The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Experts, Republican Aggies weigh in on transfer of power

Photo by Via Creative Commons

Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States Friday.

Millions of Americans watched Friday’s inauguration as Donald Trump officially became the 45th president of the United States. Several A&M organizations, such as TAMU College Republicans and Aggies for Trump, hosted watch parties and other events in honor of the historic day.
David Isenhour, chairman of TAMU College Republicans, said he was grateful for the peaceful transition of power that took place Friday.
“It was a great day for both sides of our political spectrum. Even though the Democrats didn’t see their way this time around, it truly is a testament to the miracle that is the United States of America,” Isenhour said. “People transitioning in power is something that is so common to the United States, yet so uncommon to the course of human history.”
Zach Russell, president of Aggies for Trump and international studies sophomore, said he was pleased both by the inauguration itself and the work supporters did to get Trump to that position.
“I’m happy that he was able to be inaugurated and that something that we all wanted to happen and had worked for actually did happen,” Russell said. “I thought that the speech he gave was wonderful about putting the people of the United States before anything else.”
While Russell wishes the group could have done more for the election, he is content with the outcome as well as the fact that more people had the opportunity to be included in politics this semester.
“I wish that we could have done a little bit more, but overall, I’ve been happy with what we were able to do,” Russell. “We got out on campus, answered questions that people had, and we were able to get people registered to vote and just more involved in the political process.”
After listening to parts of Trump’s speech, Isenhour said Trump will continue to be an atypical president, just as he was an atypical candidate.
“I think it was characteristically what we would expect from Trump, and that it highlighted that he is here in the White House to bring definite change to the way the old government is done,” Isenhour said. “It shows that truly this president has no intention of keeping he status quo, even more so than any past president.”
Communication professor Randy Kluver said the president’s speech was not what he expected.
“It was disappointing to me. I thought that President Trump would … try to achieve much more of a unifying tone,” Kluver said. “He took a different tack in a way that sort of surprised me; he drew a stark division between the governed and the governors, and I thought that was probably unfair. It wasn’t a ‘left and right’ division that he made as much as it was an ‘us the people versus them, the elites.’”
Kluver said many people hope to see success through Trump’s actions.
“I think that there are two things that Donald Trump talks about that are very appealing to people,” Kluver said. “Number one is reclaiming opportunity for the lower and middle classes, and I think everybody hopes he’s successful in that. The second thing that I think is interesting and I think a lot of people agree with him on is the emphasis on rebuilding the infrastructure.”
Kluver said he doesn’t think Trump is attempting to bridge the gap under one nation between his supporters and those who didn’t support him during election season.
“He’s got that core level of support, but it’s really critical for him to bring in the rest of the nation as well,” Kluver said. “So the 50 percent of people who did not vote for him, he is not doing anything to make them comfortable. He’s not doing anything to bridge the divide with them that has not been introduced …That’s got to be an area he that turns his attention to.”
Kirby Goidel, communication professor and fellow at the Public Policy Research Institute, read the speech online and commented on the negative rhetoric he noticed throughout the speech.
“Trump is a different kind of communicator than what we’re used to in politics. It was a very popular speech,” Goidel said. “It was very much about the people versus the power structure in Washington and very much identified sort of Washington as the enemy … That’s consistent with his theme throughout the election, that it’s time for the people against the power.”
Goidel said because Trump isn’t a “cookie cutter” defined by either political party, it could help him to appeal to a wider political spectrum.
“He’s not a clear, conservative Republican the way most Republicans are, and he’s certainly not a liberal Democrat,” Goidel said. “So potentially, he could position himself as sort of the person in between the parties, and occupying that ground could help him to govern in a way that would get some things done that might not otherwise have.”

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