On February 4, 2020, I listened to the best State of the Union address ever given by a President of the United States of America. It was so exceptional that I did something I never do; I listened to the speech again.
The speech itself began with a notable moment of enthusiasm from the Republican contingent in the House chamber who chanted “Four more years,” for about 30 seconds before the President even began speaking. One might have thought this would be a rare highlight during a speech that is traditionally lengthy and boring.
However, as President Trump began speaking it soon became clear that there were many more significant highlights to follow. The theme of his speech was “the great American comeback,” and he provided more than enough substance to justify adopting this theme.
America’s Comeback to Greatness and More
President Trump’s introduction was a sweeping view of all that has been accomplished for the betterment of America under his leadership, beginning with the economic boom resulting from his policies, the rebuilding of America’s military, and the successful efforts to secure our borders. He then pronounced that the “State of our union is stronger than ever before.”
There are those among Americans who may have assumed that the President was engaging in hyperbole with that statement. However, any fair-minded individual, friend or foe of the President, was going to be treated to a solid and enthusiastic defense of his characterization of the state of America’s union.
President Trump moved seamlessly from one topic to another in a tour-de-force of American optimism backed by actual results in measurable terms that came because of specific policies he enacted as the Chief Executive. In terms of economics, he cited the results of job growth that hasn’t been seen in over 50 years, as well as historic lows in the unemployment rate in every category!
He tied those gains directly to the massive tax-cuts and the unprecedented de-regulation of his administration with surgical precision and pride in American accomplishment. The pattern was repeated with every subject from the rebuilding of the military through a historic investment, which enabled the destruction of ISIS and removal from the earth the two terrorists Al Baghdadi and Soleimani, to the measurable improvements in health care and the new price transparency laws for the medical industry.
There wasn’t a single arena of important public policy that the President didn’t address in the speech. Immigration, education, religious freedom, foreign policy, trade, the 2nd Amendment, and more were all addressed from a common-sense, results-based Conservative philosophy.
Moreover, the President showed that by fulfilling the promises he made in the campaign on these kinds of issues, there has been a large measurable improvement in every area. His resume is impeccable, and he made a dynamic case for re-election in November.
However, that wasn’t what vaulted this speech to the best SOTU I’ve ever heard. It was rather the extraordinary personal stories attached to the achievements so effectively throughout Trump’s address that convinced me in the end.
The Personal, Life-Changing Stories Moved the Heart
Throughout the speech, the President presented special guests whose personal stories reflected the success of his vision for making and keeping America a great, no, the greatest of nations. For instance, President Trump honored exceptional service and patriotism with two military and one civilian who were his guests.
The youngest of this trio was Army veteran Tony Rankins, who was the beneficiary of economic “opportunity zones” provided by Trump’s policies in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was formerly living a life of drug addiction, losing his family and homelessness, but through found a construction company investing in “opportunity zones,” and is now a tradesman with that firm, drug-free and reunited with his family.
Later the President introduced Iain Lamphier, a young man who is the top graduate of the Aerospace Career Education Program and desires to one-day attend the U.S. Air Force Academy and become of member of the newest outgrowth of the Air Force, the “Space Force,” created by Trump.
Then he introduced the lad’s great grandfather who is 100 years old, a World War II veteran, and former member of the famed Tuskegee Airman, a historic all-black squadron of pilots during the war. To further honor Charles McGee, already the recipient of multiple military honors, the President announced that he had earlier promoted McGee to Brigadier General and he has now retired as General McGee.
The third special honoree of President Trump was a civilian who was completely surprised by being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom during the speech. It is the highest civilian award given in America and the man who received it has been most responsible for the entire resurrection of the conservative movement in our time, beginning as a lone voice 32 years ago.
Rush Limbaugh is the greatest pioneer in modern radio broadcasting and has been the most influential spokesman for liberty and conservative thought for more than three decades. In this brief video clip, the President makes the announcement of this award, and why he is doing the presentation at that time.
While watching this presentation, I was genuinely touched because of the influence of Rush upon me since I first heard him. I began listening to this man shortly after he was syndicated on national radio and I was instantly hooked by his wisdom and humor, as were millions of others, and conservative talk radio was reborn.
Rush’s reaction was one of genuine shock melting into humble gratitude and joy for being so honored. He had announced being diagnosed with advanced lung cancer the day before on his program and now received both an honor and a great encouragement from the President. It was one of a series of wonderful moments featured in Trump’s address.
In addition, the President showed support for the struggle against tyranny in Venezuela by featuring the newly-elected President in exile, Juan Guaido, the leader of the opposition to Socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro. He touted his pro-life stance by introducing a woman and her daughter who was born pre-mature at an almost unheard of 21 weeks and is now a healthy two-year-old child and announcing a grant of 50 million dollars for advanced neo-natal research on her behalf.
President Trump highlighted his policy of expanded school choice in education with the story of a young woman who would now be allowed to attend the school of her choice due to an “opportunity scholarship,” provided by his program. And in another especially touching moment, he reunited a soldier who had been deployed to Afghanistan four times with his wife and children who were special guests of the President.
The Speech Effectively Showed Failures of the Political Left and Highlighted the Solutions
The President effectively showed the policy failures of the Democrats and contrasted them with his successful solutions throughout the speech. One of the most effective demonstrations pointed out that the drop of over 75% in illegal border crossings since May of 2019 was partly due to the bravery and service of the Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE officers.
He went on to show that with the old “catch and release” policies of the Obama administration, which he ended, and the current policies of “sanctuary cities” and even “sanctuary states,” criminals pose real threats and cause real harm to American citizens. The President told the story of one criminal illegal alien who was detained by California sheriffs and then released per the state’s sanctuary laws in December of 2018.
This criminal went on a crime spree a couple of days later in which three people were shot, and one died as a result with the criminal firing eight bullets into his body. President Trump featured one of the grieving brothers, Jody Jones, as his guest and had him stand to lengthy applause.
President Trump then mentioned that Senator Thom Tillis [R-NC] who had just introduced legislation that would allow individuals and families such as the Jones family to sue sanctuary cities and states for losses if family members are hurt or killed as a result of those policies.
In much the same manner, when introducing the mother whose child had survived premature birth at 21 weeks, the President took the Democrats to task for their support of abortion until the point of birth, and in some cases beyond the time of birth.
On issue after issue, it became clear throughout the SOTU presentation that the Trump presidency was delivering sensational results, and that the policies advocated by the Left had failed before and promised only failure in the future.
President Trump Cast a Strong Vision for a Stronger America Going Forward
President Trump isn’t one to rest in his past accomplishments, and in this speech laid out concrete actions that are already ongoing or proposed to make an even stronger America possible in the future. For example, he is laboring to put into place a revamped system of immigration based on merit so that America will be attracting those persons who can contribute to the benefit of the nation and not become a perpetual burden on the taxpayer.
On the front of judicial court appointments, the President highlighted the incredible success already achieved by confirming almost 200 judges to the federal bench, including two Supreme Court Justices that are constitutionalists. His goal is to continue that trend and return the courts to their Constitutional roots insuring a stronger republic in the future.
At another point in the address, President Trump asked Congress to support a new program called “Artemis” and put America at the forefront of new space exploration. He called it “America’s manifest destiny in the stars,” and plans are to put the first woman on the moon and become the first nation to plant our flag on Mars!
Moreover, the President did not mention something almost everyone thought he would mention, the sham impeachment process. On the eve of a vote in the Senate to possibly remove him from office, President Trump ignored the failed sham and exuded stern confidence that was its own rebuke of the phony process born of the Left’s vindictive heart.
Finally, I must mention that the President touted new efforts in his administration to protect religious liberty in public education. Trump announced the plan in January of this year.
The White House said the plan is to “help safeguard students’ rights by giving education providers and students the most current information concerning prayer in public schools.” …The Education Department also will update 2003 guidance regarding prayer in public schools and streamline a federal complaint process for students alleging discrimination by authorities. …Kelly Shackelford, chief counsel for First Liberty, was at the White House for the announcement along with clients Hannah Allen and former football coach Joe Kennedy. “We commend President Trump for his strong efforts to protect America’s first freedom – religious freedom,” he said. “These revisions to the Guidelines on Prayer and Religious Expression ensure that the religious liberty of students in public schools is protected.”
This effort has the potential to shape a new generation in faith and morality and produce results that tend toward a more civil and righteous society in America. That is a future that can only enhance America’s greatness as a people by elevating our goodness as a people.
Much more was packed into this ‘triumph deluxe’ than I can relate in this writing. However, the future under a renewed President Trump and a second term promise to unleash the almost unlimited potential for an even greater and stronger America going forward.
Any American with a heart to see the nation stronger and more prosperous could not help but be encouraged by the speech. The President’s address was a spectacular reminder of what our nation has already accomplished under his leadership, with God’s help, how the future is bright and beckoning us to new heights of greatness as the world’s firebrand of freedom.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 [ESV]
Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001
Featured and Top Image courtesy of Brian Copeland’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Gilbert Mercier’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of sea turtle’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Steve Rhodes‘ Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 4 courtesy of Mike Lawrence’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
All other sources linked or cited in the text
Originally published in TIL Journal