By Tom Demerly for tomdemerly.com
“Thank you America! Thank you!
Thank you for being a great country, a great people, a country made up of great people.
You know, we won this election based on many things, one of them is a slogan, and it’s a fabulous slogan, “Make America Great Again.” I say “we” won this election because we all did. Every one of us. There are no losers today. There are no losers in a free country when democracy grinds its often loud, often difficult way toward what it is we all desire, even though we propose to get there in different ways.
We argued and debated, checked and rechecked our system, and we learned that it is still a great system. It’s always been great. Today proves it’s great again. Our forefathers made this system great, and you’ve made it great again today.
This election proves what I’ve believed all along, America truly is great. The fact we’re standing here together, on this day, proves how truly great America is. It’s the reason I asked you two years ago to hire me for this job, one of the most important jobs in the entire world, and by far the most important and sacred job I’ve ever had the privilege of doing.
During this last administration Americans showed why we’re great. They rallied, they demonstrated, they debated on both sides and they worked through a difficult process to be heard. And you are heard. So here we are. Thank you for speaking up, and speaking out.
And I have one thing to tell you as we start out today, America: I hear you.
I hear you calling out from the factories and the assembly lines and the check-out counters. I hear you when you tell me that half of us can’t afford the basics even though the stock market nears all time highs. I hear you call out from both sides of the aisle, no matter where you live or how you live or what you earn. I hear you. And I’m listening.
I’ve heard that government is so bloated with its own rules and forms and regulations that it can’t push away from its own dinner table to answer the knock on the door of people who want the freedom and liberty to remain great, and the ability to be even greater.
I’ve heard that things like the Affordable Care Act are anything but affordable. I’ve heard that you can’t afford to take care of your aging parents even though you work three jobs and sixty hours a week. I hear that you can’t afford college for yourself or your kids so we can continue to be great. I’ve heard that you work so hard that you have no time to retrain for a new job in a changing economy. And I’ve heard one thing that bothers me the most, one thing that ultimately got me here today, I’ve heard, both here and outside our country, that America isn’t as great as it used to be. Well I don’t agree with that. Today proves we’re right.
And America, I’m listening. And I’ll keep listening.
You’ve hired me to do a job, and I’m honored to be the candidate chosen for that job, it’s the most important one I’ve ever had, and I’m humbled that we stand here today, together, ready to get to work. And along the way to getting here you’ve told me what you want done.
You’ve told me you don’t want a hand-out, that you want a way up. You’ve told me that Washington needs to lead, to follow or to get out of the way. We’re going to do some of all three, and in different ways than we’ve seen before.
I’ve heard that we face threats to the ideals and values that we hold dear. The things that are guaranteed to all women and men. These threats originate in places far, far away. We’ll meet those challenges with strength and resolve at every corner.
I know that the creeping cancer of terrorism threatens America. That cancer will never infect our country. I’ve already picked the strongest and most experienced team of people in history to lead our continuing fight against terrorism. And I have a message for those who choose violence and oppression over unity and liberty; Your evil ways are over.
And I know that you hired me not just to listen, but to deliver on the promise of an American dream that, during this past decade seemed, to many, like only a dream while we waited in endless lines and filled out endless forms for a hand-out or a fair chance when all we wanted was to get to work.
I hear you.
Today we do get to work. We work on forging an America better than ever before, built on the foundation of the greatest country on earth. Built by people from all over this world who have always wanted three precious things; a chance, a change and the freedom to prove there are no limits in the United States of America.
This won’t be easy, and in the long American workday we all won’t get everything we want as individuals. But America isn’t only about individuals. It’s about unity, community and our great national ‘whole’ being greater than the sum. That when we reach above our differences and find our common goals, our common aspirations, we can unite in the hard work to make our shared dreams into a reality better than ever before. And as Americans working together in these United States, we can accomplish anything.
I hear you America.
And now the world will hear the sound of an America made great once more. An America that rises up again and again and again, built upon a succession of yesterdays from our foundation and principles to a future of tomorrows greater than we can imagine. An America that will reach ideals and goals not yet dreamed of.
Think of our lives 30 years ago and how different they were then. Now try to imagine our lives 30 years from now in an age when the only constant is change and change happens so fast we sometimes feel we’re lost in a succession of ever-reinventing Americas that often seem strange, out of control.
But we are not lost. Our founders drew maps called the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Those great maps will take us to our destiny across any future, no matter how changing and unforeseeable. When we use our shared ideals as our national roadmap we can navigate any change with courage, ambition and grace.
And as we navigate this change together I pledge to always stay the course of freedom, liberty, the strength of the American people and the things that have always made us great.
America, I hear you, and it is a joyous chorus of voices rising up as one to tell of a tomorrow greater than any of us can imagine.
America, I hear you. Now join me in listening to the sound of our success! May God bless these United States of America!”
- This is written in the language and speaking patterns of President-elect Trump. It is the result of listening to his oration and creating a style that is natural and comfortable for him, using his favorite words. It also includes his penchant for repetition of themes, and restating them in different words during the same speech.
- His penchant for speaking in themes, “promises” and leaving specific commitments out of the delivery.
- There is a moderate “centering” of position in the post-election rhetoric as the President-elect transitions from a divisive election narrative to the mission of aligning a divided nation in the interest of progress and cooperation; the campaign divided us, the President-elect’s term must unite us in order to accomplish anything.
- The speech, as written, runs only seven minutes (07:00). Previous inauguration speeches, including Ronald Reagan’s first address, ran over 20 minutes and were more substantive. In keeping with President-elect Trump’s history of orating only on theme rather than specific substance, and the success it has brought his campaign. At the President-elect’s discretion, specific themes can be outlined into the script while care is taken to maintain the continuity of the theme.
- The intent is for media to colloquially refer to this as President-elect Trump’s “I Hear You” speech, a theme that will be revisited throughout his term.