Donald Trump gave his first speech to a joint session of Congress Tuesday evening–drawing a smaller crowd than Obama’s first speech–and let me say right from the start that it was a fine presentation. It’s amazing what a teleprompter can do to make you look presidential on television; just ask Obama. And if giving great speeches was all that’s necessary to be president, then Trump would be well on his way to greatness—or at least a Toastmasters award.
Unfortunately, this isn’t Toastmasters. And being president requires more than the ability to read a teleprompter; again, just ask Obama. In America’s current time of need, being president requires true conservative ideals: smaller government, reduced spending, free markets, and a return to the Constitution. In these areas, Trump failed . . . miserably.
Not only did he fail, Trump made the case that the era of big government is back. For example, in his typical “light on specifics” manner, he laid out his goals for:
- Massive infrastructure spending (over $1 trillion)
- Paid family leave (one of Ivanka’s liberal pet projects)
- “Accessible and affordable” childcare (Ivanka again)
- Repeal of Obamacare (as I’ve written before, there is no repeal)
Of course, Trump isn’t a conservative, so it’s not surprising to see his Obama-esque checklist of priorities. Like Obama, Trump is in favor of expanding the already exploding Medicaid system, and he offered no plans to fix the bankrupt Social Security and Medicare entitlement programs.
Another troubling item in the speech was Trump’s talk about “fair trade.” As David Thornton at The Resurgent accurately points out, “fairness” is a liberal buzzword, and it’s subjective. When government decides what’s “fair,” the result to Americans is a loss of freedom.
“I distrust politicians who talk about fairness. Fairness is the opposite of freedom because it relies on government to determine what is fair. Fairness is subjective. What is fair is at the discretion of who defines fairness. When fairness is the goal, government grows because government is the ultimate arbiter of fairness… if you can hire enough lobbyists to advance your notion of fairness.
“When Barack Obama said that he wanted people to pay their “fair share,” I held onto my wallet. When I hear Donald Trump talk about fair trade, I expect that, if he gets his way, I will be paying more when I go to the store.”
The content of Trump’s speech was a mixed bag, but typical of big-government progressive ideology. We’ve been living under that ideology for the past eight years, and Trump’s version is enough like Obama’s to earn his Seal of Approval.
But hey, at least he’s not Hillary . . . not yet.
David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative, your source for opinion that’s politically incorrect and always “right.” His articles can also be found on RedState.com.
His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.