By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host
I didn't watch President Donald Trump's speech to a joint session of Congress live on February 28, 2017 because I was teaching a constitution class. Most of the students were in attendance of my class, and missed watching the address. That's what recording devices are for.
My wife called me as I was driving home to inform me that she had recorded it for me. I also found it online, later.
After watching the speech today, my immediate thought is that the speech was tremendous, and the Democrats once again showed how out-of-control they are. Temper tantrums, and disrespect.
Sure, in 2009 there were Republicans who did not stand or clap, but it was not the same kind of display as we saw Tuesday Night from the Democrats.
Obama's speech was about opening up lending, and government inserting itself into our lives. Trump's speech was about incentive, individualism, and getting America to work because government is getting out of the way. . . a concept more in line with what made this country great in the first place.
As for the details of his speech, Donald J. Trump optimistic, and encouraging. He addressed Obamacare and our infrastructure immediately. He also, early on, discussed bringing back jobs to Americans, and then linked it to stopping illegal immigration. The American economy became a focal point, with a reminder about the threat of foreign influence, and he problem of American companies leaving for other shores.
"We must restart the engine of the American economy — making it easier for companies to do business in the United States, and much harder for companies to leave.
"Right now, American companies are taxed at one of the highest rates anywhere in the world.
"My economic team is developing historic tax reform that will reduce the tax rate on our companies so they can compete and thrive anywhere and with anyone. At the same time, we will provide massive tax relief for the middle class.
"We must create a level playing field for American companies and workers.
"Currently, when we ship products out of America, many other countries make us pay very high tariffs and taxes — but when foreign companies ship their products into America, we charge them almost nothing."
He discussed Obamacare, telling us how important it is to get rid of the monstrosity. Trump also reminded us about the huge debt America has, and the Obama administration's continuance of badly negotiated free trade deals that Trump plans to change, replace, and in some cases, get rid of.
"We’ve lost more than one-fourth of our manufacturing jobs since NAFTA was approved, and we’ve lost 60,000 factories since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001."
We heard the same Trump we heard during the election:
“We must restore integrity and the rule of law to our borders. For that reason, we will soon begin the construction of a great wall along our southern border. It will be started ahead of schedule and, when finished, it will be a very effective weapon against drugs and crime. As we speak, we are removing gang members, drug dealers and criminals that threaten our communities and prey on our citizens. Bad ones are going out as I speak tonight and as I have promised.”
He also was willing to call out the Democrats:
“To any in Congress who do not believe we should enforce our laws, I would ask you this question: what would you say to the American family that loses their jobs, their income, or a loved one, because America refused to uphold its laws and defend its borders?”
Among the specials guests was a Carryn Owens, the widow of a U.S. Navy Special Operator, Senior Chief William “Ryan” Owens, who died in Yemen. "Ryan died as he lived: a warrior, and a hero –- battling against terrorism and securing our Nation. I just spoke to General Mattis, who reconfirmed that, and I quote, ‘Ryan was a part of a highly successful raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the future against our enemies.’ Ryan’s legacy is etched into eternity.'
While most of the Democrats were willing to give respect to the Gold Star Wife, some were not, remaining seated, and not clapping.
Trump then turned to the international stage.
"My job is not to represent the world. My job is to represent the United States of America." Trump called for NATO to pay their fair share.
Trump concluded his address on a positive, upbeat message of American greatness. "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. 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."
Once the speech was over, the Democrats disgrace cleared out as fast as possible.
AFP headlined that Trump offered a "Renewal of the American Spirit."
Jamiel Shaw, father of Jamiel Shaw II, who was a 17-year-old high football player killed by Pedro Espinoza, an illegal immigrant, later told Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends” that the Democrats were incredible during the immigration portion of Trump's speech.
“Oh my God — I was like, man you know, what do they want?” Shaw said. “They don’t want nothing but division, bickering. They don’t want to solve no problems. They don’t want to help kids or husbands or family members that’s been murdered by illegals. I mean, just the way they did that was so disrespectful. But it’s bigger than them, so I just keep on moving. I just ignore them like they do me.”
Trump's attention to Carryn Owens, the wife of the Navy SEAL killed in Yemen, drew disgusting responses by some liberal lefties. Bill Maher and Michael Moore took the opportunity to criticize the president, with Maher saying he “wished [Owens] hadn’t allowed herself to be used as his prop like that,” while filmmaker Michael Moore claimed it was “a sort of a f you to the people who are criticizing Trump.”
Furthermore, left-wing Twitter users took the opportunity to attack Trump and the grieving widow, seeking to gain political points against Donald Trump in the process.
One twitter user, Dan Grilo, who revealed on his account he was a volunteer for Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign, said that “Sorry, Owen’s wife, you’re not helping yourself or your husband’s memory standing there and clapping like an idiot. Trump just used you.” He has since deleted his account.
I don't remember the same kind of criticisms against Obama for using Army Ranger Cory Remsburg as a prop in 2014.
During the moment that Trump brought attention to Mrs. Owens, with some of the Democrats, like Keith Ellison and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, refusing to stand or clap.
As for the national audience, Trump's speech did very well with 43.4 million viewers on television...with Fox News leading the pack.
I thought it was among the best speeches I have witnessed by a President. I was originally critical of Trump when he first emerged on the seen in the campaign for President, but the more I get to know him, the more I am learning to appreciate and approve of him.
-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary