Did Trump just become the Democrats’ eight-year nightmare?
At last night’s Address to a Joint Session of Congress, Donald Trump became the Democrats’ worst nightmare. This was a Donald Trump that was never seen before by a majority of the Democrats sitting in the chamber, nor by millions of Americans who were tuning in to see a potential circus. Millions, who after the inauguration, bought into the hysteria and Russian-hacking pablum first promulgated by John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign chairman. To hear the wailing and teeth-nashing, one would think that we were all on the verge of an apocalyptic abyss.
As Washington pundit, Charles Krauthammer, said last night, “this should have been his inaugural address.” Perhaps. But in both instances, Trump said what had to be said. We live in dangerous times, but we live our lives based upon hope and optimism for a better life for ourselves and our children.
Listening to the speech last night, one has to consider it in the context in which it was given. Some people, like Chicago Mayor and former White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, said, ‘short on specifics,’ yes, but this was not a ‘how to” speech. It was a speech equally given to Congress and the American people covering a wide swath of topics from defense to immigration, trade, jobs, taxes, education, healthcare, and then some. Each topic Trump covered, he gave a short synopsis of the problem, what he intended to do to fix it, and what were the end results for the American people to expect. He spoke in “plain English” that people, no matter their education or background, could understand.
Calm, deliberate, and in control, Trump left his provocateur, tweeting-side home, and instead showed us the Trump who has sat across the negotiating table and run a multi-billion dollar empire. His list of his administration’s accomplishments thus far, probably surprised many of the millions who were watching, since they would have no knowledge of this list if they merely listened to the major television networks and or read print media.
The Donald Trump that stood on the podium last night either posited a wake-up call for Democrats, or became their worst nightmare. While some people may wonder if the Trump we saw last night is the real Trump and not an aberration (given Trump’s past behavior, that’s a legitimate concern), the hundreds of thousands of people who stood in line for hours on end, rain or shine, to attend his campaign rallies in 2016, already know the answer.
Trump voiced a patriotism, and an optimism in the people of America that hasn’t been heard for a long time. He put into plain words what millions have felt and are feeling — that somewhere in our goodness and generosity as a nation who has been blessed and given so much, we’ve been ‘screwed-over’ by the rest of the world. And no, not just anyone can walk into our country because they want to. As Trump called attention to the stories of everyday people who suddenly found themselves grappling with the loss of family members murdered at the hands of people who entered illegally and were deported multiple times, audiences had the opportunity of seeing those people rarely mentioned in the media, but at any moment could be them.
Trump’s call throughout his address was put “America first.” For the 95 million people who are out of work, non-participants in the labor force, or some of the 43 million on food stamps, or others who have lost their jobs to lower-wage, H1-B visa holders, that populist refrain brings hopes for welcome relief. Trump may actually make capitalism look good again.
Trump has set a very high bar for himself, and he has to deliver on the promises he made, because of his extended outreach to the people across the income, gender, race and education spectrum. If people believe their eyes and ears, and not what they read in the media, the Democrats have a long road back from the far-Left hole they’ve dug for themselves. Watching the Democrats last night during the speech, left us with an odd mixture between disbelief that this was the same man of the 2016 campaign trail, and utter despair that the Donald Trump standing before them, just debunked their creed of hysteria and cretinism, and could be an eight-year phenomenon like Reagan.
What, oh what, will the Democrats do? Continue down the same path as the last four months since the election, or, do they adopt their version of the populist theme, and try to recapture the seats lost at state levels.
At the moment, the ball is not in their court, but Trump’s.
P.S. Was it not refreshing to hear a Presidential address without the use of the “I” word at least 94 times.