Trump's dark message

I truly tuned in to President Trump's inauguration in hopes of hearing a call to reunite our country and an attempt to reconcile with the millions who had voted against him. Unfortunately, what I heard was a description of what sounded like a third-world nation with a populace suffering from crime, drugs, and unemployment, and an economy about to go into recession ("America First," Saturday).

This is not the United States that I live in. The economy is healthier than it has been in decades, with the lowest unemployment, the longest period of growth, and a booming stock market. Of course we have problems. We are not a utopian society. But these last eight years have been a period of continued growth and stability.

His inauguration address should have been a celebration of where we are and how he will make us better, greater, not a denigration of everything that has been done before he takes office.

Nations around the world are concerned about Trump's prescription for the path ahead for our country. Curiously, the only place that is rejoicing is Russia.

|Marlene Lieber, Medford

Stop stumping and lead

It's time for President Trump to stop being in campaign mode and move into governing. His inaugural address sounded as though he was still out on the stump. "America First" is a campaign slogan, not a practical, nuanced governing principle. Every president wants to advance the well-being and welfare of the public, but he should not put optics over substance. Most importantly, he should remember that what plays well to the crowd may not really benefit them over the long-run. For example, many people fail to understand that restricting and taxing imports may sound as though it puts Americans first, but it comes with significantly higher prices. Jawboning companies to stop moving plants to foreign countries plays great in the media but is fundamentally in opposition to the capitalist system that has delivered a standard of living that is the envy of the free world.

Trump needs to prove his critics wrong and to evolve into the great president he believes he is destined to become.

|Ken Derow, Swarthmore

A wonderful beginning

Jan. 20, 2017 - what a glorious day. A near-perfect inauguration, followed by an inspirational inaugural speech that hit all the correct points.

I commend the past and present Democratic officials who had the courage to attend and not follow the cowardly path of those colleagues who did not.

Then came the inaugural luncheon and toasts, which were moving. The entire day convinced me that our beloved country will soon be moving forward again and be regaining what has been taken from us during the past eight years. God bless America.

|James Malecka, Medford,

Waiting for action

I am a registered Republican. Although I didn't vote for Donald Trump, I didn't vote for Hillary Clinton either, because neither was morally and ethically qualified to be president. I have kept an optimistic view, saying that we should wait and judge our new president by his actions, not by his words. Today, we have a president who, before he had done a single thing, caused protest marches across the country.

As I read the news, all I see is squabbling over things that really don't matter, such as the size of the crowd attending the inaugural. When Trump said that he would get down to business on day one, did he mean that he would spend most of his time trying to quantify the size of the crowd? I am disappointed beyond belief.

What I am waiting for is the president to focus on those things he promised during his campaign and stop focusing on himself. I realize that he is an egomaniac and thinner-skinned than anyone I have encountered, but that doesn't mean he cannot govern. I just hope that he starts.

|Jay Seitchik, Philadelphia,

White House's lies

The White House must not be allowed to come up with its own set of facts, as press secretary Sean Spicer did about the Inauguration Day crowd size ("Trump spokesman blasts inaugural-crowd reporting," Sunday).

Coming up with their own D.C. Metro public transit ridership numbers feels like state-run media.

On the day of the Women's March on Washington with its huge crowd, Spicer didn't even mention that there's another side of America demanding to be heard. Great way to unite the nation.

Trump continues to speak only to his base, who voted for him. But, he's president of the entire country now. His rhetoric continues to divide us.

Kudos to the press for holding the new administration accountable to the facts - crowd facts, climate-change facts, immigration facts, health-care facts, national-security facts, economic facts. I reject alternative facts, a fact-free White House, and the president's contentious relationship with the media.

|Daniel Keifer, Abington

Trump backs good spy craft

President Trump has been characterized as being at war with the "intelligence community" ("Trump tells CIA officials: 'I'm so behind you," Sunday). His conflict was with the leaders of the intelligence agencies, not those who actually do the work. Director John Brennan was widely disliked by CIA agents and analysts. He was a political operative for President Obama. Brennan suppressed the findings of his agents that the fight with the Islamic State was going badly to make Obama appear more successful. Saturday's cheers from the CIA agents were in celebration that they now can do their important work with the support of the president and without political interference.

|Howard Peterson, Berwyn

Give Trump a chance

May we please stop the bashing of the president ("Now comes the hard part," Sunday)? The Inquirer and all of the other "poor losers" continue to whine, moan, groan, and complain. No matter what you think, you can't change the result.

What lessons are we teaching the younger generation? That it's acceptable to disrupt, vandalize, and act liked spoiled little children because things didn't go our way? Grow up! Accept what has happened. Give the man a chance.

Just because you don't like him, and the Dumbocrats detest him, is no reason to act so rudely. You castigate him for this same type of behavior. Why?

You are no better. Get over yourselves.

|Martin Walsh, Warminster

Marching for our president

I went to the Women's March on Washington to support our new president ("Women take a stand," Sunday). Surely he knows it is my responsibility as a citizen to speak up when I do not agree with his ideas and actions.

I want people to be treated fairly. I do not want poor women deprived of health care; I do not want people born in this country to have their parents deported; I do not want people to be afraid because of their skin color or religious belief.

And so I met up with a million or so friends, and we talked, and we walked, and we committed to support our newly elected president to lead our country where liberty and justice for all is a reality.

This is what democracy looks like.

|Katherine McCarthy, Devon,

Pro-lifers were excluded

I wish there was a place for women like myself to participate in the Women's March on Saturday. I did not vote for President Trump. I am offended by his chauvinistic rhetoric. I stand by the principle that women's rights are human rights. Yet women like myself were publicly unwelcomed because we are pro-life. The Women's March organizers stated their platform "is pro-choice and that has been our stance since day one," so pro-life feminists were removed from the partners list.

I would expect the feminist movement to be more inclusive, embracing the many voices of women who speak for themselves. This march was about so much more than simply abortion. Aren't we all trying to accomplish the same goal - to stand up for the dignity of women? We need each other.

|Janine Hair, Hummelstown,

Where were they in the fall?

It's a shame to see so many good people waste their time and energy marching to protest President Trump. It's too late. If they had protested before the elections instead of after, they might have been rewarded with a different result.

|Ivor Walton, Garnet Valley