Trump's Stellar SOTU Speech

In his third SOTU address, Trump once again captured his audience with candor, passion, and genuine optimism — an appropriate tone that matches the economic upswing over which Trump presides.

His speech served to kick-start his re-election campaign by addressing issues that matter to his base.  The most important of these include construction of the border wall, respect for the 2nd Amendment, the negotiation of fair trade agreements, and the influx of manufacturing jobs.

At the same time, Trump also called on Congress to bring bipartisan legislation to his desk.  These bills include the Advancing Support for Working Families Act, which would help parents cover expenses for their children in their first year after birth; the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act, which would give one million children the freedom to attend a school of their choice; and a bill to dramatically lower the cost of prescription drugs.

Trump's pragmatism should signal to Democrats that working with him, instead of against him, might be advantageous.  On a pure policy basis, Democrats would have more bones to pick with a more traditional conservative in the Oval Office (Mike Pence) if Trump were to be removed from office.

One issue on which both sides can collaborate is infrastructure funding, which would have been the bipartisan success story of Trump's first term in office if Democrats had been willing to work with him.  The spirit of American exceptionalism calls for the United States to reclaim its position as the world leader in innovative building projects.  However, while many developed nations have long enjoyed innovations such as high-speed rail, America's roads, bridges, dams, and airports are crumbling under the weight of petty partisan politics in Washington.  Embarrassingly, the United States scored a D+ on infrastructure from the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Trump addressed this issue in his speech, calling on Congress not only to fund infrastructure projects, but also to tailor our education system to address this need.  Accordingly, Trump introduced a plan to offer vocational and technical education in every high school in America.

On a larger scale, the education debate highlights the rift between Trump's blue-collar, working-class base that wants stable, decent-paying jobs and the liberal elites who believe that all Americans should go to college tuition-free, regardless of their career aspirations.

As such, Trump opened his speech with pragmatism, citing statistics about economic growth during his time in office.  He referred to the economic upswing as a "blue-collar boom," speaking to the constituency most responsible for electing him president.  Trump's backing out of TPP and renegotiating NAFTA into a new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada solidify Trump's base of support in the Rust Belt.  Moreover, the fact that Trump presides over record-low unemployment will be a crushing blow to the Democrat nominee who will have to debate him on economic policy.

However, perhaps the best aspect of Trump's speech wasn't all the facts and figures he cited, but rather his strategy of weaving in personal anecdotes that highlighted either a nationwide problem or the success of a policy initiative.  Some examples were an invited guest who benefited from the Opportunity Zones initiative, which was supported by Tim Scott and Cory Booker; a story about a young man who dreams of joining the newly formed Space Force; the heartbroken brother of a citizen killed by an illegal alien; and a mother whose child survived a premature birth at 21 weeks, from which Trump segued into calling on Congress to ban late-term abortions.

The power in these anecdotes is that most of them prompted at least some Democrats to rise in applause along with Republicans.  Trump's ability to unify the room around the hardships and successes of ordinary Americans, even for only a few moments at a time, reminds us that the individual is the most important unit of American society — making the party politics that dominate the power struggle in Washington seem petty and insignificant by comparison.

Despite this, there was one touching moment for which Democrats, including Speaker Pelosi, refused to clap: Trump's warm regards for Rush Limbaugh, who had announced that he had been diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer just the day before.  This was the low point of the night for the left side of the room, which refused to rise above politics and express their sympathy for a man who is terminally ill.  This ungracious display only made the Democrats look unnecessarily hostile and antagonistic toward their political counterparts.

This view was also bolstered when Pelosi ripped up her copy of the speech at its conclusion — a flagrant show of disrespect to the POTUS.  The very next day, Trump got the last laugh on Pelosi and the vindictive Democrats when he was acquitted of all impeachment charges.  Needless to say, Trump has gotten off to a strong start in 2020 with a series of big wins and has all the momentum heading into November.

Trump ended his speech brilliantly, citing historical events and influential figures that were paramount in making America the most free, successful, and powerful nation in the world.  His best line was dubbing America as the "most exceptional republic ever to exist," which is an important choice of words because it emphasizes the fact that America is exceptional not as a democracy but rather as a constitutional republic that protects individual rights.  In my estimation, Trump could not have done better with this speech from start to finish and is continually boosting his chances to be re-elected this November.

In his third SOTU address, Trump once again captured his audience with candor, passion, and genuine optimism — an appropriate tone that matches the economic upswing over which Trump presides.

His speech served to kick-start his re-election campaign by addressing issues that matter to his base.  The most important of these include construction of the border wall, respect for the 2nd Amendment, the negotiation of fair trade agreements, and the influx of manufacturing jobs.

At the same time, Trump also called on Congress to bring bipartisan legislation to his desk.  These bills include the Advancing Support for Working Families Act, which would help parents cover expenses for their children in their first year after birth; the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act, which would give one million children the freedom to attend a school of their choice; and a bill to dramatically lower the cost of prescription drugs.

Trump's pragmatism should signal to Democrats that working with him, instead of against him, might be advantageous.  On a pure policy basis, Democrats would have more bones to pick with a more traditional conservative in the Oval Office (Mike Pence) if Trump were to be removed from office.

One issue on which both sides can collaborate is infrastructure funding, which would have been the bipartisan success story of Trump's first term in office if Democrats had been willing to work with him.  The spirit of American exceptionalism calls for the United States to reclaim its position as the world leader in innovative building projects.  However, while many developed nations have long enjoyed innovations such as high-speed rail, America's roads, bridges, dams, and airports are crumbling under the weight of petty partisan politics in Washington.  Embarrassingly, the United States scored a D+ on infrastructure from the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Trump addressed this issue in his speech, calling on Congress not only to fund infrastructure projects, but also to tailor our education system to address this need.  Accordingly, Trump introduced a plan to offer vocational and technical education in every high school in America.

On a larger scale, the education debate highlights the rift between Trump's blue-collar, working-class base that wants stable, decent-paying jobs and the liberal elites who believe that all Americans should go to college tuition-free, regardless of their career aspirations.

As such, Trump opened his speech with pragmatism, citing statistics about economic growth during his time in office.  He referred to the economic upswing as a "blue-collar boom," speaking to the constituency most responsible for electing him president.  Trump's backing out of TPP and renegotiating NAFTA into a new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada solidify Trump's base of support in the Rust Belt.  Moreover, the fact that Trump presides over record-low unemployment will be a crushing blow to the Democrat nominee who will have to debate him on economic policy.

However, perhaps the best aspect of Trump's speech wasn't all the facts and figures he cited, but rather his strategy of weaving in personal anecdotes that highlighted either a nationwide problem or the success of a policy initiative.  Some examples were an invited guest who benefited from the Opportunity Zones initiative, which was supported by Tim Scott and Cory Booker; a story about a young man who dreams of joining the newly formed Space Force; the heartbroken brother of a citizen killed by an illegal alien; and a mother whose child survived a premature birth at 21 weeks, from which Trump segued into calling on Congress to ban late-term abortions.

The power in these anecdotes is that most of them prompted at least some Democrats to rise in applause along with Republicans.  Trump's ability to unify the room around the hardships and successes of ordinary Americans, even for only a few moments at a time, reminds us that the individual is the most important unit of American society — making the party politics that dominate the power struggle in Washington seem petty and insignificant by comparison.

Despite this, there was one touching moment for which Democrats, including Speaker Pelosi, refused to clap: Trump's warm regards for Rush Limbaugh, who had announced that he had been diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer just the day before.  This was the low point of the night for the left side of the room, which refused to rise above politics and express their sympathy for a man who is terminally ill.  This ungracious display only made the Democrats look unnecessarily hostile and antagonistic toward their political counterparts.

This view was also bolstered when Pelosi ripped up her copy of the speech at its conclusion — a flagrant show of disrespect to the POTUS.  The very next day, Trump got the last laugh on Pelosi and the vindictive Democrats when he was acquitted of all impeachment charges.  Needless to say, Trump has gotten off to a strong start in 2020 with a series of big wins and has all the momentum heading into November.

Trump ended his speech brilliantly, citing historical events and influential figures that were paramount in making America the most free, successful, and powerful nation in the world.  His best line was dubbing America as the "most exceptional republic ever to exist," which is an important choice of words because it emphasizes the fact that America is exceptional not as a democracy but rather as a constitutional republic that protects individual rights.  In my estimation, Trump could not have done better with this speech from start to finish and is continually boosting his chances to be re-elected this November.