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“The time for empty talk is over,” 45th President of the United States Donald Trump said in his inauguration speech. “Now arrives the hour of action.”

These words might be the only ones in Trump’s speech, just after he was sworn in as president, which spoke to Global Citizens: a spirit of initiative that can be used to build strong, globally minded coalitions. But aside from this assertion, Trump’s speech — delivered on the steps of the Capitol, and his first as president — was not global in scope. It was adamantly inward-looking.   

Read More: Why Global Citizen Matters Today More Than Ever Before

True to his campaign style, Trump did not mince words in his first remarks as president. After being sworn in by Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts, Trump promised the American people a new order.

“We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, foreign capital, and hall of power,” he said. "A new vision will govern our land. From this day forward it’s going to be only America first, America first.”

“America will start winning again,” he said. “Winning like never before.”

Throughout his speech, he painted a bleak picture of a country ravaged by crime, poverty, drug addiction, unemployment, and hopelessness.

Read More: Donald Trump Becomes the 45th President of the United States

“This American carnage stops right here, and stops right now,” Trump said.   

He hinted at a global trade war, questioned the rationale of investing in global militaries, cast foreign aid as money stolen from the American people, denounced the idea of nation-building, and suggested a desire to stop defending foreign countries.

“We’ve made other countries rich,” he said. “While the wealth, strength, and confidence of our country has dissipated.”

There were some notes of bold optimism, however.  

"We stand at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space, to free the Earth from the miseries of disease, and to harness the energies, industries and technologies of tomorrow," Trump said.

He also repeated his vision for rebuilding America, putting Americans to work, and restoring American dominance.

“We will get our people off of welfare and back to work, rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor,” he said.

But while Trump retreated from global commitments, he did speak about his desire to bring Americans together, even if he didn’t acknowledge his own responsibility for some of that division.

“To all Americans, hear these words,” Trump ended. “You will never be ignored again. your voice, your hopes, and your dreams will define our American destiny.”


Demand Equity

The Hidden Message for Global Citizens in Donald Trump’s Inauguration Speech

By Joe McCarthy