Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Trump's First State of the Union Address

Last night, Pres. Donald Trump played the patriotism card… off the top of the deck. Trump extolled America’s achievements, America’s values, America’s successes and America’s heroes. He kept repeating the word “America” over and over again. He called for people to feel pride in their country, to show respect for the flag and the National Anthem. He drew a sharp line between American citizens and non-citizens, whether the so-called Dreamers or other illegal immigrants.

Naturally, the glass-half-empty crowd has been out in force deriding and demeaning everything that Trump said. To their jaded eyes, 2017 has been an unmitigated catastrophe, a disaster of major proportions. Nothing good has happened in the nation over the past year: not the stock market, not the job market, not the shifting alliances with other world powers. As for lowered taxes, the Democratic Party considers it akin to a plague, the worst thing that has happened to America since 9/11.

They see Trump as a neo-fascist war monger who is itching for a nuclear war with North Korea. They are cosmopolitan to the roots of their being, so that when the assembled representatives started chanting USA, Illinois representative and open-borders fanatic Luis Guttierez walked out of the chamber. Think of it, a Democratic Congressman takes offense, feels triggered by patriotism.

If you want to know why Democrats have not been winning elections, keep that scene in mind.

Trump’s speech clearly repudiated the Obama legacy. When Obama took office he went around the world denouncing America for holding enemy terrorist combatants at Guantanamo Bay. He denounced America for torturing prisoners and made it appear that the meaning of America was: torturing innocent Muslims. Obama promised to be more open to the world, to have more open borders, to legalize those who are here illegally, and to do penance for America’s crimes against the oppressed peoples of the world. Nothing to feel proud about. Much to feel ashamed about.

The American people repudiated the Obama vision over and over again during his tenure. The Democratic Party became a party at war with America… and thus left the patriotism issue for Republicans to exploit. It got so bad that they could not even beat Donald Trump.

Last night, Trump chose to exploit their weakness and assert America's strength, over and over again. Democrats sat stone faced, as though the worst thing that could happen to the nation would be a revival of patriotism. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus did not budge when Trump announced, proudly, that African-American unemployment had reached its lowest level in decades. Perhaps they were following the lead of one Jay-Z who said that money doesn’t matter. In truth, when you have as much money as Jay-Z has, money ceases to matter. To the average citizen, black and white, money certainly does matter.

Anyway, the first polls, from CBS, suggested that the Democratic Party has lost touch with America.

Let’s look at the numbers.

CBS reports:

Three in four Americans who tuned in to President Trump's State of the Union address tonight approved of the speech he gave. Just a quarter disapproved.

75% approval… not bad at all.

Of course, patriotism, reviled by Democrats, unites the nation. Democratic pundits declared the speech to be divisive. Those surveyed thought otherwise:

Eight in 10 Americans who watched tonight felt that the president was trying to unite the country, rather than divide it.  Two-thirds said the speech made them feel proud, though just a third said it made them feel safer.  Fewer said the speech made them feel angry or scared.

Of course, most of the people who watched the speech were Republicans and Independents. Democrats tended to stick with their sit-coms. Still, if the Democratic Party wants to learn how to win elections, fighting for the rights of illegal immigrants, shutting down the government to defend people who have no right to be here, and disparaging patriotism does not seem the way to go.

As Trump said, in his best line of the night: "... Americans are dreamers, too." The left-leaning commentariat thought it was a gross insult to immigrants.

[Addendum, from Roger Simon, regarding the Democratic reaction to the Trump speech:

Steny Hoyer and Nancy Pelosi watching  Trump's speech looked like a pair of sullen six-year olds on a sugar crash the day after Halloween.  Bernie Sanders looked mummified.  Schumer was slumped so deeply in his chair he was almost falling through the crack.

Other Democrats, even ones who should have known better or secretly felt otherwise, sat on their hands.  You could see them glancing at each other, wondering whether they were allowed to applaud or stand up. What a bunch of cowards.

It was a disgraceful display of bad manners, but even more it was incredibly stupid because "the whole world was watching."  The camera was getting them all in close-up.


James said...

The Left just doesn't get it. They fixate on "Trump", but he is not their true opposition.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

I didn’t realize the Democrats saw anything in the glass, much less halfway. They’re so far down the victim hood path that they don’t know how to turn it off. They made fools of themselves last night. Too bad, so sad.

Jack Fisher said...

"Steny Hoyer and Nancy Pelosi watching Trump's speech looked like a pair of sullen six-year olds on a sugar crash the day after Halloween."

or, in the words of George MacDonald Fraser, like an archbishop at a cannibal feast.

Sam L. said...

"Of course, patriotism, reviled by Democrats, unites the nation. Democratic pundits declared the speech to be divisive. Those surveyed thought otherwise:..." It certainly divided the Dems from the nation, but that's what they seem to want.

Re: Simon. Dems looked ugly. Big surprise that? Nope. I do await Ares' take.

Ares Olympus said...

Sam L, I'm sure I have too much I could say than Stuart would let me, so best to go for statistics. For fun I did a word frequency count, and you can tell Trump didn't write it since "I" was only the 18th highest word (29 occurrences), tied with the word "America".
total words=5145, total unique words=1608
TOP10: [226]: the [204]: and [178]: to [122]: of [119]: we [101]: our [88]: in [82]: a [61]: is [57]: that

Although this surely is the official speech. It would be interesting to compare what he actually said. Like the transcript says "and we have ended the war on clean coal." while I remember it differently. Trump couldn't just say "clean coal". He had to say "Beautiful clean coal." Here's a confirmation of the statement.

Certainly we can be glad we dealt with sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide and acid rain with power plant scrubbers since the 1990s (thanks to government regulation).

He also said we are exports of energy to the world, but I don't really believe we are net exporters, nor is there a reason to believe we should try to be, although most of the energy we import is oil. In total energy consumption, the U.S. was between 86% and 91% self-sufficient in 2016.

We consume about 18 million barrels/day, and just broke 10 million, and projections perhaps to 12 million thanks by the end of 2019 to fracking, but that seems optimistic. And back in 2008 when prices were still high, we were only product 5 million/day, so that's impressive. I'd still tend to say we should conserve, and burn less, and export none. But if I was a oil driller, I'd not care about conservation. I just want to make a profit before prices collapse again.