Trump’s SOTU Triumph, Democrats’ Defeat

 

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.

Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 127 comments.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  1. Bruce Caward Thatcher

    I can’t believe it was the second longest of all of them. I was enjoying every minute! But then, I was following the live Ricochet feed. So much fun. Thanks everybody!

    • #1
    • January 30, 2018, at 8:49 PM PDT
    • 15 likes
  2. Cato Rand Reagan

    I haven’t watched the SOTU in years. I will watch one again when we have a president I can stand the sight of (IOW maybe never). But I’m glad to hear this year’s might have been better than average (and that he didn’t bite the head off a bat). I’m sure I’ll get all the news of it I need without having had to sit through it though.

    • #2
    • January 30, 2018, at 9:02 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  3. Jules PA Member

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: The most powerful moment belonged to Ji Seong-ho, a man who escaped North Korea on ragged crutches to find freedom in the South.

    Wonderful news.

    • #3
    • January 30, 2018, at 9:08 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  4. DocJay Inactive

    A thousand campaign ads indeed Jon.

    If the dems refuse to care about success because they care more about power then let them rot in their hate.

    • #4
    • January 30, 2018, at 9:12 PM PDT
    • 25 likes
  5. A-Squared Inactive

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: 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.

    The CBC ( and Dems generally) embarrassed themselves tremendously here. This would make a great 30 sec campaign ad.

    • #5
    • January 30, 2018, at 9:18 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  6. Annefy Member

    Cato Rand (View Comment):
    I haven’t watched the SOTU in years. I will watch one again when we have a president I can stand the sight of (IOW maybe never). But I’m glad to hear this year’s might have been better than average (and that he didn’t bite the head off a bat). I’m sure I’ll get all the news of it I need without having had to sit through it though.

    Well … I’ve not missed one in decades, so don’t listen to me.

    But it was a fine night.

    • #6
    • January 30, 2018, at 9:26 PM PDT
    • 14 likes
  7. Dorrk Member

    Damn you, Trump; you’re making me like you.

    • #7
    • January 30, 2018, at 9:44 PM PDT
    • 27 likes
  8. Valiuth Member

    Too bad @realdonaldtrump isn’t actually this articulate. Trump’s teleprompter speeches always sound fake to me, because he never sounds anything like them in real life. To me it seems kind of like confusing an actor for the characters they play. Real Donald Trump I’m sure will be tweeting something obnoxious soon enough. Were other presidents just better at staying in character?

    So here is a fun thing to look forward to. If the Dems take back the House in November, can they just refuse to invite Trump to address Congress come next January? If I recall both Chambers have to vote to invite the President to speak. Normally this is a formality, but we are in a new age of carnage…

    • #8
    • January 30, 2018, at 9:45 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  9. Valiuth Member

    Dorrk (View Comment):
    Damn you, Trump; you’re making me like you.

    It will pass.

    • #9
    • January 30, 2018, at 9:45 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  10. James Lileks Contributor

    Obvious snark: someone else wrote it. But he didn’t just read it; he inhabited it. And again, obvious snark: all that TV work paid off. But – and this is coming from someone who has rarely been particularly moved by his performances, to put it mildly – there was something different about this one. He seemed centered in a way that made the words connect with something larger than his own self.

    When the critics carp about the tweets, it’s because the grown-up stuff works better than anything else. It elevates and clarifies.

    • #10
    • January 30, 2018, at 9:49 PM PDT
    • 45 likes
  11. Umbra Fractus Inactive

    This is how it’s supposed to work: Show. Don’t tell. Instead of whining about how the Democrats are mean to you, say reasonable things and force them to be unreasonable in public. Attack with deeds, not with taunts. Build yourself up instead of tearing others down. If they tear themselves down in response (as the Democrats did tonight) so much the better.

    This very well may have been President Trump’s finest moment.

    • #11
    • January 30, 2018, at 9:50 PM PDT
    • 31 likes
  12. Umbra Fractus Inactive

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    When the critics carp about the tweets, it’s because the grown-up stuff works better than anything else. It elevates and clarifies.

    Quoting because I only have one like to give.

    • #12
    • January 30, 2018, at 9:51 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  13. Max Ledoux Admin

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: The modern Democratic Party believes that the American people belong to the government

    Not an exaggeration — remember the 2012 Democrat National Caucus: “Government is the one thing we all belong to.”

    • #13
    • January 30, 2018, at 9:54 PM PDT
    • 30 likes
  14. Max Ledoux Admin

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    Trump’s teleprompter speeches always sound fake to me, because he never sounds anything like them in real life.

    Oh, you’ve met him, then?

    • #14
    • January 30, 2018, at 9:56 PM PDT
    • 23 likes
  15. Sheila Johnson Member

    Has anyone else read “The Aquariums of Pyongyang”? If anyone should stomp that regime, it should be us.

    • #15
    • January 30, 2018, at 10:01 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  16. Annefy Member

    Umbra Fractus (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    When the critics carp about the tweets, it’s because the grown-up stuff works better than anything else. It elevates and clarifies.

    Quoting because I only have one like to give.

    So much winning.

    • #16
    • January 30, 2018, at 10:04 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  17. Valiuth Member

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    Trump’s teleprompter speeches always sound fake to me, because he never sounds anything like them in real life.

    Oh, you’ve met him, then?

    Haven’t we all? Every day on Twitter? Or is his act really schizophrenic and the real real Donald Trump is just a shy guy who likes to watch Shark Week with his hooker mistress?

    • #17
    • January 30, 2018, at 10:09 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  18. Stina Member

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    Trump’s teleprompter speeches always sound fake to me, because he never sounds anything like them in real life.

    Oh, you’ve met him, then?

    Haven’t we all? Every day on Twitter? Or is his act really schizophrenic and the real real Donald Trump is just a shy guy who likes to watch Shark Week with his hooker mistress?

    News flash, Twitter isn’t real. Either is Facebook. #Unfiltered is just a hashtag. Its all staged. Its full of posturing and false bravado.

    Public personas are very rarely the actual person. Pretending they are is how we end up disappointed when they don’t live up to the image they created about themselves. Trump’s public persona is so awful, the only way for his personal persona to go is up.

    • #18
    • January 30, 2018, at 10:21 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  19. Annefy Member

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    Too bad @realdonaldtrump isn’t actually this articulate. Trump’s teleprompter speeches always sound fake to me, because he never sounds anything like them in real life. To me it seems kind of like confusing an actor for the characters they play. Real Donald Trump I’m sure will be tweeting something obnoxious soon enough. Were other presidents just better at staying in character?

    So here is a fun thing to look forward to. If the Dems take back the House in November, can they just refuse to invite Trump to address Congress come next January? If I recall both Chambers have to vote to invite the President to speak. Normally this is a formality, but we are in a new age of carnage…

    What does Trump care? He’ll tweet it.

    • #19
    • January 30, 2018, at 10:23 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  20. Annefy Member

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    Trump’s teleprompter speeches always sound fake to me, because he never sounds anything like them in real life.

    Oh, you’ve met him, then?

    Haven’t we all? Every day on Twitter? Or is his act really schizophrenic and the real real Donald Trump is just a shy guy who likes to watch Shark Week with his hooker mistress?

    Do you follow the President on twitter? I took the advice of a past member and actually followed the President, and read every tweet. I’d call it a net positive.

    • #20
    • January 30, 2018, at 10:24 PM PDT
    • 19 likes
  21. Stina Member

    Annefy (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    Trump’s teleprompter speeches always sound fake to me, because he never sounds anything like them in real life.

    Oh, you’ve met him, then?

    Haven’t we all? Every day on Twitter? Or is his act really schizophrenic and the real real Donald Trump is just a shy guy who likes to watch Shark Week with his hooker mistress?

    Do you follow the President on twitter? I took the advice of a past member and actually followed the President, and read every tweet. I’d call it a net positive.

    I hate Twitter. Its too shallow. I understand its a platform to communicate to a shallow generation, but ugh. It shouldn’t be taken as seriously as we do.

    • #21
    • January 30, 2018, at 10:29 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  22. Annefy Member

    Stina (View Comment):

    Annefy (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    Trump’s teleprompter speeches always sound fake to me, because he never sounds anything like them in real life.

    Oh, you’ve met him, then?

    Haven’t we all? Every day on Twitter? Or is his act really schizophrenic and the real real Donald Trump is just a shy guy who likes to watch Shark Week with his hooker mistress?

    Do you follow the President on twitter? I took the advice of a past member and actually followed the President, and read every tweet. I’d call it a net positive.

    I hate Twitter. Its too shallow. I understand its a platform to communicate to a shallow generation, but ugh. It shouldn’t be taken as seriously as we do.

    I agree. But … President Trump uses it effectively. Half the time he uses it as a head fake. The other half he’s communicating to a lot of people who are not otherwise going to hear his message.

    A Ricochet member recently posted that his wife works in a library and she’s had an unprecedented amount of people come in to the library and ask for help getting on Twitter … so they can follow President Trump.

    I used to hate talk radio because I thought it was shallow. Now I thank God for it. I don’t think I’ll ever be saying that about Twitter … but I am glad the President uses it for mostly (effective) purposes.

    He’s got an army using Twitter against him. I’m glad he engages.

    • #22
    • January 30, 2018, at 10:36 PM PDT
    • 14 likes
  23. James Lileks Contributor

    Stina (View Comment):
    I hate Twitter. Its too shallow. I understand its a platform to communicate to a shallow generation, but ugh. It shouldn’t be taken as seriously as we do.

    I don’t agree: its necessary brevity makes it revelatory.

    • #23
    • January 30, 2018, at 10:38 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  24. rico Inactive

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    Obvious snark: someone else wrote it. But he didn’t just read it; he inhabited it. And again, obvious snark: all that TV work paid off. But – and this is coming from someone who has rarely been particularly moved by his performances, to put it mildly – there was something different about this one. He seemed centered in a way that made the words connect with something larger than his own self.

    There were also several stretches in which I sensed a profound sincerity in his facial expression. This may have helped open the hearts of hopeful Americans.

    • #24
    • January 30, 2018, at 11:04 PM PDT
    • 17 likes
  25. MarciN Member

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    He seemed centered in a way that made the words connect with something larger than his own self.

    He sounded that way in his Davos speech too.

    He must like being able to finally do something about some of the concerns he has had for years.

    And things are going well.

    • #25
    • January 30, 2018, at 11:06 PM PDT
    • 22 likes
  26. DocJay Inactive

    This is real easy. When the president feels happy, proud and appreciated he does a much better job. He does love America and wants it better …..for every citizen.

    I’m curious how well he will do after the Mueller stuff fades away. Bobby 3 sticks will have to move his family to Argentina if he goes after the president on some lousy process issue.

    • #26
    • January 30, 2018, at 11:17 PM PDT
    • 21 likes
  27. rico Inactive

    Post-debate commentators, not at all pleased that Trump failed to meet their expectations, made complete fools of themselves. Chuck Todd’s comment, in an agitated voice, was precious:

    And honestly, I just don’t — you know, I go through these things, especially these teleprompter speeches he gives. It’s not him. So it is hard to judge these speeches because we know it’s not him. It’s him reading off a teleprompter.

    Hmmm. Wasn’t there some other totally genuine president who obsessively read his scripts from the teleprompter?

    • #27
    • January 30, 2018, at 11:29 PM PDT
    • 31 likes
  28. Rodin Member

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    Too bad @realdonaldtrump isn’t actually this articulate. Trump’s teleprompter speeches always sound fake to me, because he never sounds anything like them in real life. To me it seems kind of like confusing an actor for the characters they play. Real Donald Trump I’m sure will be tweeting something obnoxious soon enough. Were other presidents just better at staying in character?

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    • #28
    • January 31, 2018, at 12:36 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  29. Instugator Thatcher

    rico (View Comment):
    Wasn’t there some other totally genuine president who obsessively read his scripts from the teleprompter?

    But FP Obama was totally genuine when he referenced himself 199 times.

    • #29
    • January 31, 2018, at 12:50 AM PDT
    • 21 likes
  30. Bob Thompson Member

    Annefy (View Comment):
    I agree. But … President Trump uses it effectively. Half the time he uses it as a head fake. The other half he’s communicating to a lot of people who are not otherwise going to hear his message.

    I don’t use twitter but this must be the secret of the President’s success in using it.

    • #30
    • January 31, 2018, at 2:01 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5