Trump’s address to Congress last night was something close to a rhetorical masterstroke. In terms of how it skillfully wove his themes and objectives into a soaring and sincere narrative it was probably the best made by a president in my lifetime. And that’s not all that was wrong with it.
The speech was also ladled with destructive tropes that I suppose even Trump feels compelled to repeat. There was the pledge to spend toward Andromeda while cutting taxes into the dirt. If I could convince people of one economic reality, it is that they will actually pay for all government spending, whether directly taxed or not. And is $584 billion/year in defense spending really insufficient to protect America from invasion? That’s approximately 36% of the Earth’s military budget. Which leads me to occasionally wonder if the threat of a Peruvian/Malay pincer movement isn’t completely overstated.
Then, of course, there were the deferential mentions of special (black) history and special (jewish) victimization. These being concepts that clash without any political self-consciousness with subsequent notions of “one nation.” So all these different and unique people are simultaneously the same by virtue of having crammed themselves under another guy’s umbrella. The same guy they despise effusively except on April 15. When it comes to finding fellowship with white tax dollars, I suppose we’re all one people after all.
And while much of Trump’s “shared destiny” nonsense could have been quickly disproved by a glance toward the tribal caucus members in his audience, it’s worth remembering that presidential speeches are like fat women on dating sites: most of the mass is concealed.
These speeches are not primarily intended to convince skeptics of their own perfidious eyeballs: no one actually becomes “one people having a shared destiny” with a stranger because they just broke into his house. The more common and unstated purpose of presidential remarks is to reduce political viscosity–to lubricate the gears of their agenda. Trump needs substantial popular and political support for the ambitious platform he seems inclined to pursue. And cultivating that broad support, while calming reachable elements of the center-left, is what I like to believe he was doing last night. Though whatever his intent, the execution was superb.
In contrast, democrats acted as if they were the subjects of an execution. The impression of comical petulance was so vivid I doubt it will be completely removed before Rachel Madow completes his transition to a woman.
The party, and liberals in general, are now so far out in their elliptical orbit that they openly sulk at prospects of advancement for the very people they nominally represent. If Trump consciously planned to put this on display, he was quite astute. Knowing democrats were committed to snarl at everything, he filled his speech with prospects of uplift for American citizens, and made Dems choose whether to show love for them or hate for him. They chose poorly.
American jobs: booo
American borders: booo
American babies: blech
Liberals are bound-up in their own box. Relentless hostility to whites has so saturated the movement that it stains everything in contact, including their own political viability. Because America is whiter than the vast majority of foreign states, it can not be held by the left in higher hope or regard than others for fear of implicit solidarity with oppressors. Thus they are obliged to conspicuously suck lemons every time the American president expresses positive aspirations for the American people. Democrats have successfully cornered themselves into open opposition to their own country. Well done, lunatics.
But no matter how awkward its present position, the left knows its demographic seeds will eventually bloom. And at that point, the right can spectacularly speechify to absolutely no effect whatsoever. Diversity doesn’t vote republican.
I continue to hope Trump realizes this. As I’d prefer to keep my own destiny unshared with Luanda.