That was an interesting speech. On the bigotry end: well, there was no sexism. One could interpret the inner city crime and violence stuff as deploying racial code words. On the other hand, what does Rahm or Barack say about violence in Chicago? Things are going great? Would they hesitate to use 'carnage'? And also, I think he himself thought he was making gestures of racial reconciliation. He went straight from 'carnage' to this:
We are one nation and their pain is our pain. Their dreams are our dreams. And their success will be our success. We share one heart, one home, and one glorious destiny. The oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans.
And then there was this, which might be a quote from John Lewis:
And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the wind-swept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the same night sky, they will their heart with the same dreams, and they are infused with the breath of life by the same almighty creator.
He used the word 'solidarity', and he was talking about race. What bothered me tremendously, however, was the the super-nationalism. It really does have a proto-fascist flavor. Nationalism is to be the basis of this new solidarity.
At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other. When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.
'Total allegiance,' eh? And of course this flava:
We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital, and in every hall of power. From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it's going to be only America first, America first.
It's not that I wouldn't worry about racism/sexism, although I am more directly concerned about the anti-immigrant thing (which he did not hit hard in the speech), which well comports with the extreme nationalism. But if he really brought Americans together in solidarity to reject the aliens, militarize further, require absolute loyalty, and so on, that might be disastrous. But there were also some gestures toward affirming American freedoms, open debate, etc.
Anyway, it was not quite the speech people are portraying it as being. But Lord there is plenty to worry about, and I am very glad that people are engaging in all sorts of expressive resistance. I think they are underestimating how many people will be on the mall today, e.g.