Well, to start with, President Donald Trump’s first speech to a joint Congress session was, for a change, different, in that, he was not his usual boastful self (well, just a little) in so far as his achievements were considered; he refrained from berating former president Barrack Obama which had become a norm in his earlier speeches nor, for a wonder, did he rain verbal blows on the press.
In his address to a gathering of congressmen and congresswomen, senators, generals, and Supreme Court justices there was no reference to the apocalyptic state that the nation had been left in by previous governments nor was there any mention of carnage and illegal drugs on American streets. He was as close to the script as a man like Trump could possibly be.
While his speech may have been hailed by many as disciplined and with a lot of promises such as improved American schools, highly protected borders, and jobs coming back to the US, many are still skeptical as, to them, it was more like a campaign speech with promises and more promises. And yes, he did briefly talk about his administration’s achievements since his inauguration – how could he have avoided that for too long.
Prior to Trump’s speech, the White House had issued notes outlining that the president’s aim was to bring together a politically divided country but it seems the attempt did not make much ground with many. Although he did start his address with reference to the just concluded Black History month in the US and the violent anti-Semitic wave being experienced in the country many would doubt his sincerity on the subject.
The American people and, in fact, the world are aware that the attacks have been going on for some time now and Trump, who takes to Twitter at the drop of a hat, had not mentioned anything about these issues earlier especially the attacks and cases of vandalism against the Jewish community.
While he merrily tweeted about Obama and the White House leaks, he had abstained from comments on these attacks against minorities in the US until Tuesday’s joint Congress session speech. As a matter of fact, he was visibly hostile towards a Jewish reporter at a White House news conference who had questioned him about anti-Semitism.
While for the most part, he stuck to the script, he did digress from it when he spoke about Senior Chief Ryan Owens, the Navy Seal killed recently in Yemen during a raid, visibly gloating in the applause that it fetched him.
“Ryan’s legacy is etched into eternity. For as the Bible teaches us, there is no greater act of love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. Ryan laid down his life for his friends, for his country, and for our freedom — we will never forget him.”
Another remarkable difference was the absence of booing and taunting, like “lock her up” or “build that wall,” that he has been subjected to in his other addresses. Reportedly, Democrats had cautioned members against such heckling of the president.
However, there was audible sniggering when he talked about “draining the swamp” and groans were heard from some members of the audience when he spoke of the recently created federal office that supports the victims of crimes committed by illegal immigrants.
The speech did not witness any hecklers and disrupters being shown the door by security personnel, but there were instances where he was given the thumbs down by a couple of Democrats when he spoke about repealing Obama Care.
All through the speech, the Democrats were rarely seen applauding the president even when he deserved it. Not even when he said:
“I am asking all citizens to embrace this Renewal of the American Spirit. I am asking all members of Congress to join me in dreaming big, and bold and daring things for our country. And I am asking everyone watching tonight to seize this moment and —
Believe in yourselves.
Believe in your future.
And believe, once more, in America.”
Well, with Donald Trump at the helm one can only say God bless America and the world.