They united when it was time to beat Hillary Clinton, but some in the Conservative groups that came together to push Donald Trump into the Presidency are already starting to drift away from the newly-elected President.
Trump’s strong core of support doesn’t mind. They loved the simple power of his inaugural address, what some pundits are already calling an “angry call to arms” and “a primal scream aimed at Washington, D.C.”
As for Trump, his message was as clear as it has been throughout his campaign: “Today, we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another, or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, DC, and giving it back to you, the people…”
For the lawmakers and former Presidents in the audience, those words could not have been received very well. Much of Trump’s speech was a castigating tirade against the current power structure, Democrat and Republican alike. While there’s no doubt his harshest criticism was for the Dems and the outgoing President, Trump never clearly offered support for the GOP representatives he will begin working with to pass his promised agenda priorities.
But Trump voters had little to doubt and much to love in his speech, something the Washington power structure and many in the media have yet to come to grips with. When Trump says “I hear you” and “no one will ever ignore you again” that resonates with people. They believe that strongly because they want to and, in some cases, they need to believe it if they are to keep any faith in government at all.
Trump understood that. His entire campaign he wasn’t speaking to pundits or news agencies or fellow political leaders. He was talking directly to “his” people. And he did so again in the inaugural speech:
“Their victories have not been your victories. Their triumphs have not been your triumphs. And while they celebrated in our nation’s capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.”
The background for all of this back and forth are the voters, many of whom saw Trump not only as a repudiation of the political system Hillary Clinton represented but also as a backhand to the GOP establishment that, in their eyes, was little better.
Trump voters are tired of what they see as a broken system and a deck stacked perpetually against them. They don’t just want different or better … they want responsive and connective. Trump has managed to be both of those things throughout his campaign. Those who have their doubts first better come to grips with this reality if they want to work with the new President.
Elie Hirschfeld is a real estate developer in NYC.