Here’s a brief primer on what you missed if you boycotted Donald Trump’s first address to Congress: “I won. I’ve done great things. Here’s other things I’ll do. That’s that.”
Trump delivered a meandering 60-plus minute speech with no cohesive theme other than “I’m really great and America will be too.” As journalist Robert Costa aptly noted of its disjointed policy overtures: “That’s what makes the speech somewhat jarring. A bleak, populist Bannon vision laced with elements of Ivanka-ism on social policy.”
Mere minutes after greeting the crowd, Trump kicked off his address by reminding everyone of his ahhmazing electoral win. “The earth shifted beneath our feet,” he said (no joke), “quiet voices became a loud chorus […] the chorus became an earthquake and the people turned out by the tens of millions.”
In fact, his entire speech had that certain puerile quality of something written by a fifth grader trying to sound big and important.
Dying industries will come roaring back to life.[…] Our military will be given the resources its brave warriors so richly deserve. Crumbling infrastructure will be replaced […] Our terrible drug epidemic will slow down and ultimately, stop. And our neglected inner cities will see a rebirth of hope, safety, and opportunity.
In short, it’s all happening, and it’s all because of Trump: The stock market has spiked, billions are being invested in the economy, the swamp is draining, regulations are being rolled back, and the TPP is toast.
But no Trump speech would be complete without demonizing undocumented immigrants: He’s dismantling the “criminal cartels,” stopping drugs from “pouring into our country” and beefing up immigration enforcement.
By finally enforcing our immigration laws, we will raise wages, help the unemployed, save billions of dollars, and make our communities safer for everyone. We want all Americans to succeed –- but that can’t happen in an environment of lawless chaos. We must restore integrity and the rule of law to our borders.
Oh, and the wall’s being constructed so you can rest easy. Sadly, the nativist portion of Trump’s speech was as close to a policy centerpiece as anything was.
Then came the Ivanka portion of the evening.
My administration wants to work with members in both parties to make childcare accessible and affordable, to help ensure new parents have paid family leave, to invest in women’s health, and to promote clean air and clear water, and to rebuild our military and our infrastructure.
Finally, Trump said a lot of nice things about black Americans he had invited to the ceremony and praised the fallen soldier from the Yemen raid whose widow was in the crowd. Importantly, he emphasized that Navy SEAL Ryan Owens was part of a “highly-successful raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence.” Trump concluded, “Ryan’s legacy is etched into eternity.”
After Owens’ widow stood, deeply moved, to a lengthy round of applause, Trump, at his gaudiest, had to remark that an applause record had just been set.
In conclusion, Trump’s “asking all citizens to embrace this Renewal of the American spirit.” Whatever that means. Goddess bless us all.