The first address to a joint session of Congress for the 45th President of the United States was one for the ages – historic and monumental on every level.
Any speech for the nation’s chief executive on this stage is always a challenge: how does one strike the balance of appealing to the masses of voters and sounding aspirational, while also delving into the specifics that will soon become the foundations of a Trump Doctrine. Here again, the President struck the right and proper tone.
Rightfully, President Trump began by addressing the scourge of hatred that has plagued our streets in recent weeks, notably among our Jewish neighbors and friends. It is wrong, every day of the week, and the President uniformly called it for what it is.
Urban policy, education policy, health policy, tax policy, economic policy, trade policy, foreign policy – Trump laid out a broad, sweeping agenda for change. Many will not like the manifestations of that change, but they can never say he was a champion of the status quo. They will never be able to say he stuck to the typical, stale, slow-moving nature this town desperately clings to.
From the recognition of our fallen hero to the struggles of a child to earn a better education for herself, to the Oscar-worthy story of a father’s love for his child: each one revealed the fabric of America.
A tapestry of stories and episodes where good conquers all, and love of our fellow man is always worthy of recognition.
Those stories will etch an indelible mark in each of us for years to come. And they will be remembered by more of what they didn’t capture than what they did. Frankly, even in the power of those words uttered on Tuesday tonight, we can not possibly begin to capture the sorrow, grief and loss of a soldier’s bride. For she would easily and gladly trade all the praise and honor for five more minutes with the love of her life. That same glowing applause a father would immediately sacrifice to fully restore his daughter’s health. And yet, in the wake of such tragedies, we see the conquering might of the American spirit – a spirit that pledges to persevere in the face of extreme adversity. That is the essence…the soul behind what it means to Make America Great Again.
The President called it a “renewal.” I call it a true renaissance – a rebirth of what we as a country of laws, government and people envision, and how we should see both for ourselves and each other from this day forward.
Such a speech in this time, in these political circumstances, was not easy to give. Don’t be deceived, every enemy of this President was ready to pounce on every word breathed last tonight. I would venture to say, however, that they are the ones breathless this evening. Once again, they have underestimated just how in-touch President Trump is with his audience and his people. Even those who voted for his opponent would privately admit he stunned his critics. Expect more of that in the coming weeks, as the White House continues to roll out its policies.
Let these remarks on Tuesday tonight February 28, 2017 send an unmistakable signal to both proponent and opponent alike: this man is not to be underestimated. Even in the face of traditional political criticism and scrutiny, he rises above.