As a professional speechwriter who has written for political leaders, Fortune 500 executives and even Midwest corn farmers, I want to call out what I see as an important challenge posed by President Trump’s inaugural address.

In line after line, Trump portrayed a dismal portrait of our country, speaking in one point of it as “American carnage.” As he has done in campaign speeches, Trump spoke in hyperbole of what he would accomplish as president. In this regard, it was a campaign speech, not an inaugural address, and there is a significant difference.

On Thursday, Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer said the speech would be a “philosophical document.” But we really didn’t get one.

At this point, we don’t need to be reminded of the problems of the last eight, or even 16, years. What we needed was a speech that set forth something a step or two above the “America First” language of the campaign. We needed something that would, for the record, represent an attempt to bring everyone together. In time, the passions on display in the protests and social media clamor against Trump will fade away and the historical record of this speech will become what really matters.

The more he promises without reservation, the more he will struggle to not fall short. “America will start winning again, winning like never before,” Trump said. “We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth. And we will bring back our dreams.”

This being said, Trump focused on two old-fashioned terms: “America First,” recalling our efforts to stay out of foreign entanglements, and the “forgotten men and women,” reminiscent of President Franklin Roosevelt’s “Forgotten Man” references to those who suffered the most in the Great Depression. These terms are crucial to Trump and welcomed by many. His speech rightly tapped into the anger of many people in “flyover country.”

The media continually spotlighted the sparse attendance at the inauguration compared to previous years. There’s a simple reason: Trump’s supporters, those who are so much a part of his victory, couldn’t come. They had jobs to work, or not enough money for bus or air fare. They are struggling, and were no doubt glued to a screen or radio somewhere, if they could, soaking in this great scene.

The campaign is over; the election’s been won. Now, it’s time to rule, and time to serve. Here’s the part I liked best, and the part I hope and pray to see come to pass over the next four years:

We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world, but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first. We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example. We will shine for everyone to follow.

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Offices in the West Wing are being filled one at a time, and a nation stands ready, hoping once again for greatness, and hoping this most unlikely president can help us bring it.

Ken Colombini writes from St. Louis, Mo., and has a background in political and corporate speechwriting. He also has worked as a newspaper reporter, editor and columnist in his native California. Thinking of submitting an op-ed to the Washington Examiner? Be sure to read our guidelines on submissions.

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