Last night’s State of the Union address was fascinating and provocative on many levels. I’ve been contemplating it ever since, and it’s been interesting to see people’s reactions. On the Right, a common reoccurring theme has been “this is the best SOTU I’ve seen since Reagan!” Many have even gone so far as to call it the best SOTU ever.
Naturally, one would expect conservatives to view a SOTU delivered by a Republican president favorably, but the serious, non-hyperbolic use of “the best” here is worthy of note. Whether you liked him or not, Reagan was called the “Great Communicator” for good reason. H.W. Bush was no slouch either, and his son G.W. gave a few good SOTUs too when he had the fertile ground of heroism and sacrifice provided by 9/11 to draw inspiration from.
Unsurprisingly, the Left generally believes last night’s SOTU was boring, filled with drivel, fake news, nothing but lies, pathetic, et cetera. Some liberal commentators I’ve seen have described it as a hate crime, and a speech “obviously” written by a Nazi.
Many Democrat representatives and senators bashed Trump for “being unprepared,” as Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez put it, because he didn’t mention this or that random issue, as if the president had all day to recount all the problems society faces and didn’t need to prioritize for an hour long speech. More amusing still, the handwringing being done on CNN and MSNBC afterwards was so extreme that one genuinely wonders how Van Jones and Chris Matthews didn’t break their fingers and wrists.
Taking all this in over the last 18-ish hours, I’m inclined to agree with my fellow conservatives that last night’s SOTU was certainly very good; it was the boldest address I can recall seeing in 30-some years, diminished slightly only by the fact that Trump gave it (let’s be honest: the guy is no Reagan). I can’t remember a time, indeed since Reagan, where a president so audaciously and unapologetically made the case for American exceptionalism and slammed the forces that would diminish it, undaunted by the historically unprecedented vitriol he was certain to receive from his increasingly radical and malevolent opposition.
One of the things that interests me most about State of the Unions is watching the opposing party’s reactions. Republican or Democrat president, watching the opposing party is perhaps the biggest draw for me. The opposition’s reaction to things said by the president is a good bellwether for what is likely to get accomplished in the next year or two.
Happily, it appeared as though Democrats supported several of the things Trump put on his agenda. Whatever legislation comes out of it however, Congress will probably screw up the final product because that’s what Congress does. All the same, general consensus on an issue is a good start, especially these days when the Left hates pretty much anything Donald Trump does no matter how good it is.
On the flip side though, what many Democrats did not show support for is alarming. Let me know in the comments if I’ve missed anything or am wrong about one of them, but here’s what I’ve got:
• Unparalleled economic growth in several decades
• Record African-American unemployment
• Record Hispanic unemployment
• Record disabled unemployment
• Greater energy independence
• ICE agents
• Stopping sex traffickers
• Saving girls from smugglers
• Not killing actual, honest-to-goodness, fully formed, viable babies past the first trimester (Pelosi even shook her head in disgust when Trump brought up racist Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and his support for aborting a child right up to the moment it is born).
• American not being a socialist nation
What a list of things to be against! Are these people for real? Are there words for such absurdity? Outside the four-letter word category, immoral, unethical, and treasonous certainly spring to mind.
I am reminded of a parable about a retiring carpenter. According to the story, there once was an aging carpenter who approached his boss one day and told him that he wanted to retire, take his wife to some place warm for awhile, then settle down to be with friends and family.
The boss knew the day would come eventually, but he was crestfallen all the same. The man was his finest carpenter, and it would be a devastating loss to both the business and the customers to see him leave. Upon reflection of the news, the boss asked the man if he would be willing to build one final house as a personal favor.
The man agreed, and he began work on the new house. Things started off fine, but as the days and weeks progressed, it was clear the man’s heart was not in it. Each day his work became a little less good, until eventually it was obvious to all that he didn’t care anymore, and he just wanted to take the easy way and get out as soon as possible. The man did shoddy work, used the cheapest materials he could get, and took shortcuts to make the job easier. The end result was an cheaply made, flimsy house. It was a sad and disappointing end to what had been a wonderful career for a master craftsman.
When the man went to tell the boss he had finished the job, the boss handed him the keys and said, “this is your house. It is my gift to you.” The man had taken the easy way in his job, time and again, and he was left with an inferior, shameful home in the end.
Doing the right thing is hard. Every problem in life that requires righteousness—whether it be building a house and doing your best even when there are cheaper, faster, and easier ways to do the job, or choosing not to kill a baby in the womb on day 270 of a pregnancy because adoption is hard and raising a child is harder, or choosing to not give the public all the free programs they want and instead give them the freedom they need and have as a birthright so they can prosper—also comes with an easier choice.
There’s always an easy way out. Think about it: Think about the last time you encountered an important decision that made demands on your integrity. There was the right choice—the hard choice—and there was also an easy choice to get you out of it. Wasn’t there?
Republicans are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, and even as a Republican myself I’ve been known to be a very harsh critic of them because I believe we can be so much better than we are. But as a former Democrat, I have witnessed Democrats making the easy choice time and again, in pursuit of power. Fundamentally, it’s why I switched parties. Because Democrats as a whole will say and do anything they have to, no matter how wrong, shortsighted, or immoral, to achieve electoral power.
Does free food, health care, college tuition, rent, and a free income sound good? Democrats will give it to you, even though in the long term it destroys families (especially minority families), hollows out the middle class, reduces the tax base both at the bottom and the top, and creates an all-powerful authoritarian state. Want women voters? Tell them abortion is “health care,” that it’s “body autonomy,” and that both are fundamental rights even though killing babies is decidedly no one’s right. Don’t want to deal with the complex problems of the border and want to gain new Hispanic voters? Say illegal immigrants are just immigrants and that border security is racist, too expensive, and un-American.
Just remember to vote Democrat. Twice. Even if you’re dead.
Telling people the truth is hard. Telling people things they don’t want to hear is hard. Giving people what they need instead of what they want is hard. Figuring out how to lower college tuition is hard. Crafting policies that grow the economy over the long term is hard. It is hard telling women that even if they got pregnant accidentally they should still give birth because the fetus inside them is a unique human life with rights of its own. These things and many more like them are hard. But Democrats decided many years ago to adopt a policy of taking the easy way, even if they must lie, because the easy way gets votes.
Now, Congress wants nothing more than to simply be seen doing something, even if it’s the wrong thing. “Somebody should do something!” is the common refrain made by many these days, excusing themselves of the burden of citizenship and transferring it instead to a legislative body which is very happy to oblige. “Doing something” is a great opportunity to give people what they want, not what they need, and collect more power.
To be clear, debating what the right course of action should be is perfectly acceptable. In fact, debating the right course of action is a moral and ethical good, and is precisely what is supposed to happen in Congress; the Founders created an adversarial system of government, after all. But such a system is completely and utterly dependent on both sides of the debate agreeing on the same principles and facts.
One of the elements of Progressivism is post-modernism, which is a philosophy of destruction and redefinition. It’s the stuff George Orwell talked about: down is up, bad is good, war is peace, and so on. In the case of Democrats, American pride is fascism, Democratic racism isn’t racism, murder is righteous, the Constitution is unconstitutional, yada yada yada.
You can see the problem we face if we can’t agree on the basic things that used to be obvious and tied us all together. Without the common ground of common sense we’re all lost, because instead of debating the right course of action, we’re busy chasing our tails debating the a priori stuff. How can we debate national security when the concept of nationhood isn’t shared by all? How can we debate abortion when the preservation of life isn’t a shared virtue? How can we debate immigration when immigration is now racist? We can’t say border “wall” because walls are racist, and barriers and fences are not. We can’t even agree on the words we use, so how can we possibly solve problems?
Telling people the truth is made even harder when large elements of our society no longer see truth as a virtue and instead places emphasis on outcomes. The ends justify the means, and as long as Democrats win it doesn’t matter what they tell people. It’s terribly convenient for Democrats that people are psychologically inclined to believe what they want to hear, most especially when it’s easy.
I’m honestly not certain the Democrats can do anything about their truth problem at this point for two reasons. First, I don’t think many of them are aware they do this any longer; it is so baked into who they are as a party, and without self-awareness they can’t change. Secondly, because taking the easy way out is a trap that increases in its strength exponentially. Every time you take the easy way out of a problem, it creates more and more easy choices, each one progressively imprisoning you further in the quagmire created by all your lies and bad choices.
This is how the United States has gone from having reverence for life, to having half its population justifying murder by calling it “health care.” This is how the United States has gone from believing in freedom and being willing to send hundreds of thousands of its best men and women to foreign nations to fight fascism and communism and die for freedom, to having half its population wanting everyone enslaved in a socialist state they control.
While the truth may often be hard, it is only road that leads to freedom.
I ask, how long will it be until people who vote Democrat wake up and see that in all the years they’ve been voting for Democrats, and in all the years Democrats have had control over the White House and Congress—or in the Iowa legislature for that matter—Democrats have done absolutely nothing for them or have made things worse? Like a plague of locusts that descends upon one’s crops, everywhere Democrats have power, they ruin in time.
And how long will it be until Republicans decide to take the case for freedom directly to the people who most desperately need to hear its message? Preaching to the choir accomplishes nothing. Staying inside our bubble gets us nowhere. There is literally nothing stopping our legislators, our best people, our best intellectuals, and our best communicators, from going straight into Democrat districts to essentially evangelize and proselytize. It won’t be easy, but neither is the truth. The right thing is almost never easy. Can you hear me, Des Moines?
Last night’s State of the Union was a landmark address for many reasons. But perhaps the best gift Trump gave us last night was to yet again peel the mask off the Left even farther, exposing them live on national television as the corrupt, immoral cabal they are. Now it’s up to us to figure out what to do about it. So what are you going to do about it?
If we continue to let the Democrats and this country take the easy way out of our very real problems, as Abraham Lincoln said and the retiring carpenter found out, our house will fall.