Can one speech change the national mood? Perhaps not but if any speech can Donald J. Trump delivered it Tuesday night.
Aspirational, inspirational, presidential.
During the speech, my friend Dave Keller texted “… a great communicator the likes I haven’t seen since Ronaldus Magnus.”
The indentured servants at the Stately Manor and the unlettered field hands at the Experimental Work Farm were gobsmacked. The stock market seems to like it. The Dow is up 200+ this morning. The social networks are abuzz.
Presidential! Chris Wallace of Fox News said, immediately afterwards, that Trump became President that night for his not-quite State of the Union speech. In contrast to his dark and depressing Inaugural address. Apparently, Van Jones (of all people) said the same on CNN.
This one did what every important speech must do: touch base with America’s glorious past as a launching pad to the future. “Each American generation passes the torch of truth, liberty and justice — in an unbroken chain all the way down to the present.”
That torch is now in our hands. And we will use it to light up the world. I am here tonight to deliver a message of unity and strength, and it is a message deeply delivered from my heart.
A new chapter of American Greatness is now beginning.
A new national pride is sweeping across our Nation.
And a new surge of optimism is placing impossible dreams firmly within our grasp. What we are witnessing today is the Renewal of the American Spirit.
Well received were Trump’s shout outs to Abe Lincoln and Ike Eisenhower. And God.
“For as the Bible teaches us, there is no greater act of love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
That was in reference to the Navy Seal killed in the raid in Yemen, the highlight of the speech. His widow’s teary look heavenward from the gallery was, well, a godsend. The money shot. “Ryan’s legacy is etched into eternity,” the President said. Stirring words! And just the right touch of humor when Trump ad libbed that Ryan Owens was smiling from heaven because “I think he just broke the record” for longest sustained applause. (Someone timed it at 2:11 minutes.)
Trump talked policy but — befitting a good Republican — exalted the individual. He pointed to also the sad-eyed African-American father who lost a son to illegal aliens. Yes, the issue has a human face. The disabled woman who would be dead today instead of attending Notre Dame University were it not for experimental drugs. The black social worker given a second chance thanks to education reform.
The speech was aspirational. Trump went big and bold
Cures to illnesses that have always plagued us are not too much to hope. American footprints on distant worlds are not too big a dream. Millions lifted from welfare to work is not too much to expect. And streets where mothers are safe from fear — schools where children learn in peace — and jobs where Americans prosper and grow — are not too much to ask. … Join me in dreaming big, and bold and daring things for our country
Hooray for backing our police! The President intro’d the widows of two slain police officers. “Every American child should be able to grow up in a safe community, to attend a great school, and to have access to a high-paying job.”
We must work with — not against — the men and women of law enforcement. … Police and sheriffs are members of our community. They are friends and neighbors, they are mothers and fathers, sons and daughters — and they leave behind loved ones every day who worry whether or not they’ll come home safe and sound.
Your Humble Squire may be partisan (alright, I’m partisan) but some of the Democrats looked awful small, sitting on their hands. Al Franken and Nancy P looked shell shocked. PTSD — President Trump Stress Disorder. And what was with the ladies in white? Were they supposed to be virginal First Communicants? Or was it a Klan meeting? Aren’t we all more than a little tired of these petty stunts?
Devin Gatton said (on Facebook) Whoever wrote the speech deserves a pay raise and whoever kept him on message deserves a medal. Yes! Let the Democrats play small. We go presidential!
Gregory Jon claims Trump’s address attracted a record 3-million Tweets. “The most fascinating stat: not one of those came from @realDonaldTrump.”
Did any Democrats shake Trump’s hand? Couldn’t tell.
Pop Quiz: Know what this speech had that the Inaugural Address did not? COMPASSION!
Bonus points to Trump for not lecturing Americans on how awful we are.
Bonus #2 to the extensive mention of the Harley Davidsons on the White House lawn.
Your homework for the day — Practice saying this in front of a mirror: “President Trump,” “President Trump,” “President Trump.”
Here’s the speech, unedited: