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Two days after the Governors Dinner at the White House — a great success — President Donald Trump hit it out of the park on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 with his Presidential Address to Congress.
Reading the transcript is one thing, but seeing and hearing Trump give the speech, akin to a State of the Union Address, is quite another. The video below is subtitled, by the way:
Trump advisor Stephen Miller, a dynamic speaker who appeared at several speeches during the 2016 campaign season, wrote the speech, aided by Ivanka Trump and Hope Hicks, Ivanka’s talented former employee. Trump poached her last year for his campaign.
As is customary, the president and first lady invited special guests mentioned in Trump’s address.
Trump is already looking ahead to 2026:
Hopefully, the 250th year for America will see a world that is more peaceful, more just and more free.
On our 100th anniversary, in 1876, citizens from across our Nation came to Philadelphia to celebrate America’s centennial. At that celebration, the country’s builders and artists and inventors showed off their creations.
Alexander Graham Bell displayed his telephone for the first time.
Remington unveiled the first typewriter. An early attempt was made at electric light.
Thomas Edison showed an automatic telegraph and an electric pen.
Imagine the wonders our country could know in America’s 250th year.
Think of the marvels we can achieve if we simply set free the dreams of our people.
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.
When we have all of this, we will have made America greater than ever before. For all Americans.
This is our vision. This is our mission.
He followed with a call for national unity:
But we can only get there together.
We are one people, with one destiny.
We all bleed the same blood.
We all salute the same flag.
And we are all made by the same God.
The time for small thinking is over. The time for trivial fights is behind us.
We just need the courage to share the dreams that fill our hearts.
The bravery to express the hopes that stir our souls.
And the confidence to turn those hopes and dreams to action.
From now on, America will be empowered by our aspirations, not burdened by our fears —
inspired by the future, not bound by the failures of the past —
and guided by our vision, not blinded by our doubts.
I am asking all citizens to embrace this Renewal of the American Spirit. I am asking all members of Congress to join me in dreaming big, and bold and daring things for our country. And I am asking everyone watching tonight to seize this moment and —
Believe in yourselves.
Believe in your future.
And believe, once more, in America.
Thank you, God bless you, and God Bless these United States.
I stayed up late to watch Trump and am glad I did.
The first part of the speech dealt with Trump’s programmes and policies. After each one, he mentioned a special guest and, in some cases, one of their relatives who was killed.
The most moving was the mention of Ryan Owens, the Navy SEAL killed in the recent Yemen operation. Carryn Owens, his widow, cried and received a very long standing ovation. Ivanka Trump is on the right of this photo:
The moment was so powerful that Van Jones, hardline Democrat and former Obama advisor, had praise for Trump. Even CNN had to acknowledge it:
That was one of the most extraordinary moments you have ever seen in American politics.
Although Jones said he still disagrees with a number of Trump’s policy positions:
If he finds a way to do that over and over again, he’s going to be there for eight years.
Jones’s verdict elicited this response from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell:
(Message to Mitch McConnell: Right, so quit stalling on getting the remainder of Trump’s cabinet approved!)
The way Trump deftly wove real Americans into every aspect of his policy announcements also struck a chord with 43m viewers who watched on television at home. It is unknown how many watched online.
Commenters at The_Donald were quick to pick up on this pitch-perfect approach:
mercynurse: So subtle, yet right in your face.
Disabled woman with rare disease in a wheelchair.
Black woman who flunked third grade twice and then got scholarship and opportunity to change schools.
Women related to police officers who were killed by illegal aliens.
Black man whose promising son was killed by illegal alien.
Ryan Owens’ family.
TennisEnnis19: Trump using the democrat “emotional appeal” tactic like a pro
BenTide: He knows them inside and out more than any Republican since probably Ronald Reagan (also a former registered democrat).
On another thread at The_Donald people were similarly blown away:
grumpyjacket: You don’t hear that kind of power in speeches anymore. The greats like Reagan and Churchill used powerful language; all the politicians I’ve seen in my lifetime use words like wet noodles; they could talk for an hour and still say nothing. Trump’s vision was ambitious and his language powerful. Darn good speech.
fablong: That’s the problem I had with Obummer. He made some good speeches, especially in his 2008 campaign, but when he became president he dropped the ball bigly. His words sounded good, but he never expressed a VISION for the country. Trump clearly has an idea of where he wants America to go, what he expects from all of us as our leader, and the sacrifices he’s willing to make in return. And by God he’s going to force that vision of greatness into reality, even if he has to drag half the country along kicking and screaming. You can feel it in your bones. What a great time to be alive.
The Democrats — with the notable exception of Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia — remained seated for the many standing ovations.
They booed when Trump announced the creation of a new agency: VOICE — Victims Of Immigration Crime Engagement — which will help families of victims of crimes by illegal immigrants. However, these crimes are real, and Jamiel Shaw Sr’s son was but one fatal murder victim of an illegal immigrant, a gang member. The Shaws are black. This runs counter to Democrat mindsets.
Some female Democrat congressional representatives wore white in honour of the suffragettes, but that was probably a protest against Trump’s defunding of Planned Parenthood. Democrat senators — male and female — wore buttons that said ‘#Protect and #Care’ to express the same disapproval. None of them obviously cares about or wants to protect unborn children in the womb.
On wearing white, this reminded Trump supporters of the 2016 presidential campaign, best represented by the following headlines from philly.com (image courtesy of The_Donald):
Apparently, only Democrats are allowed to wear white.
I’ll close with this comment and clip from Representative Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana):