Thanks to Pelosi for a good State of the Union speech

The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) - - OPINION -

He’s been driv­ing in re­verse, never even glanc­ing at the rearview mir­ror. But Tues­day night, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump stopped and put the car in drive. He hit some big bumps, of course, but his State of the Union speech was more than pass­able. It was well-de­liv­ered, made splen­did points, af­forded mo­ments of heart-warm­ing drama in bal­cony vis­its and was in many re­spect nearly the op­po­site of his shut­down.

That ma­neu­ver ne­go­ti­at­ing by not ne­go­ti­at­ing but pun­ish­ing the in­no­cent — to no avail ex­cept to pun­ish him­self and diminish the repub­lic. In the speech, he re­minded us of the best he has done and it did not bother me that mod­esty was not his call­ing card. Go ahead and brag, for in­stance, about re­vers­ing Obama-style reg­u­la­tory mad­ness and banishing tax rates thwart­ing an econ­omy ea­ger to boom.

Trump spoke proudly of the con­se­quences, the jobs cre­ated, the ris­ing wages, the un­em­ploy­ment records that have es­pe­cially ben­e­fited the down-and­out. More and more what it used to be, this econ­omy of ours has been afire, No. 1, for in­stance, in oil and gas pro­duc­tion with man­u­fac­tur­ing tak­ing off again.

Of course, there are Democrats who fume at cap­i­tal­ist en­thu­si­asm, such as Sen. Bernie San­ders whose face, un­nerv­ingly view­able on TV, writhed as he slunk in his chair, ap­par­ently hat­ing it, too, when Venezuela came up.

Mil­lions are flee­ing that once wealthy coun­try and oth­ers are starv­ing as dic­ta­to­rial so­cial­ists get re­venge on the poor as well as the rich, on lib­erty and on toi­let pa­per no longer avail­able. So­cial­ism is in­creas­ingly praised as the so­lu­tion for what — Amer­ica’s cap­i­tal­ist pros­per­ity? — and Trump brought it up, say­ing we would never be a so­cial­ist coun­try.

Trump made ref­er­ence, too, to an un­ex­pected side of him, a side that worked with both Democrats and Repub­li­cans to take im­por­tant steps in re­form­ing our pris­ons. Here’s a way to lower crime through teach­ing peo­ple skills they can em­ploy in jobs when re­leased and a means of be­gin­ning to de­pop­u­late the most pop­u­lated pris­ons in the world.

The pres­i­dent also got cheers from Democrats as well as Repub­li­cans when he talked about the eco­nomic em­pow­er­ment of women, now at their high­est job rate ever. Rep. Alexan­dria Oca­sio-Cortez jumped to her feet when that was men­tioned, but seemed less cer­tain when Trump asked an ICE of­fi­cer to stand up in the bal­cony as he re­ported on hu­man traf­fick­ing.

Af­ter all, Cortez wants to abol­ish ICE, the law en­force­ment agency deal­ing with il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion and such mat­ters as sneak­ing girls and young women across the south­ern bor­der for en­slave­ment as pros­ti­tutes and the like. As Trump pointed out, the hero in the bal­cony and his col­leagues have res­cued 300 of th­ese fe­males. Tak­ing per­fectly rep­utable steps to deal fur­ther with such evils — a 240-mile bar­rier, tech­nol­ogy, le­gal re­forms, more se­cu­rity guards and new strate­gies — is it­self evil, at least the bar­rier, ac­cord­ing to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

For what ap­pear to be rea­sons as po­lit­i­cal as any Trump har­bors, she is a per­sis­tent ob­sta­cle to mov­ing for­ward. And let’s con­sider the evil, or at least the shab­bi­ness, of that. Es­pe­cially given the way the law works — step on our soil and you are usu­ally free to wan­der and dis­ap­pear — we now es­sen­tially have open borders fa­cil­i­tat­ing mis­ery and mul­ti­tudi­nous deaths even as there also hap­pen to be or­derly, safe ways of pro­vid­ing le­gal im­mi­gra­tion, in­clud­ing asy­lum.

Trump did not bring up global warm­ing, but there’s a hu­man fac­tor in Demo­cratic so­lu­tions of the mo­ment and they could be cat­a­strophic. Some of his trade poli­cies are bad mis­takes. Debt is our big­gest do­mes­tic is­sue and it es­caped his at­ten­tion. The call for po­lit­i­cal unity was needed, but not the hint of another shut­down. Get­ting troops out of the Mid­dle East? Maybe, if there is a rea­son­able fall­back. I think Trump is right in want­ing to re­build the mil­i­tary and I loved his honor­ing old sol­diers.

It was over­all a de­cent speech and we should thank Pelosi for al­low­ing it.

Trump spoke proudly of the con­se­quences, the jobs cre­ated, the ris­ing wages, the un­em­ploy­ment records that have es­pe­cially ben­e­fited the down-and-out.

Jay Am­brose, the for­mer ed­i­tor of the Rocky Mountain News and the El Paso-Her­ald Post, is an op-ed colum­nist for Tri­bune News Ser­vice. Read­ers may email him at speak­to­[email protected]

An­drew Harnik / As­so­ci­ated Press

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump de­liv­ers his State of the Union ad­dress to a joint ses­sion of Congress on Capi­tol Hill in Washington Feb. 5, as Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., watch.

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