President Donald J. Trump’s address to Congress left his critics sputtering. In beautifully written, sometimes soaring remarks, he repeatedly refuted charges that his detractors level against him.
The left’s chief anti-Trump accusation is — what else? — that he is racist.
But after greeting his audience, the very first sentence of Trump’s speech was, "Tonight, as we mark the conclusion of our celebration of Black History Month, we are reminded of our nation’s path towards civil rights and the work that still remains to be done."
Later, Trump introduced America to "a very good friend of mine" — a black man named Jamiel Shaw, who sat in the House gallery. As Trump explained, "Jamiel’s 17-year-old son was viciously murdered by an illegal immigrant gang member who had just been released from prison."
Trump also pointed to "a remarkable woman, Denisha Merriweather." Trump observed that this black woman "struggled in school and failed third grade twice." However, thanks to school choice, a tax credit, and a scholarship, she excelled on a private campus.
She became the first in her family to graduate high school and college. Trump said, "Later this year, she will get her master’s degree in social work. We want all children to be able to break the cycle of poverty just like Denisha."
Last week, Trump said, "The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful, and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil."
That was not good enough for Steven Goldstein of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect. He responded, "The anti-Semitism coming out of this administration is the worst we have ever seen from any administration."
On Tuesday, Trump’s Jewish daughter, son-in-law, Treasury secretary, and top aides listened to the second sentence of his speech, "Recent threats targeting Jewish community centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week’s shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all of its very ugly forms."
Trump haters call him "divisive" so often, it might as well be his middle name. And, yet, Trump repeatedly appealed for national unity and bipartisanship. "We are one people, with one destiny," Trump said. "We all bleed the same blood. We all salute the same great American flag. And we all are made by the same God."
Trump declared, "Democrats and Republicans should get together and unite for the good of our country and for the good of the American people," adding, "I am asking all members of Congress to join me in dreaming big, and bold, and daring things for our country."
Trump’s overtures to Democrats parallel his outreach in recent months to former vice president Albert Gore, Academy Award winner Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Luther King III, and — on Monday — some 40 or so leaders of historically black colleges and universities, whom Trump invited into the Oval Office. If — despite his open door — the left slaps away the hand that Trump extends in friendship, then they are the dividers.
Some moaned in January that Trump’s inaugural speech was dark and brooding.
But Tuesday’s speech was almost giddy in its Reaganesque optimism about America’s potential. "Everything that is broken in our country can be fixed," Trump said. "Every problem can be solved. And every hurting family can find healing and hope."
Some deeply troubled people, not least Bill Clinton, argue that "Make America Great Again" is a Caucasian dog-whistle to return this land to the pre-civil-rights era.
Rather than look five decades back, President Donald J. Trump on Tuesday peered nine years ahead to 2026, when America will turn 250.
He stirringly inspired his fellow Americans to make ourselves and our nation worthy of that milestone.
Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor with National Review Online. He is also a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University. Read more reports from Deroy Murdock — Click Here Now.
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