Notwithstanding critics and protestors, newly sworn in President Donald J. Trump delivered one of the most powerful and groundbreaking political speeches that the country has ever observed, particularly in recent political history.
I understand that many people in the country dislike President Trump and will criticize everything that he says and does just because it is he who did it.
But from a purely political perspective, and in the eyes of the populace and Trump’s supporters, Trump’s inaugural speech was nothing short of brilliant--in its delivery, tone, and substance.
Trump essentially set a new bar for politicians around the country, something a long time over due in our political discourse—that government should represent the people not the special interests and the political establishment.
I like many Americans had serious reservations about Trump’s candidacy, but to me Trump is essentially the only politician in the entire country who has both the capacity and political power to wrest government back from the political establishment and return power to the people.
Many people say, he doesn’t mean what he says, and that he has essentially, through his business dealings set him and his family up as the most powerful special interest. These are valid concerns, but politics is ugly and nothing is pure and simple.
The odds are against Trump to even deliver on a fraction of what he has promised, but the breadth and scope of his agenda is unprecedented in the history of the United States, and likely in political discourse internationally.
Most critics just focus on what they do not like about Trump as a person, his imperfections as a human being, and the mistakes he has publicly made.
But let’s face the facts most politicians aggressively put their own personal welfare and career ambitions above the public interest in everything that they do—they essentially serve the special interests while claiming to serve the people. And that is why most people hate politicians.
Most career politicians do not even have the capacity to act to do anything that is in the public’s interest. We see that in Sacramento, and in every statehouse between here and Washington, DC.
Critics will say that Trump is no different, only time will tell. But what is different about Trump is that he is the only politician with any real power who says he will actually change the system.
For me, the fight to make government more accountable to the public’s interest is deeply personal and essentially represents one of my strongest passions in life.
I have worked in California politics my entire career, and slowly came to a realization a few years ago that there are very few people, possibly nobody, who works in Sacramento who truly represents the public interest.
In California politics, every single representative, lobbyist, campaign consultant and policy advocate is strongly tied to one or more special interests and this serves to dictate and control all their public and private actions.
Even the political parties, which are supposed to represent a greater good, are essentially vehicles to serve the special interests and the political establishment.
The sum of these parts is the political establishment, both in Sacramento with its counterpart in Washington, DC, and that is what Trump ran against and promises to change.
To me as a reformer and populist, I see Trump as being the only politician in the country that is an ally of the public interest with the guts, power and inclination to bring change. And apparently, I am not alone.
Contrary to all the rhetoric in the media and the false autopsy from the Hillary Campaign and its representatives, Trump’s base feels exactly the same way that I do. That is why amid a deeply fractured and divided electorate, and despite his imperfections, Trump was able to assemble a new political coalition capable of winning the Presidency.
Trump will face some real challenges as President, and it will be extremely challenging if not impossible on most accounts to convince Congress, which is strongly influenced if not completely controlled by the special interests, to go along with his agenda.
To critics of Trump, particularly the Democratic Party, I would say that it makes more sense to focus on becoming a viable alternative, as opposed to just criticizing everything that Trump does and says.
After all, we are supposedly one nation, and if Trump succeeds we all succeed.
David Kersten is the president of the Kersten Institute for Governance and Public Policy.