So I listened to Dear Leader’s address Tuesday night and to the host of critics who followed; they called it dull, flat, factually incorrect, a Nothingburger offering nothing new.
I disagree. Our president gave the speech from the secularly sacred Oval Office, so the National Emergency must have been important. The talk was also mercifully short—only nine minutes or so. Yes, there may have been a few presidential misrememberings (such as blaming the government shutdown on Democrats when he, himself, on national TV, had proudly accepted the mantle of blame); but those can be corrected. And there was something new: compassion and tenderness we don’t often see in a busy world leader. My favorite passage was when Trump said:
Over the last several years, I’ve met with dozens of families whose loved ones were stolen by illegal immigration. I’ve held the hands of the weeping mothers and embraced the grief-stricken fathers. So sad. So terrible. I will never forget the pain in their eyes, the tremble in their voices, and the sadness gripping their souls.
You must have been as choked up as I was upon hearing those moving words. Let’s face it, Donald Trump just may be the most sentimental and compassionate Republican president since Abraham Lincoln. (Though I would like to see some actual evidence of his care for the afflicted, he’s probably too publicity-shy for any photos or such.)
I remember another time when Donald J. Trump showed his compassionate side. That was just last June after his historic meeting with North Korean President Kim Jong-Un in Singapore. After the meeting, Trump said that when he was a candidate for president “many people asked when I was on the campaign trail...when you can, President Trump, we’d like our sons brought home—you know, the remains.” Trump delivered, and in July the bones came home with due pomp and circumstance.
I’m just not sure how many of those folks who had asked him to bring their sons’ remains home were present to meet the plane at the airport. According to my calculations, parents of Korean War troops (I was one of them) would now be about 110 years old on average.
It takes a lot of gut for a manly man to show his soft side as he uses his high office to help the less blessed.