered but the jobs left (the U.S.) and the factories closed."

If that didn't rub some noses in the Senate and the House, then Trump poured it on with more of the same.

Instead of pitching his thoughts to the entire attendance, his words clearly were aimed at the estimated 20 million followers who made up his campaign support wagon.

Trump said, "The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories. Their triumphs have not been your triumphs. And while they celebrated in our nation's capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land."

Well, let me tell you, Mr. President, once you slice and dice the current health insurance place, about six million of your fervent followers will be crying Uncle or some sort of expletive. Those six million are part of the 20 million who previously could not afford any type of insurance.

Trump's words carried no momentous echo.  He wasn't even close to coming up with the soul-lifting phrase chosen by the late President John F. Kennedy, who said in closing one of his memorable campaign speeches:

"Don't ask what the country can do for you. Ask instead, what you can do for your country."

Trump, for sure, would have liked to have followed that same rhetorical path but he is no orator. He is a businessman. And as a businessman, he has stuffed his cabinet full of multi-millionaires and billionaires.  And if that roster won't compare to any previous Washington 'establishment,' it will do for awhile.

His 'America First' theme, of course, was a throwback to 100 years or so when many Presidential candidates preached isolationism as a solution to guarantee American's prosperity.

This time around, however, Trump's words are seriously bothering our allies around the world. He is making enemies for the U.S. every time he opens his mouth and his tweeter.

As an example, analyze this point in his speech:

"We assembled here today to issue a new decree, to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital, and in every hall of power.

"From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land.  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. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs.

"Protectionism will lead to great prosperity and strength."

And this is how Trump proposes to carry out that dictum:

"We will follow two simple rules: Buy American and hire American.

"We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world, but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their interests first."

How is that for a slap in the face for China?

And to show his monumental egotistical side, Trump said: "We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to follow."

Stoutly said, Mr. President. I am sure China's Premier Li Keqiang and President Xi Jinping, will understand that challenge. Like a lead balloon, they will.

Meanwhile, on Wall Street, U.S. stocks finished higher Friday, but the Dow & S&P 500 logged their second straight weekly decline. The reason: Traders and investors continue to be edgy and uncertain what the Trump administration has in its legislative pail.

Still, the majority feeling on the street is that stocks will continue to do well, at least until some of the new regulations or pronouncements surface.

After Trump's speech, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.48% closed up 94.85 points, or 0.5%, to 19,827.25, while the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.34% climbed 7.62 points, or 0.3%, to 2,271.31 and the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.28%  added 15.25 points, or 0.3%, to 5,555.33.

Trump ended his address, assuring his followers "you will never be ignored again.  Your voice, your hopes, and your dreams will define our American destiny.  And your courage and goodness and love will forever guide us along the way."

Disbelieving that the country today is divided, politically, economically and socially, Trump said, "When America is United, America is unstoppable."

As if to lead them on, he raised his right arm to the crowd, showing a fisted hand.

Go get 'em, Mr. President. Go get 'em.

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