Virtually any political event is something of a Roshomon-like experience where each viewer or participant sees happenings through the lens of their own experience. Last night’s State of the Union Address by President Trump had some of that quality but, by and large, was a different animal. While State of the Union addresses have devolved into an opportunity for presidents to propose a laundry list of new spending, President Trump took the opportunity to answer Ronald Reagan’s famous challenge in his 1975 CPAC address
Our people look for a cause to believe in. Is it a third party we need, or is it a new and revitalized second party, raising a banner of no pale pastels, but bold colors which make it unmistakably clear where we stand on all of the issues troubling the people?”
There was nothing pastel-ish at all about Trump’s speech. If you are a conservative or even a middle-of-the-roader, it hit all the right notes.
The malaise of the Obama years is behind us.
I am thrilled to report to you tonight that our economy is the best it has ever been. Our military is completely rebuilt, with its power being unmatched anywhere in the world — and it is not even close. Our borders are secure. Our families are flourishing. Our values are renewed. Our pride is restored. And for all these reasons, I say to the people of our great country, and to the Members of Congress before me: The State of our Union is stronger than ever before!
The economy is working for everyone, not just the privileged few.
The unemployment rates for African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and Asian-Americans have reached the lowest levels in history. African-American youth unemployment has reached an all-time low.
African-American poverty has declined to the lowest rate ever recorded.
The unemployment rate for women reached the lowest level in almost 70 years — and last year, women filled 72 percent of all new jobs added.
The veterans’ unemployment rate dropped to a record low.
The unemployment rate for disabled Americans has reached an all-time low.
Workers without a high school diploma have achieved the lowest unemployment rate recorded in United States history.
A record number of young Americans are now employed.
Under the last administration, more than 10 million people were added to the food stamp rolls. Under my Administration, 7 million Americans have come off of food stamps, and 10 million people have been lifted off of welfare.
In 8 years under the last administration, over 300,000 working-age people dropped out of the workforce. In just 3 years of my Administration, 3.5 million working-age people have joined the workforce.
Since my election, the net worth of the bottom half of wage-earners has increased by 47 percent — 3 times faster than the increase for the top 1 percent. After decades of flat and falling incomes, wages are rising fast — and, wonderfully, they are rising fastest for low-income workers, who have seen a 16 percent pay-increase since my election. This is a blue collar boom.
Blue. Collar. Boom. Better get ready to hear a lot of that.
The GOP is not just talking about reaching out to black and Hispanics, it is doing it.
The most striking thing in the speech was the degree to which President Trump was making a full-court press for black voters in a way that no other Republican president in my life has. He highlighted Opportunity Zones, gave a shout-out to Senator Tim Scott, and his guest to exemplify this program was a black, formerly homeless veteran who has had his life turned around by work in an Opportunity Zone. He highlighted efforts at criminal justice reform. He touted charter schools as an alternative to ‘failing government schools,’ slammed Pennsylvania’s Democrat governor for kowtowing to the teachers’s unions and vetoing an increase in charter school scholarships and personally awarded a scholarship to Janiyah Davis, a fourth grader from Philadelphia. He announced that he had just promoted to brigadier general, 100 year-old retired Colonel Charles McGee, one of the original Tuskegee Airmen.
His outreach was so intense that Van Jones hit the panic button.
President Trump made no secret that he is not part of the globalist cabal that insists that America has to take one for the team. He was unabashedly the leader of the world’s sole hyperpower. He hit energy independence, Chinese predatory trade practices:
They respect what we have done because, quite frankly, they could never believe what they were able to get away with year after year, decade after decade, without someone in our country stepping up and saying: Enough.
NATO allies were cobbed for not paying their fair share and USMCA held up as an example of how it is done.
Likewise, we are restoring our Nation’s manufacturing might, even though predictions were that this could never be done. After losing 60,000 factories under the previous two administrations, America has now gained 12,000 new factories under my Administration with thousands upon thousands of plants and factories being planned or built. We have created over half a million new manufacturing jobs. Companies are not leaving; they are coming back. Everybody wants to be where the action is, and the United States of America is, indeed, where the action is.
Uncompromising on core issues.
Trump pledged to defend the Second Amendment, he pledged to renew the fight to allow prayer in schools, he called for a ban on late term abortion, he endorsed a law that would allow sanctuary cities and states to be sued by citizens for crimes committed by illegals who had been released from custody, he had as a special guest the brother of a man killed by an illegal California had allowed to evade an ICE detainer, he used the term ‘illegal alien’, I believe, for the first time in a State of the Union speech. He pledged to act to keep illegals from being covered under Medicare or Medicaid. Immigration will be reformed to reward talented immigrants ‘who follow the rules, contribute to our economy, support themselves financially, and uphold our values.’
What was striking here was that the only nod to bipartisanship was in areas where GOP policies were leading and gaining Democrat support. No Democrat was given any acknowledgement. Trump’s positions were drawn without any hint of surrender to the left on anything. Strong stuff.
Screw the left and the horse they rode in on.
We will fight terrorism but we will wind down US involvement in Afghanistan.
He highlighted the administration’s success in killing terrorist leaders, guests were the parents of Kayla Mueller who was kidnapped by ISIS and eventually became the property of al-Baghdadi. Also as a guest was the widow and young son of Army Staff Sergeant Christopher Hake who was killed by one of the roadside bombs provided to Iraqi insurgents by the Iranian Quds Force commanded by the late, unlamented Qasem Soleimani. This was nearly a STFU moment directed at the morons who’ve crawled out of the woodwork to say killing Soleimani was a bad thing.
One of the most poignant moments was on Afghanistan:
In Afghanistan, the determination and valor of our warfighters has allowed us to make tremendous progress, and peace talks are underway. I am not looking to kill hundreds of thousands of people in Afghanistan, many of them innocent. It is also not our function to serve other nations as a law enforcement agency. These are warfighters, the best in the world, and they either want to fight to win or not fight at all. We are working to finally end America’s longest war and bring our troops back home!
Check out SFC Williams’s overseas bars. He’s served 2½ years in combat. Consider that if you went ashore on D-Day, you would have served less than one year in combat.
We will support freedom.Iran’s leaders where given an thinly veiled threat that more bad things were awaiting them. President Trump reminded Congress that he had reversed the failed Obama policies that were supposed to liberalize Cuba. In an astonishing move, we found that Venezuelan opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, was in he gallery and Trump referred to him as ‘the true and legitimate President of Venezuela.’
The Cuban and Venezuelan announcements were aimed squarely at South Florida where those issues are huge.
Okay…there was some pandering.
Protect Medicare and Social Security, federally mandated family leave, and what sounds like price controls on some drugs made it into the free-stuff grab bag. These were all specifically aimed at his 2020 campaign by locking in support of senior citizens (or their families) and making a play for suburban women voters.
As the world bears witness tonight, America is a land of heroes. This is the place where greatness is born, where destinies are forged, and where legends come to life. This is the home of Thomas Edison and Teddy Roosevelt, of many great Generals, including Washington, Pershing, Patton, and MacArthur. This is the home of Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Amelia Earhart, Harriet Tubman, the Wright Brothers, Neil Armstrong, and so many more. This is the country where children learn names like Wyatt Earp, Davy Crockett, and Annie Oakley. This is the place where the pilgrims landed at Plymouth and where Texas patriots made their last stand at the Alamo.
The American Nation was carved out of the vast frontier by the toughest, strongest, fiercest, and most determined men and women ever to walk the face of the Earth. Our ancestors braved the unknown; tamed the wilderness; settled the Wild West; lifted millions from poverty, disease, and hunger; vanquished tyranny and fascism; ushered the world to new heights of science and medicine; laid down the railroads, dug out canals, raised up the skyscrapers — and, ladies and gentlemen, our ancestors built the most exceptional Republic ever to exist in all of human history. And we are making it greater than ever before!
This is our glorious and magnificent inheritance.
We are Americans. We are the pioneers. We are the pathfinders. We settled the new world, we built the modern world, and we changed history forever by embracing the eternal truth that everyone is made equal by the hand of Almighty God.
America is the place where anything can happen! America is the place where anyone can rise. And here, on this land, on this soil, on this continent, the most incredible dreams come true!
This Nation is our canvas, and this country is our masterpiece. We look at tomorrow and see unlimited frontiers just waiting to be explored. Our brightest discoveries are not yet known. Our most thrilling stories are not yet told. Our grandest journeys are not yet made. The American Age, the American Epic, the American Adventure, has only just begun!
This is an America that was the national vision before the left had completed Antonio Gramsci’s long march through academia and the claptrap by Howard Zinn became our accepted narrative. It was brilliant and uplifting.
Focus on 2020.
At Politico, John F. Harris says this:
This was the most defiant, most boastful, most ostentatiously theatrical, most overtly campaign-oriented, most am-I-hearing-this-right? outlandish—the most flamboyantly bizarre—State of the Union Address of All Time.
It was also the most disorienting, and hard to categorize through the prism of conventional political analysis. That prism already had lost much of its utility during the Trump Era, and the president seemed to shatter it completely in a 78-minute speech to a congressional audience whose fealty and contempt toward Trump were on display in equal and vivid measure.
This is a ridiculous and small-minded assessment by someone who is actually quite smart but is suffering from late-stage TDS. This speech laid out Trump’s case for reelection. He reminded everyone of the amazing economy he has overseen. He made an aggressive play for black and Hispanic voters. He reminded his base of the wall and of judges and of promises delivered. He reminded Americans of the dangers of the socialist policies pushed by the Democrats. He let social conservatives know he was on their side on guns, God, and abortion. He promised to end Forever-War. His guests were people of middle and lower socio-economic status. A former homeless vet, an inner city mom, a mom with a girl who was born extremely premature, a student from Arizona and his grandfather who is a brand new one-star, the family of a slain terrorist hostage, the brother of a man killed by a released illegal, a Army widow, and an Army wife. No millionaires. No Ph.D.s No blue blood pedigrees. Just the people who will benefit from Trump’s vision of Amereica.
The speech was brilliant. It delivered the goods. It set the predicate for Trump’s re-election campaign which has better prospects everyday. The themes for 2020 were previewed and they were dynamite. Nancy Pelosi was right to rip up her copy of the speech, that was more seemly than gumming the furniture of kicking the help.