According to a CBS News poll of President Trump’s State of the Union address, 76% of Americans liked his speech and 72% agreed with him on the immigration portion of his speech.
While there were moments the President’s speech fell flat, e.g. the partisan investigations line, and there were some awkward transitions like saying all children are born in the image of God let’s strengthen NATO (my absence of punctuation is intentional), the President really did a great job of delivering an uplifting speech. It was made more so by his careful use of guests to tell stories.
I noticed some
leftwing hacks reporters claiming the President’s speechwriters wrote all the good parts so people would praise him. But that’s actually the point. The President relied on speechwriters and they delivered and then the President delivered a great address.
In fact, just consider the President’s remarks on immigration.
No issue better illustrates the divide between America’s working class and America’s political class than illegal immigration. Wealthy politicians and donors push for open borders while living their lives behind walls and gates and guards. Meanwhile, working class Americans are left to pay the price for mass illegal migration — reduced jobs, lower wages, overburdened schools and hospitals, increased crime, and a depleted social safety net. Tolerance for illegal immigration is not compassionate — it is cruel. One in three women is sexually assaulted on the long journey north. Smugglers use migrant children as human pawns to exploit our laws and gain access to our country. Human traffickers and sex traffickers take advantage of the wide open areas between our ports of entry to smuggle thousands of young girls and women into the United States and to sell them into prostitution and modern-day slavery. Tens of thousands of innocent Americans are killed by lethal drugs that cross our border and flood into our cities — including meth, heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl. The savage gang, MS-13, now operates in 20 different American States, and they almost all come through our southern border. Just yesterday, an MS-13 gang member was taken into custody for a fatal shooting on a subway platform in New York City. We are removing these gang members by the thousands, but until we secure our border they’re going to keep streaming back in.
These were compelling points by the President. They were not soundbites, but reasonable statistics and data that actually do back up his point. Then he made a reasonable compromise. It should be noted that when the President first suggested compromising, Nancy Pelosi leaned over to applaud as close to his ear as she could get. President Trump said
My Administration has sent to the Congress a commonsense proposal to end the crisis on our southern border. It includes humanitarian assistance, more law enforcement, drug detection at our ports, closing loopholes that enable child smuggling, and plans for a new physical barrier, or wall, to secure the vast areas between our ports of entry. In the past, most of the people in this room voted for a wall — but the proper wall never got built. I’ll get it built. This is a smart, strategic, see-through steel barrier — not just a simple concrete wall. It will be deployed in the areas identified by border agents as having the greatest need, and as these agents will tell you, where walls go up, illegal crossings go way down.
That bolded part is the President’s reasonable compromise. Instead of a coast to coast wall or a major expansion, he’ll just take what the border patrol says it needs and it has said, since the Obama Administration, that it needs more.
President Trump should get out on the campaign trail with that message now.
I applaud the President taking a strong stand on life and calling out Ralph Northam’s remarks. The national media bent over backwards to avoid Northam’s infanticide comments and even now are only selectively quoting Northam to push back against the President. Giving the Democrats’ infanticide position maximum exposure was a good thing.
The President reminding us all of the nation’s great accomplishments while also saying our best accomplishments are still to come was a great moment. He found moments of bipartisanship that made a very divided room come together.
It was the best speech he has given and if he can consistently use the discipline he showed last night, he will be on track for re-election. But with this President that is a big if.