As I was listening to President Trump during his joint address to Congress this evening, I couldn’t help but be personally moved. He said everything, and yet really, he said nothing. Nothing, because so much of what he said was cliché, classic The American Dream rhetoric, patriotism, God and country – unity. At times, when he would look a certain way, in the direction of the “protesting” democratic women, dressed genteelly in beautiful, feminine suits and gowns, President Trump’s profile projected a fleeting glimpse of JFK. Remembrances of days gone by. Not all was bad about those times.
Some question the sincerity of Mr. Trump’s rhetoric. And I’m frankly not yet convinced that he will finally, graciously turn out to be nothing but the sheep in wolfs clothing. His backhanded campaign shtick, if insulting, was also disarming and ingratiating. How odd, because so many that were so offended, sometimes visibly angry, now seem to chuckle and laugh with the lighter, unifying tone. Don’t get me wrong. I always thought he would come around to this type of approach. I just thought he would get here a bit sooner. And so as I say, stepping down the divisive rhetoric was really the most important thing about tonight’s address.
Unfortunately, the shtick and the catharsis, however well-intentioned and sincere they may actually be, won’t be enough to erase and “heal” the deeper and longer term injuries that both sides have endured over the years. And, as noted in the rebuttal, there are already issues to which even a moderate conservative such as myself can and does take umbrage with. God I love the people of Kentucky, but I don’t need the filthy coal. I like a good movie, but don’t care to pay for someone else’s movie download anymore than I want to pay for their birth control pills, STD treatments or their abortion. And, while the conjecture about healthcare coming from Mr. Trump is doggone hunky dory, it’s also just about as realistic as the notion that a “great wall” can be built across the 3000 mile border in just two years. The right of ways couldn’t even be acquired in that much time. I also believe Mr. Trump has characterized the BLM et. al. vs. Police incorrectly. The biggest policy point of the evening in my view is the commitment of one trillion dollars to begin rebuilding the American infrastructure, and the continued assertions that hiring American and buying American will be a real policy that will create jobs. Some of the vectors are at least headed in the right direction, and as Miss Mary Poppins once said… a spoon full of sugar…
So, without being unnecessarily pessimistic, and to give credit where credit is due, kudos to the speech writer and to Mr. Trump alike for his delivery. I do believe tonight’s address marks a positive turning point, not just for Donald Trump’s personal protocol, but also for the nation as well.
© 2017 – Jim Casey
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