Donald Trump’s first speech as American president soon after he was sworn in on Friday was dotted with powerful phrases which made instant headlines around the world.
Several TV analysts compared his short and punchy address at US Capitol with the speeches he had made during his campaign trail.
Trump said during his speech that he would “eradicate Islamic terrorism from the face of the earth” and stated that America would build new alliances under his leadership. The New York billionaire strongly hinted that his government would tax foreign products to protect American industry and workers.
During his months-long presidential campaign, Trump had rallied his supporters behind his pledges of deporting Mexican people, taxing foreign products and curbing Muslim immigration to the US to check terrorism, among some of his provocative proposals.
President Trump’s statements during his first speech, if implemented in American policy, could have security and economic ramifications for millions of people around the world.
This is a terrifying speech. The biggest cheer of all came when Trump promised to wipe out ‘Islamic’ terrorism. #TrumpInauguration
— Laurie Penny (@PennyRed) January 20, 2017
(Source: Twitter/Laurie Penny)
To those who thought Trump won’t be a hawk, how do you think he plans to “eradicate” radical “Islamic terrorism” from “face of the earth”?
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) January 20, 2017
Trump’s controversial first speech, nevertheless, had some positive signs as to how he would go about his business in the most powerful position in the world.
Here are five positives to come out of Trump’s first speech as US President.
- Ending America’s interventionist foreign policy
Trump hinted that be wouldn’t lead America into new wars and that he would not “impose our way of life on anyone”, a possible reference to some of Washington’s earlier wars to topple foreign governments.
“We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example. We will shine for everyone to follow,” he said.
2. Ending “radical Islamic” terrorism
Trump said the US would eradicate radical Islamic terrorism “from the face of the earth”, signalling intent that he may opt for a more muscular foreign policy towards terrorist groups like Islamic State, Al-Qaeda and the Taliban among others. His predecessor Barack Obama was often blamed for not doing enough to curb terrorist activity in mainly the Middle-East and Afghanistan.
“We will unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate from the face of the Earth,” he said.
3. Calls for unity after a divisive election campaign
The recent US presidential campaign is said to be one of the most bitterly fought in Americas history, pitting Trump supporters and his critics in two equally vocal camps. At the same time Trump was being sworn in, there were hundreds of anti-Trump protests happening across America and in several parts of the world.
Trump made positive overtures toward his critics, saying he would “heal our divisions”.
He said, “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. A new national pride will stir ourselves, lift our sights and heal our divisions.”
4. Building new foreign partnerships
He said he was willing to “form” new alliances, in what can be construed as good sign for countries like Russia and India who are seeking stronger US cooperation for their own reasons.
“We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate from the face of the Earth.”
5. Message of international “goodwill”
Even before assuming office, Trump made China edgy after taking a call from Taiwan’s leader and questioning the “One China” policy, prompting angry reactions from Beijing.
Trump, however, struck an entirely different chord during the speech as he called for “friendship” and “goodwill” with other countries.
“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 own interests first.”