I don’t know about you, but I thought Donald Trump’s inauguration speech was excellent. It was short, direct, and outwardly focused. By “outwardly focused” I mean that President Trump, unlike President Obama, did not anoint himself as a godhead through endless self-references. Instead, Trump made the American people the stars of his speech. For example,
That all changes – starting right here, and right now, because this moment is your moment: it belongs to you.
It belongs to everyone gathered here today and everyone watching all across America.
This is your day. This is your celebration.
And this, the United States of America, is your country.
What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people.
January 20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.
The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.
Everyone is listening to you now.
You came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement the likes of which the world has never seen before.
At the center of this movement is a crucial conviction: that a nation exists to serve its citizens.
Trump’s focus on the American people (“you”), rather than himself, is in marked contrast to Obama’s speeches, which invariably are all about . . . Obama. The words “we” or “I” dot his rhetorical landscape and his image is the focal point for every event the White House commemorates. Just think of these gems from his Twitter feed:
Happy Passover. pic.twitter.com/sR73wiN5ZI
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 15, 2014
— White House Archived (@ObamaWhiteHouse) November 22, 2013
(Townhall has compiled a list of other self-referential Obama commemorations.)
Now that I’ve made my point about Trump’s focus on the people and Obama’s focus on himself, I have to make good on my promise that Trump’s speech is marvelously consistent with Judeo-Christian tradition. I can do that.