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"Ik heb weinig nieuws gehoord in de inauguratietoespraak", zegt politicoloog Jonathan Holslag.

Last Friday controversial presidential candidate Donald Trump took the oath as 45th President of the United States. He also gave his inauguration speech, which was the shortest in over 40 years. A few VUB researchers voiced their opinions in the media on the new President and his speech.



Brand-new American President Donald Trump showed himself to be combative during his inauguration speech. This in contrast with other, regular inauguration speeches, says professor political science Alison Woodward on Terzake.


“I’m astonished and disappointed. I had hoped Trump would have given a different kind of speech, more similar to a regular inauguration speech. This was just like a campaign speech. The inauguration always was an event for which people come together, it’s a festive gathering. This was not the case today with protest and divided people in America. I think Trump put little to no effort into overcoming that gap with his speech.”


“The expectations are sky-high: ‘great, great, great’. Everything will be beneficial for everyone, if we’re taking Trump on his word. But the elite and the rich are also part of this ‘everyone’. How he’s going to bridge this gap still remains to be seen. In Trump’s eyes America can only go up, and he’s the one to make it ‘great’ again.”


America first

Political scientist Herman Matthijs also analysed Trump’s speech for VTM News.


“The inaugural addresses over the past decades were rather vague and diplomatic. Trump stands out with clear items like the ones in his campaign. He’s not giving up on those.”


“Secondly, his speech reminds me of the one of Ronald Reagan in January 1981. The general theme was, just like now, ‘America first’.

“The media should also take their responsibility”
Katleen Gabriels

Moral philospher Katleen Gabriels wrote in De Morgen about the relationship between Donald Trump and media.


“Attacking the press is one of the few constants in Trumps discourse since his candidacy for president of the United States. The media are part of the establishment Trump despises so much”, says Gabriels.


“The media should take their responsibility in this matter”, she continues. “They were not able to take Trump seriously these past 18 months, but they were more than happy to entertain his offensive statements. This added to his success. The dissatisfaction of the American people was not picked up enough by the media, which led to surprise when hearing the election results. This, in turn, led to reputational damage to the media.””


“We shall have to wait and see” 

Last but not least, political scientist Jonathan Holslag shared his opinion, with De Redactie.


“I heard little to no news in the inauguration speech. There was no conciliatory gesture, nor extremely offensive language like we heard during Trump’s campaign. For the larger part, he confirmed what we already knew. One, there will be economic nationalism, which will be damaging for us. And two, concerning safety policy Trump wants to make sure America has the lead over every other country using whatever means necessary. We shall just have to wait and see.”