President Trump’s 28 Feb., 2017 speech to a joint session of Congress is widely regarded as not only his best but quite possibly one of the best presidential speeches in recent history. But while a number of Trump’s key points arguably should have garnered bipartisan support, most congressional Democrats and Hollywood liberals were unmoved.
The main theme of Trump’s speech to Congress was that Americans will remain the priority of his administration, and he underscored that point with numerous items on his agenda, many of which had to do with illegal immigration. He continued to reiterate his goals of enforcing immigration laws, protecting the borders and building the wall, noting that a failure to protect citizens by remaining lax on illegal immigration does a disservice to the American people.
“What would you say to the American family that loses their jobs, their income or their loved one because America refused to uphold its laws and defend its borders?” Trump asked Congress.
As such, President Trump vowed to create a new office under the Department of Homeland Security called VOICE (Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement).
“We are providing a voice to those who have been ignored by our media, and silenced by special interests,” he told members of Congress.
But this announcement provoked an audible groan from the Democrats in the audience, as well as backlash on social media from celebrities who are mostly shielded from the type of crimes that the new office will handle.
Comedian Billy Eichner, for example, tweeted, “I cannot even tell you how much more scared I am of Trump, Bannon and Miller than I am of the average illegal immigrant.”
Trump’s focus has not been on the so-called “average illegal immigrant,” however, but on the criminal element amongst the illegal immigrants (though to be fair, all illegal immigration is a crime). Still, much of Hollywood has made up its mind about Trump and refuses to be swayed.
Likewise, the Democratic response to Trump’s speech revealed a hardened stance against the president. Chief content officer for IJR, Benny Johnson, noted that the Democrats had rejected shaking hands with President Trump, something that Republicans did not do when President Obama held the office.
“I covered 5 Obama State of the Union speeches. Always, there was GOP members there to shake his hand. Dems shunning Trump is NOT normal,” he tweeted.
Johnson also wrote that some refused to give the president a standing ovation or even applaud when Trump was introduced. Throughout the speech, Trump’s continued call to put Americans first failed to provoke an ovation and in some cases applause from the Dems. Even during the most extraordinary moment of the evening, when the president led a round of applause for the widow of Navy SEAL Ryan Owens that last two minutes, the Democrats participated for just a portion of it.
The Democratic reaction may have won favor with those already in the Democrats’ camp, but how will it fare with Americans who feel that they have been abandoned the last eight years? A recent Rasmussen Report poll, just 29% of likely U.S. voters believe it’s better for the country if Democrats oppose Trump at every juncture. A CNN poll of Americans who watched the speech reveals that four out of five Americans had a positive reaction to the speech, and 69 percent believe it will move the country in the right direction. And as of March 1, President Trump’s approval rating, according to Rasmussen’s daily presidential tracking poll, is 50 percent, but the 2 March, 2017, numbers will be the first to reflect reactions to Trump’s speech. They may be even more telling.
Even many mainstream media outlets that have been largely critical of this administration conceded that Trump’s speech was a success, though some remained true to their anti-Trump positions.
Other notable assertions made in the president’s speech included vows to repeal Obamacare, deregulate the economy, support the military and law enforcement, rein in government agencies like the Food and Drug Administration, and represent America’s best interests in the global community.
“My job is not to represent the world,” Trump said. “My job is to represent the United States of America.”
For Americans, this is a welcomed sentiment. Will Democratic leaders and Hollywood’s left get behind it?