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Monday, February 18, 2019
A Federalist 57 Website
D. R. ZUKERMAN, proprietor

On the One-Week Delayed
State of the Union Address
"This new era of cooperation..."

 

February 12, 2019 --

In his State of the Union address, February 5, President Trump called for a "new era of cooperation," between his administration and Congress. The president did not threaten another government partial shutdown, but, clearly referring to his plan for a wall on our border with Mexico, he did say, "I will get it built."

The president's guests included a survivor of the anti-Semitic attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue that took 11 lives, Judah Samet, who also survived 10 months in the Dachau concentration camp. Soon after President Trump noted that the occasion marked "Judah's 81st birthday the members of Congress, softly at first, but gathering strength, sang out "Happy Birthday dear Judah. " This was one of the unscripted moments during the address which suggested that Congress could be united in spite of itself.

President Trump went on to comment, "Think of this Capitol -- think of this very chamber, where lawmakers before you voted to end slavery, to build the railroads and the highways to defeat fascism to secure civil rights, to face down an evil empire."

The president began the speech, which lasted nearly 90 minutes, by remarking that this year marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day and 50 years since we planted the flag on the moon, recognizing "two important anniversaries that show us the majesty of American's mission and the power of American pride." He went on to say, "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 "

President Trump indicated confidence in his efforts, "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." He then reported, "Members of Congress, the State of our Union is strong. Our country is vibrant and our economy is thriving like never before."

Earlier in the address, Mr. Trump called for rejecting "the politics of revenge, resistance and retribution" and aiming for "the boundless potential of cooperation, compromise and the common good." This aim is certainly consistent with the call in Federalist No. 57 to our leaders establish "communion of interest, and sympathy of sentiments" with the people "without which every government degenerates into tyranny." The reply to the president's speech was given by Stacey Abrams, who lost to Brian Kemp in her bid, last November, to be governor of Georgia, and the country's first black woman governor. Although Ms. Abrams insisted that she did not want President Trump to fail, the tone of her remarks carried a partisan tone, blaming Mr. Trump for the shutdown "that defied every tenet of fairness and abandoned not just our people but our values." She also accused Republicans of passing a "tax bill [that] rigged the system against working people."

While Democrat partisans in the House chamber may have intended to indicate opposition to the president by remaining seated and not applaud his remarks, there are occasions when the tv camera show Democrats.

Most noteworthy, perhaps were images of congresswomen dressed in white silent for much of the speech, but applauding, standing, waving when Mr. Trump cited increased numbers of women in the workforce.

President Trump immediately ad libbed "Don't sit yet, you're going to like this, " and then said that 'there were more women in Congress than ever before." Not only did the women in white applaud his statement, but in addition to the standing ovation that it evoked they chanted "USA, USA, USA. "

This State of the Union address was delivered one week late. It was not clear when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi disinvited the president, citing the partial government shutdown, that it would be given in the House Chamber. The very spontaneous moments of comradeship in temporary place of partisanship give hope that the next 21 months can be marked by the new cooperation between a divided Congress and the Trump administration.

At present, the political horizon reveals partisan Democrats looking for ways and means to bring an end to the Trump presidency by making it seem hostile to the spirit of liberty -- even authoritarian.

But Donald J. Trump is not to be compared to Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro. Mr. Trump declared, in his State of the Union address. "We stand with the Venezuelan people in this noble quest for freedom -- and we condemn the brutality of the Maduro regime, whose socialist policies have turned that nation from being the wealthiest in South America into a state of abject poverty and despair."

President Trump continued, "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,"

It is asserted from time to time that President Trump is a weak chief executive. It is unclear how a weak president can be a threat to freedom, other than by being so weak that he cannot maintain constitutional liberty. Perhaps his attempts to reach out to a hostile media -- The New York Times in particular -- are misinterpreted as indicating weakness.

LPR submits that a confident president, not weak one, will cite the despair and violence in Venezuela as evils than cannot occur in the USA. It is apparent that the president is influenced by Friedrich Hayek's teaching that socialism is not possible without government coercion.

The spirit of liberty, not coercion. is suggested by these words, at the conclusion of the Trump address, telling the members of Congress "We must choose whether we are defined by our differences -- or whether we dare to transcend them....This is the time to search for the tallest summit, and set out sights on the brightest star. This is the time to rekindle the bonds of love and loyalty and memory that link us together as citizens, as neighbors, as patriots.

These concluding words are not the words of a hater: "We must keep America in our hearts. We must keep freedom alive in our souls, And we must always keep faith in America's destiny -- that one Nation, under God, must be the hope and the promise and the light and the glory among all the nations of the world!"

 
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February 12, 2019 --

On Principled Realism:

Speaking about the Middle East where the president said, with respect to Iraq and Afghanistan our military has been fighting nearly 19 years, losing almost 7,000 troops, more than 52,000 severely wounded, and at a cost of more than $7 trillion, Mr. Trump said, "Our approach is based on principled realism --- not discredited theories that have failed for decades to yield progress. For this reason, my Administration recognized the capital of Israel-- and opened the American Embassy in Jerusalem." This precedent might be kept in mind when President Trump appears to challenge the "experts."

This is the view of a leader confident to discard conventional wisdom. Apparently "experts" had counseled that such recognition would provoke anti-U.S. and anti-Israel violence.

On Iran and anti-Semitism:

"We will not avert our eyes from a regime than chants death to America and threatens genocide against the Jewish people. We mus never ignore the vile poison of anti-Semitism, or those who spread its venomous creed. With one voice we must confront this hatred anywhere and everywhere it occurs."

Avoiding War?

Declaring a "bold new diplomacy," President Trump added to his prepared remarks the news that he will meet North Korea's Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un in Vietnam, February 27 and 27 and expressed his view that had he not been elected president "we would right now be in a major war with North Korea."

What Unity?

LPR expects that the anti-Trump resistance will continue for the remainder of the president's first term, and would not be surprised if the left (Democrats and media) continue to look for ways and means to cut short this presidency. One hears on talk radio, however, concern whether Republicans will stand with President Trump against "the resistance."

The Trump Mindset

"Under my Administration, we will never apologize for advancing America's interests." (From the State of the Union address.)

Just wondering

In his State of the Union address, President Trump took note of "our obligation to the millions of immigrants where today, who followed the rules and respected our laws." He went on to say, "Legal immigrants enrich our Nation and strengthen our society in countless ways." Where is the poll of the views of legal immigrants on illegal immigration?

 

 
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February 12, 2019 --

-- President Trump began speaking after the applause died down following his entrance into the House chamber. He did not give House Speaker Nancy Pelosi the chance to introduce him, as is customary. Such introduction sets off another ovation. LPR believes this was not intentional, was not an act of rudeness on the part of Mr. Trump.

-- That Speaker Pelosi consented to the address, following her initial disinvite might suggest that she is somewhat less forceful vis-a-vis the president than the media would prefer.

-- The president called on Congress to enact "legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother's womb."

-- President Trump, citing the "almost 19 years" U.S. forces have been fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, told Congress that he pledged as candidate "a new approach," adding "Great nations do not fight endless wars."

-- Guests of the president included Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Alice Johnson -- whose life sentence for a first time drug offense was commuted by Mr. Trump; Matthew Charles, the first non-violent drug offender freed pursuant to bipartisan criminal reform legislation, the First Step Act; D-Day veterans Private First Class Joseph Reilly, Staff Sergeant Irving Locker, and Sergeant Herman Zeitchick; ICE Special Agent Elvin Hernandez; Debra Bissell, whose parents were murdered by an illegal immigrant. The guests also included 10 year old Grace Eline who was treated for brain cancer and raised $40 thousand for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. President Trump said he will ask Congress for $500 million over 10 years for research on childhood cancer, commenting, "Many childhood cancers have not seen new therapies in decades."

-- The President did not comment on "global warming" or "climate change." LPR is not worried that, as warned by The New York Times recently, glaciers in the Himalayas will largely melt by the year 2100.

 

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