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This is America’s President speaking.

March 1, 2017

Sometimes a great speech is not defined as much by its actual content, but by the people who hear it.

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) heard the President giving a populist speech aimed at “…the people who elected him.” (on-air clip, on America’s News HQ, 3/1/17 Fox News)

It was said and meant as a putdown, a snide dismissal of the common, grassroots, blue collar people who keep this country running every day.

What the Senator accomplished was to define Donald Trump as America’s President.

There is only one chance to give your very first nationally televised address to a joint session of Congress and the nation.

It turned out to be  a very good speech, certainly the best of President Trump’s political career to date, and by some accounts, ranked right up there with the best by any President of either party.

It was good enough in fact that the Democratic rebuttal simply came off as tired, petty and still hopelessly out of touch.

President Trump may never win on style points when matched up against some of the truly outstanding presidential orators like Kennedy, Reagan and yes, Obama.

Last night, that didn’t matter. The speech, like the man, was pragmatic and goal-oriented.

Given the number of points he felt he had to cover, this had to have been a bitch of a speech to write, much less to deliver with any modicum of continuity and clarity and yet, he got it done.

The glue that seemed to bind it together was his repeated calls for Democrats and Republicans alike to unite, stop the trivial infighting and come together for the good of the country.

His opening lines on civil rights were calculated to emphasize that promoting racial and cultural divisions is not the way to succeed as a nation.

The critics condemned his inaugural address as “dark and hopeless.” This speech was nothing if not optimistic and hopeful and forward looking, in fact looking all the way out to America’s 250th anniversary.

At the same time, he did not shy away from his central beliefs that prosperity, respect for the rule of law and the need to compromise are the foundation stones of his vision for the country.

That’s not to say that the usual suspects bought it hook, line and sinker.

To their credit, Democrats did not indulge in any raucous displays of ill-bred derision, but they certainly did not hide their unwavering commitment to defeating and obstructing this president.

When President Trump waded into the need to do something about the revolving door that returns criminal illegal aliens to the country over and over again, and the price some have paid for that philosophy, there was a ripple of disapproval.  It was drowned out by applause.

The overriding theme of the Democrats after the speech once again seemed to center on the man’s personality, and the stupidity of the people who elected him.

The President, on the other hand, went to great lengths to point out that he stood in front of them last night only because a huge segment of Americans are tired of being ignored, manipulated  and dismissed by the opposition party.

At least a dozen times he reached across the aisle, both inviting and daring his opposition to join him.

Of necessity, and this is pretty much true for every Presidential address of this type, there weren’t a lot of specifics but there were certainly clear mile markers.

For those that wanted him to indicate where he was going on Obamacare, now they know, because he all but signed off on the Ryan plan..

He also doubled down on his vision for a comprehensive and varied approach to improving American education, saying “Education is the civil rights issue of our time.”

He did a bit of a tick-tock on what he has done to date, clearly rebutting Nancy Pelosi’s idiotic claim that he hasn’t done a thing since the inauguration.

One of the immediate Democrat arguments was that the speech was again “designed to pander to his base.”

Sorry, but it didn’t come across that way.  The things he championed are pretty basic to what any American, indeed what any person anywhere would want.  Things like safe streets and access to a good education and cost effective government and respect for the law are actually pretty universal.

Yes, the devil is still in the details. The President will ultimately remain his own person, and it’s unlikely he will give up hitting back when someone takes a swing at him.

Last night’s speech was not a magic wand that will disperse his opposition. Democrats are gonna hate, because it’s about all they have left. The ladies of The View will undoubtedly be in rare form today.

Rigidly ideological Republicans will describe his call for unity as a betrayal of Conservative values.

That being the case, they are not going to suddenly start singing kumbaya and this is still going to be a nasty, bitter and divided four years.

Still, if you were looking for the light, now at least you know what it looks like.

From → op-ed

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