Two For Thought

President Trump

Same topic, different views

By Tim Baldwin

Donald Trump is now president of the United States. He gave a short but energetic speech. What did his speech portray?

After Trump exclaimed President Barack Obama’s transition of power as magnificent, President Trump symbolically planted a flag of demarcation between himself and past presidents. The flag was a war flag, not a truce flag. Far-right nationalism was his theme. It was a call to action, and his rally song was transferring power from Washington, D.C. to the people.

Many speculations are unleashed about what this transfer means. Transferring power to the people would imply letting “the several states” experiment in the laboratory of diversity, but diversity of political application does not generally fit within a strong, centralized nationalistic framework. Trump must mean something else.

Towards the end of his speech, Trump claimed America will “unlock the mysteries of space,” “free the Earth from the miseries of disease” and “harness the energies, industries and technologies of tomorrow.” Space exploration has been a consistent theme since JFK, but Trump focused on discovering life-saving technology for diseases and better energy solutions.

From here, the American people will be observing to see how this experiment will unfold.

By Joe Carbonari

Donald Trump wants to play poker with the big boys. It’s where the action is. The inauguration marked his seat at the table. How well he plays is important. Foreign affairs, when guided by ego, are dangerous to the health of all involved – friend and foe. If we need to temper Trump, it is best that we are by his side, helping where in agreement and urging caution where needed. The role of enemy does not play well.

The deeper problem is that we have too many dissatisfied people who think the economic and political elites are taking advantage of them. They are not sharing sufficiently in the rewards of our slowly recovering economy, and too many do not see a bright future. They are now getting change, but whether they benefit or not is yet to be determined. Starting from behind in a free-for-all requires hard work, perseverance and luck. We need to develop more productive employment for those left behind or no longer needed in the emerging automated, digitized world. The theme in life seems now to be fewer winners but bigger pay-offs. This may be unsustainable.

So, world order and the world economy are at risk, and we have civil disorder in the dry lands of the mideast and the desert fringe of Africa. This is no time for dilettantes. Nor is it a time for dramatics or tantrums. Yes, we must work together. The world needs our help.