“We will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action, constantly complaining but never doing anything about it. The time for empty talk is over. Now arrives the hour of action.” President Trump, Inaugural Address, January 20, 2017
Of all of the candidates from both parties over the course of this past presidential election, no candidate was as guilty of “empty talk” as candidate Trump. He promised we’d get tired of winning, would build a wall (that US taxpayers are now going to pay for), raise (and lower) taxes, and be the president of all Americans.
He offered no specifics then and offered no specifics today. A promise or declaration without a concrete, actionable plan is empty talk.
The problems America faces are challenging, complex, and they defy simple solutions. Unemployment (which is significantly lower than 8 years ago) and crime (also largely lower) are problems that need thoughtful planning, not more bluster or empty talk, to solve.
There are many, many things to scrutinize going forward, but here are two (taken directly from his inaugural address) that all Americans and the media should pay particular attention to:
- Empty Talk – When President Trump offers a policy point or solution without actionable, concrete steps to achieve it, we need to call him out on his empty talk. Indeed he has asked us to do so.
- Constantly Complaining – As President Trump fully begins to appreciate how complex the issues are, he will begin complaining and blaming others (the media, immigrants, other countries, Democrats, President Obama) for not helping him solve the problem. Again, we can’t allow him to complain and shift blame.
Candidate Obama promised to bring a new civility and spirit of cooperation to Washington, DC and the US in general. By all accounts he was not successful in winning over congressional Republicans over the past eight years. Despite his best efforts President Obama did not deliver on that promise and the US electorate held him and Secretary Clinton to account for that on November 8, 2016. Today is January 20, 2017. The clock is ticking and we are watching and listening.