President Trump’s first State of the Union speech was introduced as an effort to unite Republicans and Democrats encouraging them to work together for the best interests of the American people. The president’s tone was polite and calm and his resolve, firm. His words were carefully chosen to avoid controversy. His overtures for cooperation were rejected however, by Congressional Democrats who chose to betray the people and their own honor while embracing bitter partisan rancor.
In his speech to Congress and the American people, the president addressed a dozen or more topics of national concern. Some of these were actions that he has taken unilaterally that are reaping rewards now, while others are issues that he seeks to resolve in the coming year. From national security and immigration to rebuilding roads, bridges and broken trade agreements, President Trump presented ideas to make improvements rather than merely to make a difference. He did not, as previous presidents have done, use the assembly as an opportunity to humiliate his political opponents or to score points for himself or his team.
Previous State of the Union speeches presented by presidents of both political parties, have been vastly different from the one that the American people observed last evening. In prior years, members of one party or the other would respond with cheers or outbursts of approval for recognition of a president’s agenda item, even if they reacted with groans of disapproval over a specific plan for its implementation. Support for crime victims and members of the military services once received unanimous vocal support. Breaking from long-standing traditions of personal maturity and professional decorum, Democrats made it clear that they will have none of it.
The United States of America is a uniquely marvelous land. But our success and even our very survival, depend upon taming the profane and carnal desires of each individual and group. They require that political advocacy not be polluted with contemptible slander and that vulgar activism give way to selfless action and healing words of life. Many of our people have fashioned a political ideology into a pagan god that they then worship.
In the early days of his administration, former president, Barack Obama stated that his goal was to “fundamentally transform America.” Tragically, he succeeded to a large degree in doing so, leaving the nation economically depressed, militarily weak and bitterly divided. President Trump can help to revive the economy, and he has done so. He can rebuilt our armed services, and he has articulated his plans to do so. But he cannot unite a people that chooses division and malice over unity and cooperation.
Political passions run hot and cold in Washington and in our state capitals. With few exceptions, fundamental flaws and national priorities have become excuses for contention and strife. But ultimately, America’s future belongs to the people. It cannot be entrusted to feeble and capricious partisans. We must choose what kind of communities we have and how much of our freedom and wealth we are willing to forfeit to governments operated by broken men and women.
Scripture rhetorically asks, “What fellowship has light with darkness?” The answer is obvious–none. Light must dispel darkness and defeat it. Americans in every state will have to reclaim their lives, their nation and their culture from domestic enemies of lawlessness and sin. Only then, will we be able to embrace one another in fellowship and redeem the promise of freedom that America’s founders intended for us to enjoy.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.