President Trump delivered a remarkably powerful and nuanced State of the Union address on Tuesday night.
There was too much in this 82-minute speech to cover each detail, so I will just present some of my main impressions here.
First of all, President Trump was in command. This was reflected in the instant poll results that shocked the talking heads on TV. CNN’s poll showed a 76 percent positive reaction among speech watchers, which must have had CNN prexy Jeff Zucker asking, “Why am I paying for this stupid poll if it’s gonna make Trump look good?!?”
Secondly, the Democrats were in shock. How dare the president say that the United States would never become a socialist country! How could they possibly react? Bernie Sanders was close to tears. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was petulant and afraid. What if it was true? What if all their work to turn the U.S. into a Marxist paradise like Venezuela was for nought? How could they go on? (Hint: They will suck it up and just keep spending other people’s money like they always do!)
As for the existential threat facing the United States on the southern border, President Trump was as strong as ever in laying out the moral case for a wall. Anyone watching should have come away feeling sympathy for the president’s desire to protect the American people. Notably, the president did not declare a national emergency as he had hinted he might do. Instead he gave the Democrats enough rope to hang themselves by letting the Feb. 15 shutdown deadline loom. It’s almost inevitable that the Dems will fail to make a good faith offer to provide national security in the form of Wall funding, so let them take the heat.
Then he must take action and avert a shutdown by taking unilateral action to protect the American people. Yes, it does look like Trump might declare a national emergency, but I am hoping he will instead invoke the powers of U.S. Code 10 Section 284 to use the Army to “provide support for the counterdrug activities or activities to counter transnational organized crime of any other department or agency of the Federal Government.” The president has sent thousands of additional troops to the border and I am hopeful that on Feb. 15 he will order them to start building the wall. This doesn’t require an emergency declaration, just the intestinal fortitude of a Teddy Roosevelt or John Kennedy.
But if the president instead opts for an emergency declaration, so be it. The only thing he can’t do is let the open-border socialists win.
Face it, we are in the second year of a Cold Civil War (as Charles Kesler described it in Imprimis) between the progressive left and the Deplorables. On one side we are led by a fearless president and on the other the progressives have rallied around the Deep State. The fight for the border is a proxy battle for the soul of the nation. I once called the battle between Trump and his enemies as “Monster Swamp vs. Swamp Monster,” and that’s more true now than ever. President Trump is the only personage on the national stage with enough vigor to fight back against those who would deprive us of our freedom. He has asked us to “choose greatness,” and his speech laid out the choice beautifully. But the choice is in our hands. Our leader can only do so much. He has done his part. The rest is up to us.
But if we the American People fail Trump, now that will be a national emergency!
Frank Miele writes from Kalispell, Montana, at www.HeartlandDiaryUSA.com and is a columnist at Real Clear Politics. To see more of my columns about the Dishonest Media, the Deep Swamp, the failed presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and Trump’s war to restore American greatness, read my “Why We Needed Trump” trilogy. The books are available at Amazon in paperback or Kindle editions. Also please considering leaving a review in support of my conservative commentary on one or all of my book pages at Amazon! Thanks!