'Our New American Moment' — President Trump's 2018 SOTU
"All of us, together, as one team, one people, and one American family can do anything. We all share the same home, the same heart, the same destiny, and the same great American flag."
“The welfare of our country is the great object to which our cares and efforts ought to be directed. And I shall derive great satisfaction from a cooperation with you, in the pleasing though arduous task of ensuring to our fellow citizens the blessings which they have a right to expect, from a free and equal government.” —George Washington from his First State of the Union, (1790)
Tuesday evening, President Donald Trump delivered his 2018 State of the Union Address (SOTU) to the nation, and as was the case with his joint address to Congress last year, he again left Democrats shell-shocked. He declared then, “My job is to represent the United States of America,” and indeed he has.
Frankly, he understated his administration’s long list of first-year successes, which I detailed in “Making America Great Again — First Year Report.”
He focused on the economy, and cuts to taxes and regulations, infrastructure, immigration, trade and national security. In my opinion, there were two most striking aspects of this SOTU.
First, Trump crafted his remarks around genuine tributes to gallery guests, and that helped drive his points home on a very personal level — as evident in the high marks he received from viewers.
Second, it was astounding that, in moments when the whole house should have risen in applause, Democrats sat on their hands, scoffing, booing, groaning and glowering at Trump.
We understand that Republicans don’t applaud Democrat presidents when they propose statist policies, and Democrats don’t applaud Republicans when they propose policies that promote Liberty and free enterprise. But when President Trump noted economic improvements that have, in the words of JFK, “lifted all boats,” Democrats did not budge.
The president noted early in his speech: “[Our economy has] created 2.4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone. … After years and years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages. Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low. … African American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded. And Hispanic American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history.”
Not a peep out of the Demo Black or Hispanic caucus members.
And throughout the evening, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, demonstrating her typical air of arrogant moral superiority, was peering over her shoulder as if to say, “There better be no applause.”
President Trump channeled former President Ronald Reagan, and began his remarks with a call to unity: “Tonight, I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people. This is really the key. These are the people we were elected to serve.”
But there was no sense of unity forthcoming from the Democrats.
Within minutes of the SOTU conclusion, a fundraising email from Democrat National Committee chairman Tom Perez hit my inbox with this declaration: “Let me be very clear about something: We can stop the terrible, divisive agenda that Trump laid out tonight in his State of the Union — but only if we take back Congress this year.”
Perez confirmed precisely what we have argued for months — that Democrats are going to have to run against “peace and prosperity” in the 2018 midterm. Yes, they have the significant benefit of the full force of their MSM propaganda machine churning and re-churning attacks on Trump 24/7, but it is going to become clear to more moderate Democrats (yes, there are some), that opposing Trump is opposing prosperity for all Americans.
Notably, the day before the SOTU, even The Washington Post’s Charles Lane conceded: “The approval rating polls on Donald Trump are causing a lot of us … to rethink how we read that particular indicator of American politics because … with all this tumult, with the tremendous controversy around him, a lot negative press … and so on … he seems not to just have a base but a bedrock of 42% of the American people behind him. … That’s pretty darn high [given the bad press].”
And the polling on Trump’s SOTU shocked his Demo/Media detractors.
According to CBS poling, “8 in 10 Americans who watched Pres. Trump’s SOTU address felt he was trying to unite the country, rather than divide it. Two-thirds said the speech made them feel proud…”
And the Politico/Morning Consult poll of Americans who watched the speech reported that 62% said Trump’s remarks were “excellent” or “good,” with 17% saying Trump did only a fair job, and only 20% calling the speech “poor.”
However, as always, the left-elitists were out of touch with grassroots Americans across the country.
Typical of the leftist response was this disgraceful comment from MSNBC’s Joy Reid: “Church … family … police … military … the national anthem … Trump trying to call on all the tropes of 1950s-era nationalism.” California political science “professor” Melissa Michelson protested, “Are they seriously chanting USA?! I am embarrassed for my country.” Princeton’s professor of African-American studies, Keeanga-Yamahtta, declared, “The #SOTU is officially a Klan rally.” And it went downhill from there…
So, what did they find so offensive?
As is my practice after SOTUs, here are some key excerpts from President Trump’s remarks:
“Less than one year has passed since I first stood at this podium, in this majestic chamber, to speak on behalf of the American people and to address their concerns, their hopes and their dreams. That night, our new administration had already taken very swift action. A new tide of optimism was already sweeping across our land. Each day since, we have gone forward with a clear vision and a righteous mission — to make America great again for all Americans.
"Over the last year, we have made incredible progress and achieved extraordinary success. We have faced challenges we expected, and others we could never have imagined. We have shared in the heights of victory and the pains of hardship. We have endured floods and fires and storms. But through it all, we have seen the beauty of America’s soul, and the steel in America’s spine. Each test has forged new American heroes to remind us who we are, and show us what we can be.
"Let’s begin tonight by recognizing that the state of our Union is strong because our people are strong. And together, we are building a safe, strong and proud America.
"This, in fact, is our new American moment. There has never been a better time to start living the American Dream. So to every citizen watching at home tonight, no matter where you’ve been, or where you’ve come from, this is your time. If you work hard, if you believe in yourself, if you believe in America, then you can dream anything, you can be anything, and together, we can achieve absolutely anything.
"Tonight, I want to talk about what kind of future we are going to have, and what kind of a nation we are going to be. All of us, together, as one team, one people, and one American family can do anything. We all share the same home, the same heart, the same destiny, and the same great American flag. Together, we are rediscovering the American way. In America, we know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the center of American life. The motto is, ‘In God We Trust.’
"Young patriots … teach all of us about our civic duty as Americans … reverence for those who have served our nation reminds us of why we salute our flag, why we put our hands on our hearts for the Pledge of Allegiance, and why we proudly stand for the National Anthem.
"Tonight, I call on Congress to empower every cabinet secretary with the authority to reward good workers and to remove federal employees who undermine the public trust or fail the American people.
"In our drive to make Washington accountable, we have eliminated more regulations in our first year than any administration in the history of our country.
”[Companies returning their manufacturing operations to the U.S.] is news Americans are unaccustomed to hearing. For many years, companies and jobs were only leaving us. But now they are roaring back. They’re coming back. They want to be where the action is. They want to be in the United States of America.
“America has also finally turned the page on decades of unfair trade deals that sacrificed our prosperity and shipped away our companies, our jobs, and our wealth. … The era of economic surrender is totally over.
"As we rebuild our industries, it is also time to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. … I’m calling on Congress to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for the new infrastructure investment that our country so desperately needs. Every federal dollar should be leveraged by partnering with state and local governments and, where appropriate, tapping into private sector investment to permanently fix the infrastructure deficit.
"We want every American to know the dignity of a hard day’s work. We want every child to be safe in their home at night. And we want every citizen to be proud of this land that we all love so much. We can lift our citizens from welfare to work, from dependence to independence, and from poverty to prosperity.
"Struggling communities, especially immigrant communities, will also be helped by immigration policies that focus on the best interests of American workers and American families. For decades, open borders have allowed drugs and gangs to pour into our most vulnerable communities. They’ve allowed millions of low-wage workers to compete for jobs and wages against the poorest Americans. Most tragically, they have caused the loss of many innocent lives.
"Here tonight are two fathers and two mothers: Evelyn Rodriguez, Freddy Cuevas, Elizabeth Alvarado and Robert Mickens. Their two teenage daughters — Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens — were close friends on Long Island. But in September 2016, on the eve of Nisa’s 16th birthday — such a happy time it should have been — neither of them came home. These two precious girls were brutally murdered by the savage MS-13 gang while walking together in their hometown.
"Evelyn, Elizabeth, Freddy and Robert: Tonight, everyone in this chamber is praying for you. Everyone in America is grieving for you. … I want you to know that 320 million hearts are right now breaking for you.
(In yet another disgraceful display of political disunity — Democrats did not stand for these families.)
"The United States is a compassionate nation. We are proud that we do more than any other country anywhere in the world to help the needy, the struggling and the underprivileged all over the world. But as president of the United States, my highest loyalty, my greatest compassion, my constant concern is for America’s children, America’s struggling workers, and America’s forgotten communities. I want our youth to grow up to achieve great things. I want our poor to have their chance to rise.
"So, tonight, I am extending an open hand to work with members of both parties, Democrats and Republicans, to protect our citizens of every background, color, religion and creed. My duty, and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber, is to defend Americans, to protect their safety, their families, their communities and their right to the American Dream.
"Because Americans are dreamers too.
"Here are the four pillars of our plan: The first pillar of our framework generously offers a path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants who were brought here by their parents at a young age. … The second pillar fully secures the border. … The third pillar ends the visa lottery, a program that randomly hands out green cards without any regard for skill, merit, or the safety of American people. … The fourth and final pillar protects the nuclear family by ending chain migration. … This vital reform is necessary, not just for our economy, but for our security and for the future of America. … These four pillars represent a down-the-middle compromise, and one that will create a safe, modern and lawful immigration system. Most importantly, these four pillars will produce legislation that fulfills my ironclad pledge to sign a bill that puts America first.
(Of course, this extension of an open hand across the political aisle was met with nothing but contempt, especially after the Schumer Shutdown failed. As I have noted regarding the Democrats’ real immigration agenda, "As their lower- and middle-income voter blocs are hemorrhaging, the Democrat Party is turning its back on those traditionally supportive groups and opening a socialist voter pipeline to flood America with their most promising future constituency — Latinos.”)
“Around the world, we face rogue regimes, terrorist groups, and rivals like China and Russia that challenge our interests, our economy and our values. In confronting these horrible dangers, we know that weakness is the surest path to conflict, and unmatched power is the surest means to our true and great defense. For this reason, I am asking Congress to end the dangerous defense sequester and fully fund our great military.
"Last year, I pledged that we would work with our allies to extinguish ISIS from the face of the Earth. One year later, I am proud to report that the coalition to defeat ISIS has liberated very close to 100 percent of the territory just recently held by these killers in Iraq and in Syria and in other locations, as well.
(President Trump introduced Army Staff Sergeant Justin Peck and related his story of exceptional bravery in combat. Of note, Staff Sergeant Peck serves in the unit of a Green Beret commander, who, when he was a cadet at West Point, launched the academy’s Patriot Post club.)
"Our warriors in Afghanistan have new rules of engagement. … Our military is no longer undermined by artificial timelines, and we no longer tell our enemies our plans.
"The yearning for freedom nearly 250 years ago gave birth to a special place called America. It was a small cluster of colonies caught between a great ocean and a vast wilderness. It was home to an incredible people with a revolutionary idea: that they could rule themselves; that they could chart their own destiny; and that, together, they could light up the entire world. That is what our country has always been about. That is what Americans have always stood for, always strived for, and always done.
"Atop the dome of this Capitol stands the Statue of Freedom. She stands tall and dignified among the monuments to our ancestors who fought, and lived, and died to protect her. Monuments to Washington, and Jefferson, and Lincoln, and King. Memorials to the heroes of Yorktown and Saratoga; to young Americans who shed their blood on the shores of Normandy and the fields beyond; and others, who went down in the waters of the Pacific and the skies all over Asia. And freedom stands tall over one more monument: this one. This Capitol — this living monument — this is the moment to the American people.
"We’re a people whose heroes live not only in the past, but all around us, defending hope, pride, and defending the American way. They work in every trade. They sacrifice to raise a family. They care for our children at home. They defend our flag abroad. And they are strong moms and brave kids. They are firefighters, and police officers, and border agents, medics, and Marines. But above all else, they are Americans. And this Capitol, this city, this nation, belongs entirely to them.
"Our task is to respect them, to listen to them, to serve them, to protect them, and to always be worthy of them.
"The people built this country. And it’s the people who are making America great again.
"As long as we are proud of who we are and what we are fighting for, there is nothing we cannot achieve. As long as we have confidence in our values, faith in our citizens and trust in our God, we will never fail. Our families will thrive. Our people will prosper. And our nation will forever be safe and strong and proud and mighty and free.
"Thank you. And God bless America. Goodnight.”
The president’s remarks were a fitting tribute to what America has been and should be, which is why Democrats scurried out of the Capitol as quickly as they could. And despite his now-waning propensity to shoot himself in the foot on social media, which derailed the success of his joint address last year, his administration now has a powerful record to stand on!
I note two differences in President Trump’s remarks in sharp contrast from those of Barack Obama’s SOTUs. Trump referenced “we” and “our” 233 times, and scarcely referenced himself. Conversely, Obama referenced “I” and “me” endlessly in his SOTUs. And the other difference… Trump referenced “America” and “Americans” 88 times, prompting complaints from the Democrat’s legal division, the ACLU.
Notably, the “Democrat response” was delivered by Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA), named for the corrupt Kennedy family patriarch. It is always amusing to hear classist rhetoric from another inheritance welfare Kennedy, who also inherited his political seat. As anticipated, Kennedy’s dull and drooling “back to the future” rhetoric was off-the-shelf Demo-goguery.
And a footnote, as President Trump departed the chamber, he was asked about releasing the FISA corruption memo, and indicated, “100 percent,” that he will approve the release.
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Pro Deo et Libertate — 1776