Donald Trump was in full presidential form last evening. While early in his presidency he seemed stiff and uncomfortable delivering a scripted speech, on Tuesday he was comfortable and in command.
Ronald Reagan was the one who began honoring people who typify American values at the State of the Union, but Trump perfected the practice last evening. He’s at his best when he’s interacting with people, giving them their due and telling their stories. His guests represented some amazing, heartbreaking tales. Their presence gave his speech both a heart and sense of theatre from the start. Who will forget the moment when the audience broke into a spontaneous rendition of “Happy Birthday” to Judah Samet, a Holocaust survivor who also survived the mass shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh last year?
Yes, there was theater and emotion and drama. But there were also serious moments. The most impactful moment came when the president waded into the abortion debate. The president went boldly, much further than any president before him. He specifically asked Congress to pursue legislation prohibiting late term abortions. He called out Democrats who have been in the news for passing laws and celebrating late term abortion. He described New York lawmakers as having “cheered with delight” after passing legislation to “allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth.”
Then, he specifically raised the issue of Gov. Northam of Virginia, who “basically” said “he would execute a baby after birth.”
The most impactful lines of the night were these: “There could be no greater contrast to the beautiful image of a mother holding her infant child than the chilling displays our nation saw in recent days,” he said. “Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life. And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: all children — born and unborn — are made in the holy image of God.”
The night seemed orchestrated to demolish the tired old mantra about how Republicans care about humans only up until the point of birth, but Democrats care about the “whole life” of a person. In addition to the veterans and Holocaust survivors, he invited former prisoners as his guests who are only free because of his pen. Matthew Charles was the very first released from prison under the First Step Act, which Trump signed in December. Alice Marie Johnson is a great grandmother to whom he granted clemency, even though former President Obama denied her clemency three times. It was gratifying to see both Democrats and Republicans standing to their feet in genuine agreement.
In fact, the president’s speech repeatedly forced his opponents to “take a stand” one way or the other on the big issues of the day. Most impressive were images of dancing, celebrating Democratic women (all dressed in white), responding to the president’s accolades for the accomplishments of women in America, specifically related to job creation. Also notable was the president’s statement that “America will never be a socialist nation” which received applause from Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, while Alexandria Ocasio Cortez sat on her hands.
But the most enduring visual of the night related to abortion. Seeing a president who is actually, completely committed to standing up for the most vulnerable among us was powerful. Equally powerful was seeing the Democrats sitting uniformly still, looks of disapproval on their scowling faces. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had even invited the president of Planned Parenthood to hear the State of the Union as her honored guest. How interesting that the Democratic Party is so far left that not one indicated opposition to this barbaric practice. It’s like all Democrats have bought their leaders’ talking points: humans crossing the border into America should receive all the protection we can offer; humans crossing the border into the world can be dismembered.
While State of the Union addresses are usually boring, staid affairs, Trump allowed the ideological difference of both parties to be fully displayed. The Democratic Party is one that sat on their hands when the most basic American values were articulated. The Republican Party is the one that protects the unborn and those languishing in prison. It reminded me of Deuteronomy 30:15. “See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil.”
By bringing up these stark issues in the State of the Union, President Trump allowed the nation to see the difference between life and good, death and evil. May America respond accordingly by choosing life.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.