Pundits

Dan Rather: Trump’s cabinet picks don’t square with his anti-establishment inauguration speech

Veteran journalist and anchorman Dan Rather has been making waves on his Facebook page, and he made an especially big one in a recent post where he shared his thoughts on President Donald Trump‘s inauguration speech.

In his post this Friday morning, Rather noted that to his memory, there has never been an inauguration “that felt like today.”

“Never mind the question of the small size of the crowds, or the boycott by dozens of lawmakers, or even the protest marches slated for tomorrow across the country,” Rather wrote.

“Those are plays upon the stage. What is truly unprecedented in my mind is the sheer magnitude of quickening heartbeats in millions of Americans, a majority of our country if the polls are to be believed, that face today buffeted within and without by the simmering ache of dread.”

He also pointed to what seems like a small burgeoning of Trump supporters who “are not sure what kind of man they bestowed the keys to the presidency,” while echoing Trump’s critics’ faint hope that the responsibilities of the presidency might change him. But what really seemed to bother Rather was Trump’s inauguration speech, which may be the most powerful indicator of what kind of president he’ll be.

“Mr. Trump’s delivery was staccato and there was very little eye contact as he seemed to be reading carefully from a teleprompter,” he continued.

“His words and tone were angry and defiant. He is still in campaign mode and nary a whiff of a unifying spirit. There was little or nothing of uplift – the rhetoric of Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy, or Reagan. We heard a cavalcade of slogans and one liners, of huge promises to “bring back” an America – whatever that really means to many who look at our history and see progress in our current society.”

Rather seemed annoyed at Trump playing the role of an anti-establishment hero who champions struggling families, when he and his cabinet picks mirror that very establishment.

President Trump painted a very dark picture of the current state of our nation, beset by gangs and drugs and violence, regardless of what the data shows. His words swelled with his economic populism and the nationalism of “America first.” The applause was sparse, and I imagine many more being turned off, even sickened, rather than inspired by what our new President had to say. President Obama looked on with an opaque poker face. One could only imagine what he was thinking.

The Facebook post is possibly the legendary newsman’s most engaged yet, with almost 300,000 likes and over 150,000 shares.

Rather closed with what resembled a hint of a glimmer of hope (was that bleak?), noting that “the arc of the presidency” is always unpredictable. The only problem is that Trump’s speech today “was not reassuring.”

Read Rather’s post in full here.

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