Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
“America will never be a socialist country,” President Trump boldly told a room of socialists dressed in their Klan whites.
The State of the Union began with a living history lesson. It ended with a call to greatness.
The American past, present and future appeared before a weary nation, from the soldiers who braved the beaches of Normandy, racing under the shadow of bullets and shells, to Buzz Aldrin, one of the first two men to walk on the moon, to the police officers and ICE agents fighting terrorism and illegal alien crime today, to the children defying disease and bullying who will define our tomorrows.
And President Trump asked the members of a Democrat House majority and a watching nation catching a glimpse of the truth past the blurry filters of the mainstream media, whether they wanted more.
Obama often told Americans who they were. Tonight, President Trump actually showed us.
The State of the Union was a celebration of ordinary heroism, from the police officer dashing under fire to stop a Neo-Nazi killer massacring Jews in a Pittsburgh house of worship to the Holocaust survivor helping the American G.I. who liberated his concentration camp back into his seat. It honored three generations, the daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter of a loving couple murdered by an illegal alien in Reno and an immigrant fighting sex trafficking with the ICE.
And it was also a call to champion the policies that honor their heroism, from resisting the modern Nazis of Iran, who like the Hitlerian hordes plot the mass murder of millions of Jews, to building a wall that ends the abuse of Americans through an endless traffic in illegal aliens, and in crime and violence.
And the Democrats met these calls to courage and decency with stone faces and folded hands.
There were smirks, boos and paper shuffling. Once again, new lows of unemployment for African-Americans, Latinos and Asian-Americans were met with sullen silence. The Democrats even boycotted the call to choose national greatness because they don’t believe that America is or should be great.
And yet the State of the Union was a celebration of the legacy of that greatness. And a call for more.
But it was also a warning not to take that greatness for granted.
“The Congress has 10 days left to pass a bill that will fund our Government, protect our homeland, and secure our southern border,” President Trump warned.
Everyone knows are that the odds are it won’t.
President Trump made an extensive and compelling case for immigration enforcement and the border wall. He used the First Step Act, a measure that helps criminals and is popular with Democrats, as a build up to a call to cooperate on immigration security. But there were no takers. Debra Bissell, and Heather and Madison, three generations of American women traumatized by a horrifying illegal alien crime had been invited as guests of the First Family only to be met with blank stares and cold denial.
The same Democrats who wore white to celebrate feminism remained silent in the face of these strong women who are still dealing with the aftermath of the horrifying murder of Gerald and Sharon David.
Trump showed the damage that illegal migration does to American families, to working class wages, to the Americans who become addicted and die of the illegal drugs being smuggled across the border, to the chronic crime wave caused by MS-13 and its ruthless members. But the Democrats still have no interest whatsoever in securing the border with a wall or doing anything to stop illegal migration.
When the Democrats booed loudly during President Trump’s mention of the illegal alien caravans headed our way, they weren’t jeering the caravans, they were jeering Trump for mentioning them. While fighting illegal migration has been a key priority for Trump, supporting it and resisting any mention of it has been an equally key priority for House Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats.
The State of the Union had already been cancelled once due to a government shutdown by Speaker Pelosi caused by her fear that President Trump would get up there and make the common sense case for border security. As she sat there loudly shuffling papers every time he launched into a subject that bothered her, withdrawing behind a paper wall of her own making to resist a physical wall, the same “resistance” that he had condemned was occupying a high place of honor during the State of Union.
“We must reject the politics of revenge, resistance, and retribution,” Trump had begun. “And embrace the boundless potential of cooperation, compromise, and the common good.”
But it was hard to see any rejection of revenge and resistance from the white caucus which wore its identity politics tokens, from its Klan blouses to its African scarves to its Indian blankets proudly. Even as President Trump urged unity, the Democrats stood by their divisiveness. It wasn’t unity or the welfare of the Union, whose economic health and power he touted, that they were after.
And that was the essential conflict at the heart of the State of the Union.
President Trump was using American history to make a case for American greatness. But the Democrats believe that American history is a record of American crimes. And that America, in the words of Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York, “was never that great”.
By the current patriotic standards of the Democrats, that’s practically a 4th of July fireworks display.
President Trump had lifted the shadow of Obama’s State of the Union addresses, which invoked American history as a prisoner of a dark past requiring reform and repentance, but the shadow of that hatred still lingered in the divisive identity politics of the Democrats which put particularism above the common good, and the resentments embodied by their identity politics ahead of the Union.
When the Democrats did applaud President Trump, it was usually in support of an individual accomplishment (by someone not named Trump) or a policy aspiration, not a call to national greatness. After Obama, the Democrats appear to have become incapable of applauding America and its greatness.
Or the future.
President Trump briefly touched on the scandal that has dominated the news cycle.
"Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother's womb moments before birth," he declared. "And then, we had the case of the Governor of Virginia where he basically stated he would execute a baby after birth."
It is no coincidence that the Governor of New York signed a bill legalizing infanticide even as he ridiculed the idea of American greatness. Or that the Governor of Virginia supported euthanizing babies after birth and has been allegedly caught dressing up like a Klansman. The lack of faith in America’s future is rooted in a contempt for her past. The murder of the children who are her future is the natural response by a radical political movement that does not believe that this country has anything to offer the world.
President Trump was offering a history lesson to a political movement that no longer believes in history. He was issuing a call to work toward a better future to Democrats who want to kill the American future. Not just metaphorically, but as literally as in the legislative infanticide efforts in Virginia and New York.
American history was born in these two states. Now the American future is being murdered there.
The State of the Union was a call to life, for the country and for the future of its economy, its children, its national security and its borders. But the Democrats have become a party of American death.
President Trump laid out how he had grown the economy, strengthened our military, taken on adversaries like Russia, China and ISIS, fulfilled the promise to move the embassy to Jerusalem, fought the exploitation of migrant women, planned the exploration of space, and they sat there resentfully.
"We must keep America first in our hearts. We must keep freedom alive in our souls. And we must always keep faith in America's destiny," President Trump urged.
The State of the Union was a triumph. Not because it convinced the Democrats to put America first, in either their mouths or their hearts. But because it revealed that the country is not polarized between Republicans and Democrats, but between those who believe in America and those socialists who do not.