It has taken me a week and a boatload of Pepcid to digest President Donald J. Trump’s State of the Union Speech for you sluggards and laggards who didn’t see or hear his fresh-from-Vegas lounge act. I’ll try, belatedly, to fill you in on what you missed.
The State of the Union speech sure started out auspiciously. It was all about unity and compromise and loving one another, burying the hatchet, the lion and the lamb cuddling—all very lofty and inspiring stuff. I choked up for a moment and thought I was living in Sweden.
The speech lingered long on the wars we have fought, especially World War II and the Holocaust and how brave Americans won it all. The rather lengthy recounting was related with such passion and freshness that I had the feeling Mr. Trump had just learned of that historic fray. (No mention of Vietnam, though, the one war Mr. Trump would have fought in had he not been sidelined with a bone spur in his foot.)
Then Dear Leader got down to business. Meaning “The Wall.” How we desperately needed it and he would build it himself if he had to. His voice bordered on a quaver when he talked of this national emergency in which women were being raped and children abused and good Americans murdered by undocumented brown folks who were coming in yet another caravan...apparently to reinforce the “lost caravan” that vanished after last November’s election.
On the bright side, he introduced many citizen-heroes who stood and were applauded. Our president seemed unpleasantly surprised though that the loudest and most prolonged applause was elicited by the newly elected freshwoman class of Democratic representatives, all dressed in dazzling white.
The president did not linger long in this scene of levity. He went on to the hot and hard challenges facing the nation today, namely late term abortion, and abortionists who “ripped from their mother’s womb moments from birth...living, feeling, beautiful babies....”
There followed more grisly descriptions of the medical process and a conclusion that didn’t seem right to me. “Let us,” he said, “reaffirm a fundamental truth, all children, born and unborn, are made in the holy image of God.” Really? God is a child? Isn’t that an extreme example of Biblical anthropomorphism? Frankly, I prefer Michaelangelo’s depiction of God.
Socialism also took it in the chops, as the President resolved that we would never be socialist and lambasted Venezuela as a current example of the ism that he threatens to get tough with. Really? Venezuela? Why not choose as your example Norway, Sweden, or Denmark—successful nations that are far more representative of that choice of political philosophy. (I suspect Dear Leader knows less about Socialism than I know about antidisestablishmentarianism.)
Gauleiter Trump saved his big bomb for last. Having not mentioned, even once, global warming or the many Russia-linked investigations surrounding him and his fellow swamp dwellers, he boldly threw down his gauntlet to his many domestic enemies:
“An economic miracle is taking place in the United States and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics, or ridiculous partisan investigations. If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. It just doesn’t work that way.”
Wow! At first it seemed a no-brainer. War? No way! The trade-off? Cease investigation of the largest crime family to ever rule the United States? No way!
One of the few blessings age bestows on the old is a memory of things past. True to form, Trump lied. Nixon faced Watergate while the Vietnam War raged. As for his “legislation” red herring, what major legislation did President Trump back and pass in his two years in office? Only the tax cut he is so proud of, which enriched him and his wealthy cronies at the middle class’s expense; last I heard their refund checks are down eight percent from last year. Some legislative achievement!
So what is my final judgment on the SOTU speech? Well, many whoppers attended the telling; they have been widely exposed as such by the media. But if the purpose was to rouse the rabble, fire up his base of Deplorables, he was his usual effective self. And if it was, as I believe he meant it to be, a stirring call to greatness, he failed miserably. The speech was, in a word, bathetic.
I have heard the soaring eloquence of John F. Kennedy, and you, sir, are no John F. Kennedy.