If you missed Trump’s Congressional Speech last night I can’t say I blame you. Overall, I thought it was rather boring. For the first twenty-five minutes, Trump reiterated all that he has done since his inauguration. After almost every sentence there was applause, many times even standing ovations. It was the political theater’s version of the Oscars. The best part is when he decides to jump off script, which is extremely noticeable and hilarious. Most of his speech he elaborated on some of the policies his wishes to make happen, I will highlight some of these below.
He wants higher tariffs, but lower taxes for everyone. A lot of libertarians don’t know what to think about this, as we understand that higher tariffs will eventually fall on consumers, however Thomas Jefferson did favor tariffs instead of internal taxation, as a “necessary” evil. Trump made a strong case for this by mentioning that it is much harder to move American goods to other countries than vice versa. His policies might raise prices in real terms, but he also wishes to return more taxpayer’s money to their rightful owner, which will increase their real wages.
He wants to increase the military’s budget, and is working to rid of the sequester which limits the spending abilities of the military. I think this is completely misguided and not the policies I would like to see in what some dub the “Second American Revolution”. However, he seemed to be in favor of peace overall, and mentioned that the money we wasted in the Middle East should have gone to infrastructure. I think all that money should have been returned to the rightful owner, but given they will take (read: steal) it, I would much rather see them wasting money on infrastructure instead of mass murder.
He made an emotional case for school choice which really hit home. His anecdotal story was about a young girl, Denisha Merriweather, who failed 3rd grade twice before getting a state funded scholarship to go to a charter school. The story ends with her being the first one in her family to graduate college, with a Masters degree in social work. Again, libertarians aren’t convinced on school choice perpetuated by the state, rather than the free market, but being able to relate to emotions is a fantastic lesson for anyone wishing to run for office – it works.
Sticking with the same effective emotional anecdotes, he declared it was “rare disease day” and Megan Crowley, in the audience, has a “rare disease”. Her story is about a disease that should have killed her fifteen years ago, but her dad fought hard to find the cure. He did, and she is currently a sophomore in college, despite her disease. Trump said miracles like this would happen every day if we eliminated many of the restrictions imposed on us by the FDA. It was hard for even the Democrats not to applaud, which for most of the speech, they remained seated.
His most powerful anecdote was when he invited the widow of Ryan Owens and told how he sacrificed his life, for the lives of all of us. It received over a two minute standing ovation. Unfortunately, Trump thinks that we should be intervening in Yemen, which led to his death. This is why war is so tragic.
What is potentially even more dangerous, is it made progressive pundits like Van Jones admit that Trump’s speech was finally presidential. Jones stated that if Trump can keep up what he did last night, he will be the president for the next eight years. Finally, the media seems to be telling the truth, but the idea that Republicans and Democrats coming together on war, and war alone, is a scary situation.
He ended his speech by exclaiming that he is not interested in keeping the world safe, only America safe. This is a good idea in theory, but I hope he hastily realizes that the best way to keep America safe is to bring home all of our American troops and back to their families where they belong. If he is able to do that, as well as shrink regulations and taxation, he might just be the best president we’ve had in a while, which admittedly, isn’t saying much.