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Crosstalk: Did State of Union hit the mark?

In a recent Crosstalk I used the term “tribal” to describe our current political climate. I could just have as easily used the terms “pack,” “gang” or “family;” my point being that the value of a proposed action or policy has become of less importance than whose policy it is, and whether or not supporting that policy is best for the “party, gang, pack or family.”

There are Trump supporters who are willing to shrug off some pretty rough statements by the president simply because “he's our man,” just as there are those who do the same regarding former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton or former president Barack Obama.

When it comes to “our guy,” we are like the three monkeys who “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil” as a matter of choice, regardless of reality or whether justice will be well served by our willful ignorance.

I did not not listen to the State of the Union speech: To be perfectly honest, I knew that listening to the president in real time would simply fire up my disgust of him as a man and as a political leader.

But, before you throw me out with the congressional Democrats who Trump has suggested were “treasonous” for their lack of positive response and “certainly didn't seem to love our country very much,” let me point out that after his first term I was unable to listen to former-president Bill Clinton's State of the Union speeches for the very same reasons.

I would much rather read a transcript, words stripped of voice and gesture, because that is the only way I can separate, at least to some degree, the message from the man.

There are certainly things he said I can agree with. “Over the last year, we have made incredible progress and achieved extraordinary success.” Trump said.

“We have faced challenges we expected, and others we could never have imagined. We have shared in the heights of victory and the pains of hardship. We endured floods and fires and storms. But through it all, we have seen the beauty of America’s soul, and the steel in America’s spine.”

Trump went on to recognize a number of Americans, ending with Congressman Steve Scalise, “a guy who took a bullet, almost died, and was back to work three and a half months later.”

“In the aftermath of that terrible shooting, we came together, not as Republicans or Democrats, but as representatives of the people. But it is not enough to come together only in times of tragedy. Tonight, I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people we were elected to serve,” Trump said.

Those are words that I could certainly cheer for, and are well expressed. When push comes to shove, we pull together regardless of creed or race or political agenda.

“In America, we know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the center of the American life. Our motto is 'in God we trust.' And we celebrate our police, our military, and our amazing veterans as heroes who deserve our total and unwavering support,” Trump said.

Again, sentiments worth cheering for. I have, however, skipped over quite a long section of the speech detailing the “benefits” of the recent tax cut legislation: I'll believe that one when I see it... and see the deficit figures when its been implemented more fully.

The same is true for his immigration proposals: I don't like the way he paints our Hispanic people as criminals, which is statistical hogwash, but our policies need reform.

If this can be done in the spirit of “setting aside our differences, seeking out common ground, and summoning the unity we need,” as Trump suggested earlier in his speech, perhaps there is a way forward on this issue that will serve all Americans.

I for one will not be holding my breath, we are missing the most important requirement of a working government: Good faith and trust.

It has been eroding since the “winner take all” mentality took over in Washington, D.C., and has snowballed under both Republican and Democratic leadership.

Our “stop-gap” funding of the government is the most obvious symptom of the problem, and although bipartisan rhetoric can be heard from both sides —Trump’s speech is a case in point — steps to real change are not being taken.

— Mark Gibson

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and her cadre of Democrats looked like spoiled brats in a full pout during President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address last week.

Seriously? You can’t applaud that bad employees at the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs have been let go so that better services are provided to men and women who have served their country? Or that the black unemployment rates is now the lowest ever recorded, as is the Hispanic-American rate? Or even that 2.4 million new jobs have been created since the election, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing?

Democrats even scowled when Trump asked Congress to pass legislation to help ensure that American foreign-assistance dollars always serve American interests and only go to American friends.

They also glowered when Trump urged Congress to pass legislation already embraced by almost 40 states to allow terminally ill patients to take experimental drugs, referred to as “right to try” laws.

Why in the world would you not applaud any of those good things?

Hate to tell you this Dems, but Americans are growing weary of your childish obstruction.

So, you didn’t get your way and put Hillary Clinton in the White House. Grow up and get over it. Respect the will of the people and acknowledge that some of Trump’s ideas, despite your overwhelming opposition, are benefitting the nation’s working class.

Americans for Tax Reform reported after the Jan. 30 speech that Trump was correct in his claim that roughly three million workers have gotten tax-cut bonuses — many of them thousands of dollars per worker — since Republicans lowered the corporate rate from 35 percent – one of the highest in the world – to 21 percent. The U.S. is now much more globally competitive.

Trump also referenced a Pentagon report that the Islamic State was on the verge of being defeated. According to defense officials, the terror group has been cleared from 98 percent of the territory it held in Iraq and Syria at its high point in 2014 and 2015.

“There is much more work to be done. We will continue our fight until the Islamic State is defeated,” said Trump.

Despite the Trump Derangement Syndrome that has so infected Democrats, and the best efforts of the liberal media to downplay the strength of his speech, it was well received by the American public. A CBS News poll showed an approval rating of 75 percent among viewers and other polls were equally high.

Americans reacted well to the speech because it was full of patriotism, optimism and a call to Congress to unite and work for policies that make America safer and more prosperous.

“We all share the same home, the same heart, the same destiny and the same great American flag,” said Trump. “Together we are rediscovering the American way.

“In America, we know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are at the center of the American life. Our motto is ‘In God we trust’… Americans love their country and they deserve a government that shows them the same love and loyalty in return.”

Love it.

Trump proposed amnesty for 1.8 million of those illegal immigrants brought to the country as minors. That is more than twice the almost 800,0000 shielded from deportation under the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which Trump rightfully ended because only Congress is authorized to set policy.

Democrats don’t even want to quit sulking long enough to play ball on this issue that they claim is near and dear to their hearts.

Trump’s speech was just another example of why so many Americans voted for him. His love of this country and all that it stands for rings true with anyone who supports the principles of free enterprise and individual liberty. And those who support freedom of religion, the right of gun ownership and sanctity of life.

Our president has eliminated more regulations during his first year in office than any prior administration in American history. That bodes well for economic growth, especially in rural areas.

It is deeply troubling that Democrats appear to hate Trump more than they love America.

— RaeLynn Ricarte


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