Here is what Donald Trump said tonight at a pre-inauguration dinner with his supporters:
In case you don’t want to watch this, let me summarize some of the main themes.
- He claims he has the greatest cabinet in American history.
- He claims that “the other side” (Democrats) is “going absolutely crazy” because he won the election. We will see what he says later today in his inauguration address, but this statement is quite different from the one written by Thomas Jefferson in 1800. After a particularly contentious election victory over his Federalist opponent John Adams, Jefferson famously said “We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists.”
- He says that he interviewed ten “politically-correct” people for Secretary of Agriculture before he chose Sonny Perdue. He claims he chose Perdue because he was an actual farmer, while all the other candidates did not have “any experience with farms or agriculture.” How ironic, considering Ben Carson, his nominee to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development, is a retired heart surgeon who has no experience with housing and urban development. Betsy DeVos, his pick for Secretary of Education, has no experience with public school education. Rex Tillerson, his pick for Secretary of State, has no diplomatic or political experience. Why didn’t Trump reject these candidates based on a lack of experience?
- He mocks donors to his campaign who “got really generous after the election was won.”
- He boasts about how he defied all the odds and proved the cable news stations wrong.
- He attacks the press outlets who did not treat him “fairly.”
- And on and on and on with more self-indulgent rhetoric.
Now some might say that we must consider the context. Fair enough. This is a speech to his supporters. But I am sure Trump is aware of the fact that he was speaking, via television, to a national audience. I am astounded by such divisive rhetoric on the eve of the inauguration. It is the night before he is going to be sworn into office as the 45th POTUS and he still can’t move beyond the election.
By the way, on the eve of the inauguration eight years ago this was happening:
That’s right. Obama, on the evening before he became the 44th POTUS, visited a dinner honoring McCain.