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Will Trump speech meet ‘God’ average for inaugural addresses?

(USA Today) If Donald Trump’s inaugural address is anything like his predecessors’, there will be a lot of God in it.

A new interactive built by GoogleNews Labs shows that God was the most common theme mentioned by presidents in the 11 most searched inaugural addresses.

Trump has been unconventional in many ways, including the fact that unlike many politicians, he does not habitually end his speeches with “… and God bless the United States of America.” But for the inaugural address, a reference to the almighty is pretty much a baseline requirement, particularly since Trump was elected with strong support from evangelical voters.

The Google interactive is fascinating, if a bit daunting. It includes 11 full addresses (Trump will be added Friday shortly after he speaks), which have been tagged by topics ranging from “courage” and “loyalty” to “liberty” and “wealth.”

It also shows which topics were most mention within each speech. For example, “money” dominated Franklin Roosevelt’s 1933 inaugural address, because, in the heart of the Great Depression, nobody had any. By contrast, the top topic of Ronald Reagan’s 1981 inaugural address was “freedom” — not surprising for a man whose presidency helped force the collapse of the Soviet Union.

And “God” was the top topic of Abraham Lincoln’s 1865 inaugural address, which was laced with references to the raging Civil War in which both sides prayed to God for assistance.

(Paul Singer writes for USA Today)

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  • About that, what Paul Singer presumes too much – that in “Donald Trump’s inaugural address … there will be (1) a lot of God in it.  … (and it will) not … end … with (2) ‘… and God bless the United States of America’ … since Trump was elected with strong support from (3) evangelical voters” – wrong!  And wrong on all three counts.  Take a look and compare:

    “The bible tells us how good and pleasant it is when (1.1) God’s (3.1) people live together in unity.  (3.2) We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity. When (3.3) America is united, (3.4) America is totally unstoppable.  There should be no fear.  (3.5) We are protected and (3.6) we will always be protected.  (3.7) We will be protected by the great (3.8) men and (3.9) women of our military and law enforcement. And most importantly, (3.10) we will be protected by (1.2) God.  … Thank (3.11) you.  (1.3) God bless (3.12) you.  (3) And (1.4) God bless (3.13) America.” (Donald Trump, Inauguration Speech, TIME, JAN 20, 2017)

    So do your math, Paul Singer.  That’s 4X Trump invokes “God”, 1X the “And God bless America” benediction, and 13X not “evangelical voters” but the American people.

    Now, man up & apologize to your president!

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