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At 5,100 words, President Trump’s first State of the Union address was one of the longest on record. But that’s not the only reason Democrats were checking their watches. Trump set aside his bombastic communications style to solemnly deliver the most conservative SOTU since the Reagan era. And it put Dems in an awful pickle.
Trump used the hour and 20 minutes of spin-free airtime to report a year of news that the mainstream media never quite got around to telling. “Since the election, we have created 2.4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone.” As Trump spoke, Nancy Pelosi sucked her teeth.
“Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low. African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded, and Hispanic-American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history.” The Congressional Black Caucus glared at Trump with their arms folded.
Whether Trump heralded the stock market, employee bonuses, or the destruction of ISIS, glowering Democrats remained the evening’s most consistent theme. It’s understandable for progressives to sit on their hands for conservative jurists, the Second Amendment, and cutting regulations, but again and again they fumed at America’s very success. Let a thousand midterm campaign ads bloom.
The emotional highpoints were generated by the many guests in the gallery: The grieving families who lost their daughters to violent gang members; the parents of Otto Warmbier; a policeman who adopted the child of a homeless addict. The most powerful moment belonged to Ji Seong-ho, a man who escaped North Korea on ragged crutches to find freedom in the South.
But the speech focused primarily on the American people. Instead of promising all the wonderful things the government would do, Trump underlined that its citizens were her salvation.
“[T]hey are Americans. And this Capitol, this city, and this nation belong to them,” he concluded. “Our task is to respect them, to listen to them, to serve them, to protect them, and to always be worthy of them.”
The modern Democratic Party believes that the American people belong to the government — and fervently wish the rabble won’t embarrass them so. We’ll find out in November which message is more attractive.