A lot of people out there who were resigned to the country never changing course or continuing a slow but steady decline are beginning to believe that with Donald Trump as President of the United States things may change after all. And although change can be a heck of a rough ride, in this kind of change, today there is hope for a strong, prosperous and safe America.
By Stephen W. Browne l March 14, 2017
When Donald Trump made his first speech to a Joint Session of the United States Congress on February 28, he knocked it out of the park. Period.
Supporters were ecstatic. Detractors ranged from sullen and surly to giving grudging credit, and, astoundingly, some of his fiercest critics were absolutely wowed.
“He became president of the United States in that moment,” said Van Jones, former White House Special Advisor to Obama for Green Jobs.
Jones is a radical leftist for heaven’s sake – but this time he was right!
In terms of content, it was OK. Much of it was boilerplate and some could be argued with. Yes, we need to reduce the deficit and stop mounting debt. And, yes, we need to do something about infrastructure. Doing both at the same time is going to be a problem.
Some of his speech gave great cause for hope, as when Trump reiterated his promise to simplify the tax code and require that for each new federal regulation passed, two be eliminated.
There should be great cause for rejoicing among small businesses for that. And, evidently, that is because the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit 21,000 for the first time ever.
Of course, the Democrats gave a rebuttal, which fell flat. They can’t be blamed for that, somebody had to write a speech on the fly. I did note they chose a Kentuckian with a thick Southern accent to speak. Maybe they’re starting to pay attention to flyover country, at last.
The New York Times did a point-by-point fact check with a detailed analysis of what was true, what was false, and what was iffy.
The fact is “Team Trump” stage managed this address to Congress to perfection. The tone was strong but conciliatory. The guests were photogenic. Trump surprised everybody by delivering a performance centered around them, when the Democrats were likely expecting an ego-driven bombastic speech, such as his predecessor was wont to make.
Due to the miracle of social media, I was able to observe the online grumbling in real time.
“Shame!” some cried when Trump introduced Carryn Owens widow of Navy SEAL Ryan Owens, killed in Yemen last January. “Using a widow like that.”
And that’s where they fell right into the trap Trump set for them.
Owens got a record-setting standing ovation while the camera panned over Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Nancy Pelosi, and Al Franken sitting on their hands looking bitter and sullen.
How did that happen, I wonder? The major news networks are overwhelmingly hostile to Trump and I’d have thought any director would have said, “Cut away pronto!”
Of course, social media users immediately came out with pics of Obama and the Gold Star family he once brought out as stage dressing.
So, why are Democrats not getting that? Since the Bush election, it has been shown that Dems have been far more adept at using social media. How have they not grasped that any time you charge someone with doing something you’ve done that the photographic proof will arrive online within minutes?
Yet, they keep doing it, and keep getting smacked down.
It was during this speech I became certain of something I had only suspected before.
Trump is outsmarting and out maneuvering the lot of them – opponents and naysayers. Believe me, I’m as surprised as anyone. Because I’d dismissed Trump as a narcissist intellectual lightweight too. But I was wrong.
Furthermore, the opposition, both left and right, is not getting it and you can’t tell them. Because they are wedded to the idea Trump is a dummy. Changing their minds would mean having to reexamine some core assumptions important to their self-image as the intellectual elite of America.
Now we know. Winning the Republican nomination was not an accident of history. Winning the 2016 presidential election was not a fluke. Trump had a strategic plan and now he has a crack team. Where they’re going, and where we’re going with them, is yet unknown.
But I can say this; a lot of people out there who were resigned to the country never changing course or continuing a slow but steady decline are beginning to believe that with Donald Trump as President of the United States things may change after all. And although change can be a heck of a rough ride, in this kind of change, today there is hope for a strong, prosperous and safe America.
Stephen Browne has been a sewage treatment plant worker, a truck driver, an English teacher and a journalist. In 1991 he received his MA in anthropology and set out for Eastern Europe, which was to become his home for the next 13 years. While teaching English and working with local dissidents abroad he began to write professionally about the tremendous changes happening after the collapse of the Soviet empire. In 1997, he was elected Honorary Member of the Yugoslav Movement for the Protection of Human Rights. In 1998, he co-founded the Liberty English Camps in Lithuania, which teach the principles of free markets and political liberty through English-language instruction, and eventually became the Language of Liberty Institute. He returned to the U.S. to study journalism on a graduate fellowship and pay some dues in rural newspapers in the Midwest. At present, he lives in his native Midwest with his two children Jerzy Waszyngton and Judyta Ilona. Mr. Browne is also a contributor to SFPPR News & Analysis of the conservative-online-journalism center at the Washington-based Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research.