Government

Americans have always been dreamers


President Trump knocked a grand slam out of the park with his first State of the Union address.  Spectacular to see, it was uniquely wonderful to actually witness.  Your humble columnist had the high honor of attending with a gracious and much appreciated invitation from Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-1).

Every American should visit our nation’s capital and tour the magnificent memorials and monuments, but don’t forget the important institutions of our republic.  The White House and Supreme Court are certainly impressive, but the Capitol Building housing our Congress is particularly inspiring.  It is literally the repository of our representatives – the direct voices of We The People in our exceptional experiment in self-government.

Through the media’s hyper-partisan prism, the workings of the Congress typically seem tawdry and petty.  Partisanship is pervasive to be sure, but it cannot overcome the unbroken customs and steadfast traditions that loom large in the venerable chambers of Congress.  Regardless of party, the people’s legislative representatives come together to hear the chief executive’s annual report.  It is their duty to show approval or disapproval.  The few that chose not to attend deprived their constituents of a voice and did so to their own personal shame.

Though tumultuous in the media spin cycle, President Trump had many first year triumphs to tout.  Whether one likes his politics or personal style or not, a robust economy growing faster than any year in the last decade creating record jobs and boosting wages is good news for all Americans.  Illegal immigration is decreasing and there is hope for real immigration reform.  Once a seemingly hopeless intractable problem, ISIS is on the run.

No one expects Democrats to be happy about everything Trump said, so it is understandable they would sit stoically when he recounted dismantling parts of ObamaCare or embraced clean coal.  However, the president made genuine gestures to reach across the aisle and Democrats will come to regret turning him down flat.  How can better infrastructure also advocated by Obama not be bipartisan?

President Trump pledged to make a top Democrat issue of reducing the cost of prescription drugs his priority; they stared back blankly.  He even tripled Obama’s offer on the “Dreamers” to 1.8 million illegal immigrants who came as children with a path to citizenship.  The “Dreamers” Democrats claim to champion can stay if they simply agree to finally control our borders with a wall, but nothing doing.  How is that not a reasonable compromise?  The Democrats looked like intransigent Palestinians offered more than they wanted, but they could not accept for their blind rabid hatred of Trump.

Average Americans do not hate Trump and when Americans start seeing more money in their paychecks due to the Republican tax cuts, more will come to embrace him.  Where they could have shown grace and maturity, Democrats failed.  They probably lost the midterm elections that night.

Partisan posturing aside, none of that was the best parts of Trump’s speech.  When Trump lectured the Congress about the majesty of the Capitol building, he nailed it.  The Capitol Building is a monument to the people.  Those hallowed halls called them everyone to a higher calling, to serve the people.  He then stressed the temporary nature of their roles by acknowledging the inscription above his head:  “In God We Trust!”

To drive home his point, Trump chose to showcase average Americans in extraordinary feats of courage; a firefighter and Coast Guard Petty Officer selflessly risking their lives to save strangers.  The overwhelming grief of parents pressing on after the tragic violent loss of their daughters.  Incredible compassion when a police officer and his wife reached out to a homeless drug addict to give her baby a home.  And the amazing perseverance of a North Korean refugee braving unspeakable horror to become an American.  Trump rightly noted America is strong because Americans are strong.

Trump brought the house down when he said “Americans are dreamers too!”  Not really new and actually obvious, but sometimes we have to be reminded that Americans dreamed of freedom, equality, and a land to worship God – and we guard it jealously.  The partisans can quibble about credit and policy, but Trump knows Americans will make America great again and they are feeling better every day.

“Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.  Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.”  Romans 12:11-12

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