By L Whitener
Donald Trump’s opportunity to attract the grassroots conservative base, escaped him last night. The issues that conservatives are most compassionate about, by and large, weren’t even mentioned in his address. The tough rhetoric of his campaign turned into surrender to the progressives from both parties of Congress.
Conservatives have yearned to hear a more Presidential, unifying tone from Donald Trump. And, I believe he delivered that tone. However, he struck the tone with full submission to a progressive agenda. Reading the message politely from a teleprompter does not, will not, nor should not compel a principled conservative to embrace the big government, big spending, progressive content of his message.
So, let my begin by outlining what wasn’t said. He didn’t mention the constitution or state rights at all. He didn’t firmly demand action from a Congress that hasn’t produced a single bill in 40 days. In the first 40 days of Obama’s first term in office, Congress had delivered 3 major bills to his desk. Republicans needed to be scolded for failing to act, that didn’t happen. Isn’t he the same man who claimed that he was the “only one” who could get the job done?
On the campaign trail, Trump talked tough on Common Core, last night he didn’t utter a word about it. If he had been serious about his campaign rhetoric, he would’ve demanded a repeal of the ESSA. But, he didn’t. He did mention school choice. Only, most people fail to understand that you can’t receive a ‘choice’ option without complying with federal standards, which are Common Core standards. So, to summarize Trump’s school choice policy, you are subject to the same standards as you were under the previous administration. Nothing changes.
Trump didn’t talk about defunding Planned Parenthood. In fact, he made a very profound statement using terminology from the left that raised eyebrows throughout the pro-life community. We are going to “invest in women’s health,” he said. Does that mean we will continue to fund Planned Parenthood? Because I’m certain that the Evangelical voters who elected him didn’t sign up for that.
Trump addressed Obamacare, not by calling for a full repeal, but rather a “repeal and replace.” He said we need to “create a better healthcare system.” No, no, Mr. President. It is not the federal government’s job to create healthcare systems. Healthcare should be managed at the state and local level and subject to free market and individual liberty. He continued by saying that states and governors will “cover everyone.” In case you missed Socialism 101, that is better known as, universal healthcare.
When he arrived at the immigration portion of his speech, many conservative voters were undoubtedly left feeling underwhelmed. He shafted them, bigly. Removing the criminal element of the illegal immigrant population and expanding DACA, amounts to Gang of 8 amnesties for millions of them. As everyone knows, this is utterly contradictory to his campaign promises.
Big government and big government spending are issues that should not be partisan issues, particularly in the post Obama-era. Our national debt has ballooned to $20 trillion and it’s growing by the minute. And, rather than vowing to stop the out-of -control government spending, Trump instead, introduced several NEW spending measures.
Paid family maternity leave, which forces employers to provide female employees, and eventually their male counterparts, with 6 weeks paid maternity leave. This program will nullify any benefit that struggling businesses would receive from tax and regulation reform, which only further escalates the decline of America’s economy.
I watched in utter disbelief as Trump introduced his $1 trillion infrastructure spending plan to a bipartisan standing ovation. What were they so jubilant about? Well, Trump just made the crony capitalists very happy at the expense of taxpayers. And, if K Street is happy, your representatives are happy.
Once you factor his protectionist trade policies into all of this, the result is a more progressive agenda than the previous 8 years.
Overall, the address felt like a progressive pep rally. Trump pandered to progressives and further alienated conservatives. He offered just enough red meat to his hardcore supporters for them to compare the event to the parting of the Red Sea. There was no substance to his policies. And, his vague discourse was a bit frightening considering his unpredictability. But, he read the teleprompter well, I suppose.