President Donald Trump took his first mission-critical trip down Pennsylvania Avenue on Tuesday to address a Joint Session of Congress, telling his political opponents that ‘the time for small thinking is over, the time for trivial fights is behind us.’
At that very moment, a member of the Democratic Party hissed.
But Trump’s 60-minute speech drew 94 interruptions for applause, including a sustained, tear-jerking ovation for the widow of a Navy SEAL killed in action just eight days after Trump took office.
As Carryn Owens wept and Ivanka Trump comforted her, Trump said her husband Ryan was happy that the lengthy applause ‘broke a record.’
The slain sailor’s father made headlines last week when he said he had refused to speak with the president when his son’s remains were returned to the U.S. in a somber ceremony. He also blasted Trump for green-lighting what he called the ‘stupid mission’ that claimed Ryan’s life.
But the president praised Ryan as ‘a warrior and a hero, battling against terrorism and securing our nation.’
‘Ryan’s legacy is etched into eternity’ Trump said. ‘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 Ryan.’
Trump began Tuesday night with a claim on the role of political peacemaker, saying he wanted to bring Americans who voted for him together with those who didn’t.
‘I am here tonight to deliver a message of unity and strength, and it is a message deeply delivered from my heart,’ he said.
That followed a stunning condemnation of anti-Semitism and other hatred.
Trump declared that the close of Black History Month led him to remember ‘our nation’s path toward civil rights and the work that still remains.’
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 its forms.
President Donald Trump
‘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 its forms.’
Some of Trump’s other rhetoric was full of hopeful Kennedyesque loft – notable after four contentious weeks marking the beginning of the president’s Washington odyssey.
‘Think of the marvels we can achieve,’ Trump urged, speaking of his still-incubating science reform proposals, ‘if we simply set free the dreams of our people, cures to illnesses that have always plagued us are not too much to hope.’
‘American footprints on distant worlds are not too big a dream. Millions lifted from welfare to work is not too much to expect. And streets where mothers are safe from fear, schools where children learn in peace, and jobs where Americans prosper and grow are not too much to ask.’
Trump, 70, was predicting a safer and more prosperous world when America celebrates its 250th birthday in 2026. He noted the centennial celebrations in 1876 where ‘the country’s builders and artists and inventors showed off their creations’ in Philadelphia.
Alexander Graham Bell displayed his telephone for the first time. Remington unveiled the first typewriter. An early attempt was made at electric light,’ he mused. ‘Thomas Edison showed an automatic telegraph and an electric pen.’
DEMOCRATS LAUGHED, HISSED AND GASPED
Trump made appeal after appeal for bipartisan cooperation, but Democrats were anything but unanimously receptive.
SEAL HERO PRAISED
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 Ryan.
Trump, paying tribute to Ryan Owens, a Navy SEAL who perished in a military operation late last month
Some of them laughed out loud when the president bragged that he has ‘begun to drain the swamp of government corruption.’
Others gasped in audible disbelief when he announced the formation of a government department to assist victims of illegal-immigrant criminals.
Then came the hissing when he announced that ‘the time for trivial fights is behind us.’
Democrats sat, arms folded, as he rattled off a laundry list of his supporters’ red meat slogans – all with the usual panache.
‘We will soon begin the construction of a great wall along our southern border,’ he said. ‘It will be started ahead of schedule and, when finished, it will be a very effective weapon against drugs and crime.’
And he doubled down on efforts to pause admissions to the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority nations where limited screening capacity has left question marks next to countless incoming travelers.
‘It is not compassionate, but reckless, to allow uncontrolled entry from places where proper vetting cannot occur,’ he said.
Democrats have already pilloried Trump through days of tumult as his White House endured an error-ridden rollout of his travel ban order.
They descended into Schadenfreude as the investigative saga of his campaign’s alleged Moscow ties took on new and ever more threatening forms.
They mocked the Trump administration’s leak-prone inner circle. They obstructed the confirmation calendar of his cabinet secretaries.
They clobbered the first outline of the president’s budget priorities.
They were joined in that by some key Republicans.
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