We’ve heard a lot today about the inauguration about President Donald Trump. This morning we heard from folks who are for and against Trump as they looked forward to today’s inauguration. Now let’s take a look back with David Holt. He’s an organizer with Occupy NH Seacoast and he’s one of the organizers of one of the many rallies occurring in the state tomorrow. He joined NHPR’s Peter Biello on All Things Considered.
What did you think of President Trump’s inaugural address?
I thought that there were many good points. However, I thought it was kind of hollow because I think he said things that he has demonstrated, by his nominations and by other statements, that he doesn’t really support. He’s talking about transferring power from Washington and giving it back to the people, however he’s just elected a cabinet of billionaires and millionaires. Even more specifically, with a lot of these nominations, they’re basically building what he calls a “swamp,” but with worse creatures than were there before.
You said he made some good points, however. What good points do you think he made?
I hate to give him credit for them because I don’t think he truly believes in what he said, but he basically was saying that we need to give power back to the people, and that we need to decrease the discrepancy of income that we have in the United States.
He did talk about rebuilding our infrastructure. He talked about the rusted-out factories, but he has ties that he markets that are actually made in China. So he has contributed to the rusted-out factories in America as much as anyone else has. He also talked about the depletion of the military, which I question because our military is still many times stronger than any other military of any other nation.
What are your hopes for the incoming administration? Do you have any specific hopes?
I hope to be surprised. I hope that it isn’t going to be what I’m really expecting it to be, which is that it will be an even huger gap of inequality. I’m very afraid that the inequality gap that has been skyrocketing over the last few decades will increase even more. He spoke about bringing jobs back and giving jobs to people in the United States. Our unemployment is relatively low right now. It isn’t so much that we don’t have jobs as it is we don’t have good paying jobs. For the majority of Americans, wages haven’t risen in the last 30 years, whereas the compensation for executives has. It used to be that an owner of a company made 50 times more than what their employee made. Now they make 500 or 1000 times more. So I think that he’s not really addressing the real issues.
Some of his opponents say he doesn’t necessarily deserve this chance to lead. Do you think that he does, and that we should give the President a chance?
I don’t think that we have the opportunity to lose any ground on any of the progress that we’ve made in this country. He has already had the chance, by the people that he nominated for his staff positions, to lead. He could have nominated someone that was truly going to protect working people, but his nomination for the Labor Secretary is someone who has basically shown disregard for workers. He’s spoken about replacing workers with computers if he had the opportunity to do that. It’s really just a joke of a nomination. Putting in Tillerson as Secretary of State, CEO of Exxon, is just basically giving the fox the keys to the henhouse. I think his nominations were a chance to see what he was going to do, and he has already shown that he’s just going to increase the income wealth gap that we have in this country, which is just unacceptable.
You’re organizing rallies tomorrow with Occupy NH Seacoast. What will be the focus of your rally?
It will be protecting our rights. What we’re organizing is the Portsmouth Rally in support of the Women’s Rights March in D.C. The reason why the women organized that march was because of all of the horrible things he’s said about women over the election. Things that should have disqualified him. Anyone reasonably thinking he would be a real candidate should protect our civil rights and lead the people of the United States. We need to protect all civil rights—women’s rights, the rights of those that are disabled, and the rights of the LGBTQ community. We also need to protect religious freedom. Another huge thing Trump has talked about is having a registry for Muslims and stopping immigration—these are just horrific ideas that are un-American.