In William Shakespeare’s London, actors had a practice of leaving the script of the play and throwing remarks to the audience standing on the theater floor. That part of the audience could not afford the seats in balconies where the middle and upper classes sat. These remarks, called “asides,” were often risqué and vulgar, aimed for these groundlings who got in for a penny, and not the delicate ears seated in the balcony.
In a similar fashion, Donald Trump’s inauguration speech ignored the traditional pattern of a president calling for unity and was basically one big aside aimed at those people who voted for him. Like those Elizabethan actors, he ignored those people in the balcony behind him.
He aimed his aside to the groundlings in those poor rural counties that Fortune magazine said will suffer most from the his proposals. He was speaking to the 200 American counties that previously voted for Barack Obama but then helped give him his role as president.
His aside was a continuation of his campaigning act, but now the country and the world is holding its breath to see how plays his role as president.
Ray Hollmann, Fairview Heights