Goodman: In inaugural address, Trump comes out like a boxer, squaring off for a fight

President Donald Trump takes the oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts, as his wife Melania holds the Bible, and with his children Barron, Ivanka, Eric and Tiffany, Friday on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Jim Bourg/Pool Photo via AP)
President Donald Trump takes the oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts, as his wife Melania holds the Bible, and with his children Barron, Ivanka, Eric and Tiffany, Friday on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Jim Bourg/Pool Photo via AP)

A billionaire who has spent his lifetime enriching himself and feeding an insatiable ego began the 45th presidency of the United States by telling the American people that “this moment is your moment, this moment belongs to you.”

In his inaugural address, the newly installed President Donald J. Trump revisited the dark caricature of the United States that he depicted in campaign rally after rally: a nightmare of shuttered factories and gang-infested inner cities, of out-of-touch elites that ignore the forgotten man and woman, of a government that placates foreign countries but leaves its own southern border unprotected.

“The American carnage,” as he called it, “stops right here.” He sounded more like a guy squaring off for a fight than a statesman celebrating the peaceful passing of power and the continuance of America’s traditions of freedom.

Read Donald Trump’s inaugural speech: the full transcript

The new president did not mention that the Dow is approaching 20,000, the unemployment rate is down to 4.7 percent, average hourly wages are almost 3 percent higher than a year ago, or that we’ve had 75 straight months of job growth, a record for the modern era. These facts did not fit his narrative of a country in dire straits, desperate for a dramatic rescue.

“From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land,” Trump declared. “It’s going to be only America first, America first.”

Surely Trump knows that the phrase “America First” was the name of Charles Lindbergh’s pro-German isolationist movement that preceded World War II. Just as surely, he doesn’t care.

Consistent with his campaign, Trump insisted that every decision on economics, foreign affairs and immigration will be made “to benefit American workers and their families.” That’s a worthy goal, but how will that be accomplished with a Cabinet led by billionaires who oppose environmental regulation, public schools and universal access to affordable healthcare?

“Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength,” the new president said — an assertion that must surprise the many economists who warn that protectionism is more likely to lead to countermeasures, trade wars and possible recession.

Trump invoked no history in his address. He gave no indication that he stood on the shoulders of giants. Instead, he spoke of his inauguration as the beginning of a new glorious epoch, a separation from a disappointing past. “We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth. And we will bring back our dreams,” he said.

Although he talked about how this day, this moment, belongs to “the people,” Trump had nothing to say about how these decisions would be arrived at. There was mention of the people’s collective wisdom. No talk about the give-and-take of democratic discussion. Instead, he told Americans, “You will never be ignored again.” And, “I will fight for you with every breath in my body and I will never ever let you down.”

Trump wants us to enter a new mythos. He, the superhero who takes down the selfish elites. He, the fighter for the little guy who would be helpless without him.

“The time for empty talk is over. Now arrives the hour of action.”

He finished by pumping his arms in the air, the gesture of a winning prizefighter.

Trump protesters gather in West Palm, just west of Mar-a-Lago

Trump voters tell Post they look forward to change — and why

“Maverick.” “Change.” “Doer.” “Different.” “Smart.” “Enterprise.” “Doesn’t Owe Anybody.” “America.”

Those were some of the words used by 10 local people to describe Donald J. Trump, the unconventional candidate they helped elect to the presidency.

Republicans, Independents and one Democrat, they came to The Palm Beach Post last night to explain why they helped put the brash billionaire, builder, brand name and reality-TV star into the White House.

We had put out an appeal to Trump voters to speak to us. More than 200 replied. Though we didn’t get the racial or ethnic diversity we would have liked, we narrowed the group to a manageable size to hear from voters who said that they had been largely ignored during the long presidential campaign.

Rick Christie and Howard Goodman of The Palm Beach Post Editorial Board talk with ten area voters who cast their ballot for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election during a Facebook Live event, on Wednesday, December 7, 2016 in The Palm Beach Post auditorium. (Joseph Forzano / The Palm Beach Post)
Rick Christie and Howard Goodman of The Palm Beach Post Editorial Board talk with ten area voters who cast their ballot for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election during a Facebook Live event, on Wednesday, December 7, 2016 in The Palm Beach Post auditorium. (Joseph Forzano / The Palm Beach Post)

“During the campaign I found that the mainstream media was so one-sided that I just couldn’t believe it,” said Michael Harvey, 66, of Boynton Beach. “I thought this would be an opportunity educate you as to why people don’t listen to you anymore.”

Alan Huber, 59, of Boynton Beach, said he was tired of the mainstream media portraying “anybody who was against Barack Obama’s policies is a racist, or Donald Trump is a racist.”

“We don’t have horns. We’re not racists. We’re actually among the most informed people there are,” Huber said.

They expressed deep concerns about jobs leaving America, illegal immigration and Obamacare. And they said they had great confidence that Trump would make inroads in these areas, and others, where other political leaders have failed.

They said they weren’t disturbed that Trump is shifting on some of his campaign promises — the border wall that’s now perhaps a fence, the 11 million deportations that might not occur, the reluctance to prosecute “crooked Hillary.” They view Trump as a master negotiator and his boldest campaign statements as opening gambits: he’ll attain his goals, even if it takes some modifications from his initial positions to get there.

“He’s the fastest learner I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Lee Roggenburg, 58, a financial adviser from Boca Raton.

“Donald Trump is going to run the country the way we need to run our businesses or our households,” said Patrice Boyland, 54, a self-described stay-at-home mom from Palm Beach Gardens. “In government, when something fails, they put more money towards it. He’s looking at things differently, on how to fix it — and it’s not always adding more money to the problem.”

It’s clear from these supporters that Trump will be entering the White House with a great deal of political strength — a big chunk of the American public that’s eager for him to shake things up and trusts that whatever surprises he springs on the political and media establishment, they’ll be for the better.

Take a look, then take our poll here…

Sniper fire in Dallas leaves 5 police officers dead, darkens our democracy

 

 

A police officer looks up while standing behind a vehicle, as police responded to shots being fired during a protest over recent fatal shootings by police in Louisiana and Minnesota, Thursday, July 7, 2016, in Dallas. Snipers opened fire on police officers during protests; several officers were killed, police said. (Maria R. Olivas/The Dallas Morning News via AP)
A police officer looks up while standing behind a vehicle, as police responded to shots being fired during a protest over recent fatal shootings by police in Louisiana and Minnesota, Thursday, July 7, 2016, in Dallas. (Maria R. Olivas/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

At the very least, the terrible events of the last few days tell us that there is way too much violence in America.

On this grim morning, we are reeling at the deaths of five Dallas police officers and the wounding of seven more, targeted simply for doing their jobs: protecting the peace. In this case, protecting the protest of some 800 people gathered in fury and grief over the killing of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota at the hands of police, a scenario that seems never to end and that tells us that something is deeply wrong in our country.

It was a peaceful protest. Just like the protests that arose yesterday in Baton Rouge, St. Paul, Chicago, New York and a hundred other places. It was peaceful until an unknown number of snipers with rapid-fire rifles, all too easily obtained in this land of the free, opened fire.

Those snipers — one of whom was killed by police, but not before saying that he was “upset over Black Lives Matter,” “upset about the recent police shootings” and that he “wanted to kill white people, especially white officers,” according to the Dallas police chief — attacked not just a police department that was taking strides to improve its relations with its community, they attacked our democracy.

They completely undermined and destroyed the message of those protesters. They injured two of them, reports indicate.

They attacked all of us who hoped that the nation could work toward improving the fraught relations between our police forces and black America in a thoughtful way. Now any dialogue becomes infinitely harder. So does any soul-searching.

President Obama, whose ascension to office was widely misunderstood to mean that we had arrived at a so-called end to racial issues in America, rightly called the Dallas ambush a “vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement.” And though the reasons for these police murders can be understood, there can be “no possible justification” for them.

An eye for an eye, as a wise man said, leaves everyone blind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Letter: Anyone surprised by Bondi and Trump revelations?

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi

Was anyone surprised to read about the quid pro quo arrangement between Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and Trump University?

Apparently, Bondi solicited a substantial campaign contribution from the Donald J. Trump Foundation and subsequently her pending participation in a consortium of other state’s AGs complaints against Trump University never materialized. Go figure.

I truly believe that if Gov. Rick Scott found out about this, he very well might have given her a raise. I love Florida. Don’t you?

BILL MOSSO, PALM BEACH GARDENS

Letter: Conservative columnist lineup has strong left tilt

columnistIt seems there is some confusion when The Post tries to present opposing views between right and left. The left point of view is articulated very well, by strong proponents of the liberal view. However, when it comes to the conservative point of view, not so much so: Michael Gerson, Kathleen Parker and David Brooks.

In the May 27 issue, “Clinton may be disliked because she is hard to know,” Brooks goes on to tell us how wonderful Hillary Clinton is; we just don’t understand her. He cannot understand why her unfavorable rating is so high.

After all, she was a wonderful secretary of state. I did not see anything about her dishonesty factor, her emails, the Benghazi allegations — or the drama that has followed the Clintons their whole political life.

Brooks should not represent people on the right. I am sure there are other writers on the right who can articulate the conservative view better.

DAVID NOVEMBER, BOYNTON BEACH

Letter: Get some perspective on real dog lovers

 

dogHere’s a reply to “Dogs are nuisance in many public spaces,” May 29: Sure they are, but with all the animal mistreatment and abuse, maybe we can understand a little of the problem.

Some people have only a dog or cat as their companion, and they really love these animals. Instead of writing a letter, may I suggest you read “So God Made a Dog.” It’s not really religious, just explains how we dog lovers feel. It might make you smile.

I do agree that you also have rights as a non-pet owner, and those rights should be respected by pet owners. People should control their animals and pick up after them, and not bring them into places where they don’t belong.

PATRICIA GUSTAINUS, BOCA RATON

>>READ MORE: Readers React: Do dogs have a place in our restaurants and stores?

Letter: Jack Nicklaus’ support for Donald Trump is a shock

 

Jack Nicklaus PGA National Bear
With hole number 14 to his back, Jack Nicklaus at PGA National. (Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post)

It’s probably the year’s ultimate irony that the PGA Tour has moved the World Golf Championships to Mexico from Donald Trump’s course in Doral — given Trump’s remarks about Mexican citizens when he announced his run for the presidency (“PGA Tour says goodbye to Doral,” Thursday).

Various reports have stated that organizers have not been able to find a title sponsor for the event, which is not surprising. It would be difficult to imagine a major sponsor supporting an event that would tie itself to the Trump name and image.

What did surprise me, however, was the mention in The Post that Jack Nicklaus supported and would vote for Trump. Support for Trump from a worldwide, iconic figure like Nicklaus sends a signal that he (Nicklaus) stands behind a man who has demonstrated with his comments, numerous times, that he is a racist and a hater of women.

MICHAEL BAZ, TEQUESTA

Pro-Con: Should the Cincinnati Zoo have killed Harambe the gorilla?

Via Cincinnati Zoo
Harambe (via Cincinnati Zoo)

PRO: Howard Goodman, Editorial Writer

No one could have wanted to keep that Silverback gorilla alive more than the zookeepers. No one could have known the gorilla better. No one would have had a better ability to communicate with him.

If the people closest to Harambe judged that he had to be shot because the little boy’s life was in danger, then you have to think that their reasons were extremely compelling.

Yes, we have seen gorillas acting kindly and protective to human children in other zoos at other times. And maybe Harambe, too, intended nothing but loving kindness toward that 4-year-old.

But a 450-pound gorilla is many times stronger than a human, and when you see the video of him dragging the tiny boy through the water, the speed and violence of it is shocking. It looks like the kid can be snapped in two in an instant. You hear onlookers say: “Oh, my god!”

 

As the zoo’s director, Thane Maynard, said Monday: “It was a life-threatening situation and the silverback gorilla is a very dangerous animal.”

“We stand by our decision and we’d make the same call today.”

It is a terrible thing that a beautiful animal is dead. But animal rights activists are off base in criticizing the zoo for their handling of this wrenching situation. When a human life is in danger, it is the human life that must be saved.

 

Via Cincinnati Zoo
Harambe (via Cincinnati Zoo)

CON: Kristyn Wellesley, Digital Editor

CNN’s Laura Coates doesn’t understand Cincinnati’s reaction to Harambe’s death on Saturday. I will try to explain it.

Cincinnatians — and being born and raised there, I am proudly in that group — have a storied history with our gorillas, and it’s important to understand that to really understand the reaction to Harambe’s death.

It began with Penelope, a western lowland gorilla like Harambe, who came to the Cincinnati Zoo in 1957. Born in Africa, Penelope was a gift to a group of Cincinnatians who had travelled to Africa to give famed humanitarian Dr. Albert Schweitzer a herd of Nubian goats so he could help his patients who were dying of calcium deficiency. Schweitzer had adopted the then-3-year-old Penelope when she was orphaned and gave her to the group in gratitude for their help.

In Cincinnati, Penelope was introduced to King Tut, a 475-pound silverback gorilla who had also been born in Africa and was enamored with her, faithful to her his entire life. The pair had four children together and that family became the foundation for opening the $4 million Gorilla World at the Cincinnati Zoo in 1978, so our families could share with their family.

When King Tut died in 1987 from complications with dental surgery, the entire community mourned and were outraged when his body was sent to a Los Angeles museum for display. Instead, there is a bronze plaque in memory of this gorilla patriarch in Gorilla World. Penelope passed two years later in 1989. Their daughter Samantha is 46 and still lives in Gorilla World.

Cincinnatians hold a very special place in their hearts for these gorillas.

So for Zoo officials to have to kill one is especially devastating to the community.

Thane Maynard, the Zoo’s Director, said tranquilizing Harambe, as the Palm Beach Zoo did recently when one of their male Malayan tigers attacked zookeeper Stacey Konwiser, would have taken too long. But were there no other alternatives?

The Cincinnati Zoo is known for its enrichment programs with the gorillas. There is a relationship between the gorillas and their trainers, and these are very intelligent creatures. Was Harambe given the opportunity to turn the child over to rescuers before he was killed? Did the rescuers make the call too quickly?

Looking at the video, Harambe seemed afraid of the screaming crowd — who were understandably screaming — and dragged the child away from the noise. When the other two gorillas followed the trainer’s command to return to the habitat, Harambe went into the moat to get the child. Was he protecting it? Did he see it as a threat? We can never know those answers.

This is a child whose life could have been in danger, there is no question. How the child was able to access the enclosure or why he wasn’t being supervised closer by his parents are questions that need to be answered, but even those aren’t necessarily points of blame. No zoo can prevent every scenario that might occur. Every parent has turned away distracted for that split second.

But should Harambe have had to die for others’ mistakes? No.

It isn’t that Cincinnatians, or even the animal rights’ groups who are protesting, aren’t as concerned with human life as an animal’s life, as Coates’ suggests — far from it. It’s that we feel deeply for these animals and want to know that there really was no other alternative that could have preserved and protected both lives.

Zoos need to find ways to change their protocols to better protect their animals so no other animal falls victim to the same fate as Harambe.

Readers React: Do dogs have a place in our restaurants and stores?

dogs-1160399_960_720Over the holiday weekend, I strolled into a moderate to high-end women’s clothing store wondering if there were any Memorial Day deals to be had in this store I could normally never afford. Browsing through the racks, there was a woman ahead of me pushing a large covered baby carriage decorated with pink flowers, with cubby space to hold her Starbucks coffee (who drinks coffee when it was that hot outside?!) and under storage for her purse and bags filled with shopping treasures.

The baby was whimpering a little. Was it about to cry, let out a shrill scream that would cause other shoppers to recoil just a little? Maybe it was playing with a toy that was causing it to “ooh” and “ahh.” As I made my way passed the woman and her baby in the expensive carriage, I realized it wasn’t a baby at all.

It was a Cocker Spaniel. A Cocker Spaniel wearing a flower collar and a red, white and blue ribbon on her head. A Cocker Spaniel was what I heard whimpering.

I shouldn’t have seen a baby carriage and assumed there was a baby inside. My bad.

I stopped at Publix recently and as I was searching the aisles, a woman passed me with a beautiful white Maltese sitting in the front part of her cart.

A Maltese in the meat section of Publix.

It was the clearly the Dog Days of Summer.

Still not the weirdest thing I’ve seen since moving to Florida, where bringing your dog with you everywhere seems perfectly normal. I was in a local mall recently where a couple was shopping with their capuchin service monkey (the kind like Marcel on ‘Friends’ or the ‘Outbreak’ monkey, which might have actually been the same monkey). I’ve never encountered a service monkey before so I stopped to talk with the couple to learn about the work the monkey does. They explained they were socially training the monkey and she would eventually go to help someone with limited mobility with every day tasks like drinking water, turning on lights, picking up objects, etc.F9EE86CF-DE99-407E-B0E9-8FC7082840AC75521984-6905-42A7-A1C4-8F2A69DEAD80

But back to the dogs.

Palm Beach Post reader Jack Bennett of Boynton Beach said he’s had enough with people bringing their dogs in public.

“It seems that you can’t go anywhere without having to be confronted with somebody’s ‘baby,’ i.e., their dog. I can’t tell you how many times I go to restaurants and bars where I have to put up with some dog sniffing me, licking me, begging or just plain invading my space,” Bennett wrote.

The social media response was strongly divided.

But it was Bill Brown Meyers who probably had the right assessment of the situation:

So what do you think? Do you take Fido with you everywhere, or leave him at home? Take the poll and join the conversation in the comments below or here on Facebook:

Letter: PBSO’s ‘(Sheriff Ric Bradshaw) has to go, and go now’

Sheriff Ric Bradshaw in February 2015.(Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)
Sheriff Ric Bradshaw in February 2015.(Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)

Seth Adams was murdered on his own property by an undercover deputy four years ago (“PBSO agrees to pay $15,000 for not providing data in Seth Adams case,” May 19). This was tragic. The withholding and destruction of evidence is nothing new under Sheriff Ric Bradshaw. I feel for the Adams family and the Corey Jones family and the many other families whose lives have been so damaged because of questionable deputy shootings.

I am a retired Palm Beach County firefighter/medic, and I have worked with many great deputies. But, seeing how Bradshaw runs the show disgusts me. He has to go, and go now.

JOE AVERSANO, WELLINGTON