Trump Channeled Reagan in the State of the Union

By John Zmirak Published on February 6, 2019

Let’s say it. President Trump’s State of the Union address was rhetorically brilliant. Please remember what the noble art of rhetoric includes. It covers everything from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount to George Washington’s address at Valley Forge. From Abraham Lincoln speaking at Gettysburg to Neil Armstrong on the Moon.

None of those leaders dealt in logical syllogisms. Instead, they took for granted the common values of their listeners. Then showed in powerful detail how noble words became moving flesh in the here and now of daily life. As Richard Weaver taught us, following Aristotle, rhetoric is where philosophy’s rubber meets the road.

Trump didn’t climb down into the befouled piranha tank that the Democrats and their captive media have made of American politics. Instead he stepped right over it. He gave a State of the Union suited to a united America with common moral values. Then challenged his opponents to live up to his words.

Tearing Down the Media’s Berlin Wall

Trump reached out to millions of Americans to shatter the propaganda fantasy that certified media and social media censors have crafted of their president. He reached out to American heroes and recent American history to banish the nightmare caricature that entitled elites have painted of our nation. And of half our people.

Trump didn’t climb down into the befouled piranha tank that the Democrats and their captive media have made of American politics. Instead he stepped right over it. He gave a State of the Union suited to a united America with common moral values. Then challenged his opponents to live up to his words.

Or how else can we explain the claim that a hat calling on us to “Make America Great Again” amounts to racist hate speech? Only white supremacists who exclude non-whites from America ought to object to that. Unless you hate America enough to deny it deserves any greatness. And you want to see it blinkered, crippled, and “fundamentally transformed” as President Obama once said. Thus made into (in Obama’s words) a “normal country.” You know, like Belgium. I think that what we saw among leading Democrats, sadly, was that.

Then Trump pointed to criminal justice reform that rectifies unfair sentencing guidelines which harm black Americans. He highlighted victims of the Holocaust whom American soldiers rescued. And then one of the soldiers who liberated the concentration camps. At that point, I was bawling.

You see, my father served under General Patton in 1945, and helped to march German citizens through those camps. To force them to see what their leaders had done. Trump lauded a Holocaust survivor who suffered a racist and anti-Semitic attack by an extremist who hates the president — whose violence media mavens tried to pin on Trump anyway.

Trump called on a brave officer of ICE, an agency whose members Democrats have demonized as virtual storm troopers. And the president told us what kind of work ICE does — in this case freeing hundreds of mostly Latino women from sexual slavery. That’s the kind of evil that grows when you have anarchy. Our minimal duty not just as Christians but merely as citizens is to stand against such evils.

Trump Is a Centrist

What does our leader want to do? What has he been doing, despite an unprecedented and unpatriotic campaign of “resistance,” witch-hunts and sabotage? He wants to rebuild and expand the middle class. Trump yearns to raise the wages of working class Americans.

He fights to guard our borders against the chaos, violence, rape, exploitation and human trafficking that the Democrats blithely accept. (As the price of importing new voters and new captive clients for welfare programs.)

He strives to resolve decades-long wars and confrontations, which foreign policy elites of either party have shrugged and accepted as normal. Or profited from, in the form of vast donations from military contractors.

In a powerful moment, the president firmly rebuked the ghoulish embrace of infanticide by the whole Democratic party. He spoke clearly and firmly a powerful sentence. Two decades ago, it would have been boilerplate, but now it is controversial. In fact, it was almost shocking to hear the following words. Then appalling to realize how strange and prophetic they sounded. Trump said, simply:

Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life. And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: all children — born and unborn — are made in the holy image of God.

The Republicans stood and applauded. The Democrats, almost to a man or woman, sat stonily silent. They don’t believe that.

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The Democrats’ Dark Agenda

No, they really don’t. They don’t believe in humanity, God or America. Instead, they rifle through the dumpster of failed utopias like socialism to scrape the barrel for votes. They grab tens of millions of dollars from groups like Planned Parenthood that willingly kill nine-month fetuses because their mothers didn’t want to have a girl. Then sell their organs for profit.

They collude with Jew-hating Muslims who wink at terrorism and make excuses for ISIS.

They want to silence our speech. To seize our guns. To cripple our churches, erase our borders, kill our babies, empower our enemies. And to teach the next generation that America was born as a force for evil.

No wonder they hate this president. And his voters, even his family. 

Now let us rally around him.

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