President Trump’s first State of the Union address was by all accounts a smashing success.
Instant polls of Americans who watched the speech found that at least 70 percent of Americans — including a large majority of independents — agreed with what Trump was saying. (RELATED: CNN Poll: Majority Had Positive Opinion Of Trump SOTU)
The president also broke applause records during his State of the Union, with a speech mostly centered around calling for bipartisanship and highlighting the successes of the American economy. (RELATED: Trump Breaks Nearly All Applause Records On State of the Union Addresses)
But Democrats and liberal pundits were quick to imagine that there was some dark force hidden in Trump’s remarks, and they were compelled to call it out.
MSNBC host Joy Ann Reid found Trump’s appeals to patriotism quite terrifying. “Church … family … police … military … the national anthem … Trump trying to call on all the tropes of 1950s-era nationalism. The goal of this speech appears to be to force the normalization of Trump on the terms of the bygone era his supporters are nostalgic for,” Reid tweeted during the speech.
The American Civil Liberties Union bemoaned Trump said “America” too many times and that it was done in an “exclusionary” way.
Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez, Congress’ number one immigration booster, walked out of the speech after Republicans began chanting “U.S.A.” Gutierrez later issued a statement claiming the president’s speech was translated from Russian and that his remarks were “explicitly racist.”
Smart move for the guy triggered by U.S.A. chants to claim his enemies are the real anti-Americans.
As he was drooling during his car crash of a State of the Union rebuttal, Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy told illegal immigrants, in Spanish, that they are part of the country. Even a few liberals thought the language choice totally undermined Kennedy’s message that the “Dreamers” are real Americans.
Several commentators were also troubled by Trump’s embrace of the national anthem and the flag, feeling that it was “divisive” and “racist” to do such a thing.
Trump has always been blessed with the best enemies, and these kinds of responses to his acclaimed speech are a gift to him. Rather than challenging the president’s form of patriotism, many Democrats and liberals appear to be implying patriotism is veiled racism and they want no part in it.
This leaves patriotism solely to Trump and Republicans.
The vast majority of Americans aren’t offended by saying the word “America,” U.S.A. chants or celebrations of the military. That’s just showing love for your country, and it doesn’t matter if Trump is the one engaging in it.
Democrats were further hampered in their response to patriotism by bringing illegal immigrants to the address and loudly groaning when Trump brought up the victims of these so-called Dreamers. Democrats also remained sitting while Trump highlighted the heroic first responders and soldiers he invited to the State of the Union, a bad look for a party trying to present itself as the real America. (RELATED: LIST: Things Democrats Refused To Applaud During SOTU)
It was less than two weeks ago when Republicans were able to effectively portray Democrats as caring more about non-citizens than first responders and the troops during the government shutdown fight. Now Republicans have visual proof of this preference on their part of their adversaries thanks to last night’s address.
One of the more important political fights of our time is how we define America. Is it a nation of immigrants with no inherent culture, or is it a nation defined by its citizens? Is the best of America represented by the illegal immigrant Dreamer, or is it embodied by the police officer who adopted the daughter of a heroin addict? Do we embrace all languages, or do we insist that English is our national language? Are our symbols and anthem problematic and needing a change, or do we continue to revere them?
These are conflicts that dominated the responses to Trump’s State of the Union. With the Democrats’ help, the president is declaring himself on the side of those who honor the flag and the anthem.
As the NFL can attest, it’s never a good thing in America to be seen as against the flag, but it appears Democrats haven’t learned that yet.