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What would you like to hear on Inauguration Day?

REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

The Electoral College has voted and the Cabinet is taking shape. Now our attention turns to the inauguration. This fall I had the opportunity to teach a first-year seminar of Hamline students on the presidential election. Their final assignment was for them to write an address that they would like to hear Trump give, or one they would give if they had just been elected. As you compose what you would like to hear, I share with you excerpts from their addresses:

Jim Scheibel

The United States has been battling domestic poverty too long…. Within the first 100 days I will propose to Congress a $15/hour minimum wage, increasing the tax credit for those living in poverty with minimum jobs that work full time but still cannot make a living.

I will establish the national goal of providing school choice to every American child living in poverty. If we can put a man on the moon, dig out the Panama Canal and win two world wars, then I have no doubt that we as a nation can provide school choice to every disadvantaged child in America.

A good friend of mine once said that we are stronger together as a nation. I couldn’t agree more. When we all stand up and fight together for what we believe in we can truly accomplish anything.

My first act while in office will be persuing the addition of the Equal Right Amendment, guaranteeing equal rights for all American citizens, regardless of their gender. This amendment should have been adopted in 1923 when it was first proposed and each time after when it was ratified.

I plan on building on some of President Obama’s fiercely sought after changes to America, such as health care, immigrant policies and increased government funding toward protecting individual’s personal rights such as same sex marriage equality.

I truly believe in the innate goodness and responsibility of each American, which is why I promise to bring the power back to the American individual. Not the government, not to the corporations, and not to the political machine, but to American people.

If we are simply all talk and no action we will go nowhere. A track star does not just wish to be the greatest. They must set their goals and train hard. They sweat, they bleed, and they crawl to the end of the finish line. It is hard work like this that makes dreams happen.

Democracy is defined in America as the government of the people, and by the people. I wouldn’t be standing here today if it weren’t for extraordinary support of ordinary citizens. The word extraordinary is made by simply by adding “extra.” As citizens of this nation, we are called to be extraordinary. 

To keep up with competition we need to be better. We need to produce goods of higher quality faster. We need to produce goods that are innovative and have global appeal. America is great because of its ingenuity, its drive in pursuit of excellence.

Most people do not identify as a “Republican” or “Democrat,” and this antiquated duality is disenfranchising the electorate. Even those who ascribe to affiliation, the parties have become beholden to special interests and big donors. They are no longer accountable to the people that gave them power, and it’s time we take back our government.

If we want to have an America that is becoming better and becoming greater, we need to have equality, therefore we need to stop discriminating against women and empower women. If we empower women se will eventually see an America with equality, therefore, a better and greater America.

How can we preach about freedom when we threaten to take away rights from women, the freedom to marry someone who isn’t of the opposite sex, or deny the injustices against people of color that still occur today?

Clean energy is a growing issue that has been ignored for the past couple of decades. We as a nation need to understand that it is actually a serious matter, and not just a “hoax” created by the Chinese government. We must start considering using solar panels, wind energy or even wave turbulence to start protecting our environment.

We the citizens need to unite as one. The first step for us to be united with one another is to overcome the differences in each other and be able to see the goodness in one another. Don’t dwell on someone’s beliefs, skin tone or race.

My goal is that we all work with one another, for one another. I hope that we can all show each other the same compassion and generosity that we would show a child or close friend. I want to work for all of you, and I’d love it if all of you would work for one another.

In reality, talk is cheap, so I am here today in front of my lovely nation promising to prove that I am not cheap. I will do whatever it takes to protect and continue to prosper as a nation.

I would like to see the change in presidency that the Electoral College is not a win or take all system state by state. I believe that form of voting isn’t a full democracy the way we say it is.

My final dream for this country is that there is unity. My ideal wish is that everyone would be welcome here and that people will no longer feel the pressure to assimilate in order to belong. Our country is made up by a variety of people with all kinds of backgrounds and ideologies, which should be embraced and not stopped.

Jim Scheibel, a former mayor of St. Paul, is Professor of Practice in the Management, Marketing and Public Administration Department, Hamline University. He is a former director of both AmeriCorps VISTA and the Senior Corps. 


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Comments (17)

  1. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 01/03/2017 - 08:24 am.

    Inauguration day

    I would like to hear Hillary.

  2. Submitted by Bill Willy on 01/03/2017 - 11:19 am.

    What an honor . . . What an honor

    Really. This is huge. Thank-you very much. Very much.

    I have withdrawn all of my Cabinet nominations and I am resigning, effective immediately — immediately — so I can spend more time with my wonderful, wonderful family.

    Thank-you very very much.

  3. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/03/2017 - 11:34 am.

    Best Speech He Could Make

    “I’m fired.”

  4. Submitted by joe smith on 01/03/2017 - 12:12 pm.

    I will be friendly towards business

    and you did build it!!

  5. Submitted by Eugene R. Sanborn on 01/03/2017 - 12:16 pm.


    I would like to hear Trump say that there is Reciprocity in all 50 states if you have a CCP. That would be the best news ever!

  6. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 01/03/2017 - 12:30 pm.

    I promise to abide by all the laws of this country during my time in office, in both letter and spirit, and will carefully guard against my natural propensity toward an authoritarian strongman style of presidential behaviors. I realize that I alone cannot solve the problems of our country or the world, and that our Constitution establishes a Congress to help guide the nation.

    And I will remember that I do not have a mandate to undo all the programs that address the health and economic needs of the more than half of American voters who chose Hillary Clinton rather than me to lead us.

    I also promise to use the White House as residence every once in a while, and restrict my tweets to two per week. I will also hold a press conference once a year while I’m President, although that depends on how supine the press learns to be.

  7. Submitted by Joel Stegner on 01/03/2017 - 01:28 pm.

    Leading question

    By this time, we all know Trump pretty well. What he said and how he acted during the campaign cannot be erased or undone. Too much damage has been done. With him, our society has hit bottom and will stay there until he leaves office. Most of the time he brags and congratulates himself for things that are bad or if good, he doesn’t deserve credit for. There is not one of his major promises that he has actually fulfilled, and some he has already broken. And frankly, even if he said something that was even mildly encouraging, why would anyone in his or her right mind believe him? Along with many other patriotic Americans, I have no intention of watching the debacle begin.

    • Submitted by Steve Rose on 01/03/2017 - 02:52 pm.

      The Debacle Starts with …

      … more middle class jobs

      “Ford invests $700M in Mich., cancels plan for Mexico plant”

      “Ford CEO Mark Fields said the decision to cancel the plant in Mexico was based in part on changing market conditions with sales of small cars declining as well as the pro-business climate the automaker expects under President-elect Donald Trump”

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/03/2017 - 04:35 pm.

        For Now

        And when market conditions shift, and big ol’ trucks go out of fashion again? Will the friendly climate from Washington convince Ford to go against he market, and keep producing behemoths in Michigan? Buried in the back-patting is the fact that Ford is shifting production of smaller cars to an existing factory in Mexico. What happens when oil prices continue to go up, and smaller cars are back in demand?

        For that matter, what will happen when Ford ramps up the automation of its assembly line?

        • Submitted by Steve Rose on 01/04/2017 - 08:56 am.

          Ramps up Automation?

          Have you seen a modern automobile factory? Much of the $700 million that will be spent on automation in the expansion of the Flat Rock plant. For those of us that work in automation, that is business.

          What might happen when things change? We will have to worry about that at a future time. The more Ford expands and modernizes the Flat Rock Plant, the more likely they are to stick with it in the future.

  8. Submitted by Russell Booth on 01/03/2017 - 01:45 pm.

    Rockettes dancing

    totally covered by their hijabs. Only the anger in their eyes visible.

    And Trump says something – anything – that makes good sense to most people at the moment that he says it. Bonus points if it sounds presidential.

  9. Submitted by MaryAnn Dean on 01/03/2017 - 01:59 pm.

    Inauguaration Day

    I would like to wake up on Inauguration Day and hear that it was all a bad dream and Trump was never nominated.

  10. Submitted by Edward Blaise on 01/04/2017 - 08:33 am.

    A lucky break

    For Trump is that the oath of office does not include any pledges to tell the truth:

    “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

    If there were, I would advise John Roberts to be on the look out for random lighting strikes.

  11. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 01/04/2017 - 09:17 am.

    I would like to hear Trump

    I would like to hear D.T. speak and not be interrupted by the intolerant, professional shut down artist and the divest crowd.

  12. Submitted by Pat Brady on 01/10/2017 - 08:28 am.

    Keep to his printed speech written for him

    Please, do not repeat the campaign over and over again, play by play.
    Keep the speech to 10 minutes and talk in complete sentences.

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