By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host
After being told he was not invited to Capitol Hill, President Donald Trump signed a temporary end to the government shut-down, essentially forcing Pelosi into a corner. After all, her excuse had been the shutdown. So, a little late, but still within a reasonable time-period, the U.S. Capitol welcomed the President, and he gave his State of the Union Speech . . . and he nailed it.
Trump was not shy about tackling the issues, and saying it like it is.
He first gave us our history. America has been a great country. He voiced our challenges. And how we can be great again.
After discussing the moon landing, and introducing Buzz Aldrin, Trump said, “In the 20th century, America saved freedom, transformed science, and redefined the middle class standard of living for the entire world to see. Now, we must step boldly and bravely into the next chapter of this great American adventure, and we must create a new standard of living for the 21st century. An amazing quality of life for all of our citizens is within our reach.”
“We can make our communities safer, our families stronger, our culture richer, our faith deeper, and our middle class bigger and more prosperous than ever before. But we must reject the politics of revenge, resistance, and retribution — and embrace the boundless potential of cooperation, compromise, and the common good. Together, we can break decades of political stalemate. We can bridge old divisions, heal old wounds, build new coalitions, forge new solutions, and unlock the extraordinary promise of America’s future. The decision is ours to make. We must choose between greatness or gridlock, results or resistance, vision or vengeance, incredible progress or pointless destruction. Tonight, I ask you to choose greatness.”
“We have created 5.3 million new jobs and importantly added 600,000 new manufacturing jobs… Wages are rising at the fastest pace in decades, and growing for blue collar workers… Nearly 5 million Americans have been lifted off food stamps. The United States economy is growing almost twice as fast today as when I took office, and we are considered far and away the hottest economy anywhere in the world. Unemployment has reached the lowest rate in half a century. African-American, Hispanic-American and Asian-American unemployment have all reached their lowest levels ever recorded. Unemployment for Americans with disabilities has also reached an all-time low. More people are working now than at any time in our history — 157 million.
We passed a massive tax cut for working families and doubled the child tax credit.
We virtually ended the estate, or death, tax on small businesses, ranches, and family farms.
We eliminated the very unpopular Obamacare individual mandate penalty — and to give critically ill patients access to life-saving cures, we passed right to try.
My Administration has cut more regulations in a short time than any other administration during its entire tenure. Companies are coming back to our country in large numbers thanks to historic reductions in taxes and regulations.
We have unleashed a revolution in American energy — the United States is now the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world. And now, for the first time in 65 years, we are a net exporter of energy.
After 24 months of rapid progress, our economy is the envy of the world, our military is the most powerful on earth, and America is winning each and every day… On Friday, it was announced that we added another 304,000 jobs last month alone — almost double what was expected. An economic miracle is taking place in the United States.”
“The lawless state of our southern border is a threat to the safety, security, and financial well‑being of all Americans. We have a moral duty to create an immigration system that protects the lives and jobs of our citizens. This includes our obligation to the millions of immigrants living here today, who followed the rules and respected our laws. Legal immigrants enrich our Nation and strengthen our society in countless ways. I want people to come into our country, but they have to come in legally.”
“Another historic trade blunder was the catastrophe known as NAFTA.”
“Over the last 2 years, we have begun to fully rebuild the United States Military — with $700 billion last year and $716 billion this year. We are also getting other nations to pay their fair share. For years, the United States was being treated very unfairly by NATO — but now we have secured a $100 billion increase in defense spending from NATO allies. As part of our military build-up, the United States is developing a state-of-the-art Missile Defense System.”
“Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country. America was founded on liberty and independence — not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free, and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.”
Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life. And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: all children — born and unborn — are made in the holy image of God.
Where Trump really won was when he brought the women into the conversation, laying down accomplishment after accomplishment, and then joking with the women who had been hating him . . . “No one has benefitted more from our thriving economy than women, who have filled 58 percent of the new jobs created in the last year. All Americans can be proud that we have more women in the workforce than ever before — and exactly one century after the Congress passed the Constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote, we also have more women serving in the Congress than ever before.”
He joked when the women in white stood and clapped, and even Pelosi joined in.
It was a uniting moment that, I think, stunned the Democrats, and the ladies who found themselves suddenly cheering with President Trump.