Here is what President Trump would say today, if the present author had been solely assigned the task of writing his inaugural address.

Trump Inaugural AddressMy fellow Americans,

Today marks the beginning of a new era in which you and I will together will make America great again!

I am pleased to have the opportunity today to speak directly—for the first time as President of the United States—to the hundreds of thousands gathered here in our nation’s capital, and to the tens of millions of my fellow countrymen watching and listening at home. I am humbled as I stand in the place where so many great men—Abraham Lincoln, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan—have similarly addressed the American people upon assuming this great office.

The Freedom of the Press

I know that many members of the press are here today, and I know that they will report on this speech and on this day. Their presence here is a reminder to us that the freedom of the press is one of the bulwarks of American liberty. Indeed, it is enshrined in our First Amendment as a central element of our Constitutional system. As president I will, of course, seek to protect this essential freedom.

Unfortunately, as with other freedoms, some have abused the liberty of the press, posing to the public as objective reporters of the news while in reality distorting facts, twisting stories, and propagating outrageous lies. Indeed, many of the major television networks—broadcast and cable— sadly present what can only be called “fake news” to their viewers.

Fortunately, the American people are savvy—a fact that bodes ill for the networks. With more choices as to where to get their information, as more and more news channels and websites undermine the monopoly of the big networks, the American people will continue to tune out the distortions of the major media.

This is part of the solution to the problem of the press. But what else can be done? The media has demonstrated, in a painfully obvious way through its failed attempt to serve as their own “fact-checkers,” that it cannot police itself when it comes to reporting the truth. Now, government should never act as a “truth squad,” censoring the news. But as president I will not hesitate to call out specific media outlets, and specific reporters, when they are, to put it bluntly, lying.

My assessment of the press follows the example of Thomas Jefferson, our third President of the United States, who once wrote that he “deplored… the putrid state into which our newspapers have passed, and the malignity, the vulgarity, & mendacious spirit of those who write for them. They have rendered themselves useless by forfeiting all title to belief.”

Fortunately, unlike Mr. Jefferson, I have a direct line to the American people, thanks to technology. Yes, you can be sure that I will continue to bypass the fuzzy filter of the mainstream media and bring my message directly to you the people through social media—yes, I will be keeping my Twitter account—and by engaging in live, unedited interviews with unbiased reporters.

The Bully Pulpit

This is what Teddy Roosevelt referred to as the president’s “bully pulpit.” And rest assured that I will use it.

Indeed, I already have used the bully pulpit in my time as President-elect. Most importantly, I have used it to call out American companies seeking to ship American jobs overseas or to Mexico… and to commend those companies reversing such decisions and those expanding operations right here in the good old USA.

Some say my actions in intervening to save American jobs violate the principles of “free enterprise.” To that I say, who cares? And I ask, when did theoretical principles become more important than common sense?

Believe me, I am completely in favor of our great free enterprise system. It has made America the economic colossus that she is today and raised our standard of living to what was, until recently, the highest in the world. But I will never allow my administration to place abstract principles above the concrete reality of American jobs.

I have heard talking heads on TV criticize me for saving American jobs. They have said things like, “Well, 700 jobs here, 1000 jobs there, doesn’t make a difference.”

In what world do such elitists live? I can tell you that a father or mother keeping his or her job makes a huge difference to that family! It’s the difference between having food on the table that night and having the kids go hungry.

One pundit I heard said that the primary duty of the CEO of an American company is to maximize profits for his or her shareholders, so if that means shipping jobs overseas, so be it. I say that the primary duty of an American CEO is to help America, and to protect the jobs of his or her American workers… not to generate a marginally better return on the annual dividends of a small number of shareholders. Preserving a thousand American jobs? Or generating a thousand extra dollars in dividends for shareholders? You tell me which is more important, which is better for America.

Strong Government, Not Big Government

You see, I am in favor of strong government, but not big government. In fact, in order to reduce the size of government, I am calling for the reduction of the federal workforce by 20%, and spending reductions of more than $1 trillion per year for the next decade—actions that will be unprecedented in American history, and which will trim unneeded fat from the bureaucracy. This is part of the effort I have called “draining the swamp” of Washington.

At the same time that we reduce the size of the federal government, I will be redirecting its efforts to accomplish those objects that our Founding Fathers aimed for in writing the Constitution. Thus, as the Preamble to that great document says, I will seek to “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”

Therefore, I will see to it that my administration will faithfully and equitably enforce the laws; that our law enforcement will receive our hearty support in re-establishing order and the rule of law in our cities; that our borders will be protected; that our military will be better-trained and better-armed… and indeed expanded. In fact, our military will be so feared again that no one will dare to mess with us. I will also see to it that our veterans are cared for, and that the corruption and ineptness of the Veterans Administration, the VA, is ended once and for all.

Our military will be properly prepared once again to defend America, and, yes to defend our interests overseas. However, we will cease the foolish practices of nation-building and the involving of ourselves in the internal affairs of other countries, where we do not belong. I will not let the American people shed the blood of their sons and daughters in such foreign adventurism! Military intervention should be the last resort, not the first step in resolving a foreign crisis. America, as President John Quincy Adams declared, should not go “abroad in search of monsters to destroy.”

We will support our allies, but we will call on them to bear more of a burden for their defense. The United States will have complete freedom of action to pursue its own national self-interest. “America First” will be our motto and our touchstone. “Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations,” as Thomas Jefferson proclaimed, “entangling alliances with none.”

Of course, where we have sworn enemies; indeed, we are already at war with ISIS and radical Islamic terrorism. There will be no quarter for these enemies. We will destroy you. No negotiations, no half-measures. We have only death, destruction, and defeat to offer you.

And let me say something here about the importance of building a wall on the Mexican border and controlling immigration. In this age of terrorism, it is especially important to know who is coming into this country. We simply must impose an immediate moratorium on immigration from terrorist-prone countries. Again, this is common sense.

In addition, protecting the nation’s borders is the starting point for any government worthy of the name. We simply cannot let an unlimited number of people come into this country illegally; it is unfair to legal immigrants, to American workers whose jobs are taken or whose wages are driven down, and to the taxpayers who pay for welfare programs and schooling for illegals.

We are constantly told that ours is a nation of immigrants, and that is largely true. Immigrants—from scientist Albert Einstein to businessman Andrew Carnegie to movie producer Frank Capra to the millions of people who entered our country legally through Ellis Island and other points of entry—have enriched the United States immeasurably. Indeed, my own mother, Mary Anne MacLeod, came here from Scotland, and my wife—you may have noticed that she still has a slight accent—is an immigrant from Slovenia. And while we have a tradition of allowing people to come here from all over the world, we also have a tradition of carefully controlling that immigration, and of assimilating immigrants into our culture, asking them to learn English and to accept our laws, customs, and political institutions.

Doing so has falsely been labeled “racism” by the arbiters of political correctness. (It’s interesting that we never hear this charge leveled against countries like China, and Mexico itself, which totally prohibit immigration.) But it is nothing of the sort, of course. It is, once again, simply common sense. “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” Abraham Lincoln said, quoting the Bible, and indeed we cannot survive as one America if we do not share a language and certain beliefs, even as we revel in the wonderful variety of experience and practice that immigrants bring with them to America, customs that enrich our culture.

So, why is there so much political opposition to enforcing our immigration laws? You must ask first, who benefits from illegal immigration? The answer is the Democrat party, whose candidates receive the majority of illegal votes. In addition, some big companies seek to employ illegal immigrants in place of American workers; they can pay these immigrants below the minimum wage and treat them horribly, and without regard to federally-mandated safety and health standards. Such illegal workers endure terrible working conditions and even abuse and have no recourse, as they fear exposure as being in the country illegally if they go to the authorities.

In addition, illegal immigration breeds the horror of human trafficking, in which very young girls are beaten and raped by those smuggling them across the border. Yet, when it comes to the issue of immigration, we constantly hear about the “Dreamers” from those who support the breaking of our laws. But in reality, illegal immigration is a national nightmare, and I will end this nightmare for the American people.

This is what our Founding Fathers meant by promoting the “general welfare.”

We will promote the general welfare in other ways too, by negotiating better trade deals with other nations, many of whom have been ripping us off for far too long, and by rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure.

Our roads, tunnels, bridges, and airports are generally in a disgraceful condition. I fly all over the world, and believe me, it looks like you are flying into a third-world country when you land at LaGuardia—especially if you compare it to the airports of Dubai and Hong Kong, for example. What has happened to this country? I will thus immediately ask Congress to approve a trillion-dollar program of infrastructure re-building, which will improve the economy and the lives of the people in general. Such programs—once called “internal improvements”—have long been viewed as the purview of the federal government. Yet in recent decades, the federal government has neglected this basic duty, choosing instead to spend federal monies on wasteful projects, such as the $283,000-plus that the Department of Defense recently spent on a bird-watching program.

In promoting the idea of a strong, yet less bloated, federal government that stays within its constitutional boundaries and which respects the rights of the state, I seek to fuse the two great traditions of American constitutional thinking, as embodied by Alexander Hamilton, the nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury, and Thomas Jefferson, our first Secretary of State. Alexander Hamilton—and by the way Mike Pence tells me that the Broadway show about his life is just amazing—called for a strong government that would make the United States a great country, with economic opportunity and a high standard of living for all. Jefferson, on the other hand, worried about government becoming too big and threatening the rights of the states and the liberties of the people.

My administration would please both Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson. For our federal government will be strong, yet will also adhere strictly to the Constitution. And I will appoint judges, including to the Supreme Court of the United States, who will be faithful to the Constitution, in the tradition of the late, great Antonin Scalia.

This administration will also leave the people to live their lives as they see fit. We won’t interfere as to your choice of whom you wish to marry; neither will we interfere with your right as a businessperson to refuse to make a cake for a wedding of which you disapprove; we won’t interfere with the right of a business to create bathrooms that can be used by men and women; but neither will we interfere with a state that passes a law prohibiting the creation of such unisex facilities; and while we won’t interfere with what you do in the privacy of your own bedroom, neither will we fund the destruction of an unborn child that you have in effect chosen to create by such bedroom activity.

Yes, that’s right. Our administration will be unapologetically pro-life, in every sense of that term. The pro-life position, I admit, is not a position that I have held my entire life, but it is one I began moving towards more than fifteen years ago. And I only have to look at my beautiful children and grandchildren to know that it is the right position.

A New Era for the Common Man

This issue reminds me that during the Republican primary campaign, people often debated how conservative I was, and am. Well, conservatism, as I understand it, is at its heart is a disposition, not an ideology. After the presidency of the great Ronald Reagan, the conservative movement, unfortunately, came to embrace certain ideas as dogma: the principles of unrestricted free trade, open borders, and what the Left all-too-accurately sneered at as “trickle-down economics.” If this is conservatism, then I reject the label.

But if conservatism means conserving our country—its borders, it manufacturing base, its jobs, its culture, its language, its traditions, the rule of law—then I am most certainly a conservative. If conservatism means the art of being prudent and pragmatic—of exercising simple common sense—then I am most certainly a conservative.

Founding Father John Dickinson advised, “Let experience be our guide, for reason may mislead us.” This, to me, is what being a conservative is all about. We need to return to the time-tested wisdom of those who came before us, our Founding Fathers, and reject the wild-eyed, foolish, and costly social engineering schemes and globalist visions of utopian dreamers.

In this, I believe that the vast majority of the American people are with me. And so, rather than picking any label—conservative, liberal, Right, or Left—I would say that I am first and foremost an American. And as your president I will be your voice, the voice of the American people, the champion of all of you, regardless of party affiliation, political persuasion, lifestyle, race, gender, or creed.

Because you the people, and not the powerful and rich, are America. Those in politics, in the media, and in other positions of power who use your hard-earned tax dollars to enrich themselves, who use political office to reward themselves and their cronies, who tell you how to live your lives, who scold you for not being politically correct… their time has passed.

Let it be heard loudly and clearly, and far and wide: Today, the rule of the few—the corrupt elites—ends, and the era of the many—our hardworking, honest Americans—begins.

Thank you, and God bless America!

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