May 22nd, 2017

Trump’s speech to the Muslim world

In yesterday’s speech addressing the Muslim world, Trump did something creative. Instead of wading into the swamp of the “terrorists are not real Muslims” argument, he got out of the trap of opining on Islamic theology altogether. Instead, he universalized the argument and made it a religious one, saying:

Every time a terrorist murders an innocent person and falsely invokes the name of God, it should be an insult to every person of faith. Terrorists do not worship God. They worship death.

We’re all in this together—us against the terrorists. But he made it clear that Muslims have a special responsibility to fight this thing:

The speech also called upon Muslim governments to be far more active in the fight against terrorism and extremism. He warned them that the United States could not and would not try to solve this problem for them: “It is a choice between two futures — and it is a choice America cannot make for you.” Among the already famous “Drive them out” lines was the first: “Drive them out of your places of worship.” This was as close as Trump came to stating clearly that Muslim extremism is a religious problem that has invaded mosques and in fact invaded Islam itself, and that Muslims need to clean out the networks of mosques and madrassas and imams upon which extremism feeds.

The most memorable part of the speech was the phrase “Drive them out,” repeated several times in several ways:

A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and extremists. Drive. Them. Out.

DRIVE THEM OUT of your places of worship.

DRIVE THEM OUT of your communities.

DRIVE THEM OUT of your holy land, and

DRIVE THEM OUT OF THIS EARTH.

The repetition is effective as a rhetorical device. It’s a short and memorable phrase, with a pulsing rhythm and…drive. It also has a subtle escalation of widening spheres from which terrorists should be driven. First, the mosque. Next, the community. Then, the country. Finally, he earth itself.

This is not only rhetorically satisfying, but it is an answer to critics who say Trump didn’t criticize the Saudis for funding the preaching of terrorism. He couldn’t do that directly, as a guest in their own country. But he put the first emphasis in the correct place: the mosque (although he didn’t call it that, we know that certain mosques with certain clerics are the main “places of worship” in Saudi Arabia and the countries of the other assembled leaders).

No, Trump didn’t address all the problems of terrorism; for example, the internet is a huge propaganda machine for the terrorists, especially those who live in the West. But he wasn’t talking to the leaders of Europe about terrorism, he was talking to Muslim nations.

How do we or anyone else “drive them out”? That’s a question the world has been wrestling with for many a long year. I wouldn’t expect Trump to suddenly come up with the answer.

This was only a speech, after all. A speech is not action. But this speech accomplished several things. It showed not just the Muslim world but the entire world that Trump can look and sound like a president. That’s hardly everything, but it’s something, and it’s an important something. It also showed the world that he is going to set a more resolute tone about terrorism than Obama did. It was tactful and respectful, which was important for Trump, too, because he needed to reassure the world that he’s neither a madman nor a rude crude buffoon. Trump retains more than enough cowboy” aspects in his personality to make him unpredictable and keep people on their toes, and so he needed to reassure the world that he’s not always a loose cannon, and that he can walk the diplomatic walk and talk the diplomatic talk.

57 Responses to “Trump’s speech to the Muslim world”

  1. LondonTrader Says:

    I listen to the BBC World Service a good deal. Today there was almost no mention of Trump/Russia/Comey/impeachment. All the discussion was on the ground breaking nature of his trip and the symbolism of his flight direct from Saudi Arabia to Israel and visit to the Wall. Discussion was about his chances of making peace. All very much normal coverage for a presidential visit and not at all negative.

    Now how does he keep that tone of coverage going forward?

  2. Cornhead Says:

    Hillary would be yammering about a peace process. What a loser.

  3. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Knowingly or unknowingly, Trump placed the onus on the Muslim nations in the Islamic Ummah to prove that Islam is a religion of peace and ‘moderation’ by actually fighting jihadist terrorists.

    If the Saudi’s and other nations like Qatar continue to fund it and look the other way, they demonstrate that they condone/support the violence and are therefore complicit in the violence.

    Trump’s given them their chance, quite possibly fully aware that they can’t demonstrate the opposite of what their religion’s foundational tenets declare to be theological imperatives.

    As terrorist attacks continue, Trump can start to apply the screws and at some point, Muslim ‘moderates’ and Leftist apologists won’t have a leg to stand on when they demand that Trump “give peace a chance” and he replies, ‘I did give it a chance, in doing little to nothing, the Muslim nation’s have rejected peace’.

    Trump has also signaled his POV on Iran. The more perceptive of the Mullahs may now be feeling a bit nervous. If not, I suspect they soon will be.

  4. vanderleun Says:

    “How do we or anyone else “drive them out”? ”

    Hama rules.

  5. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Western Europe will provide a preview of what is involved in either driving them out or demonstrating the cost in failing to drive them out.

  6. OldTexan Says:

    Once more, with all of his faults, Trump exceeds my expectations. I read the speech and I hope the people in charge in the Middle East heard it the same way I did. Time will tell.

  7. Frog Says:

    It was a masterful speech, written by someone of ability, for someone of conviction, unlike the 26 year-old toady Barack appointed as chief speechwriter on his ascension in 2008.
    I am rather tired of the left-handed compliments to Trump dashed out by others. “needed to reassure the world that he’s not always a loose cannon”.
    “Not always” is in that category.
    Reassure the world? You mean reassure the globalist jornolists (sic-remember?)? Those naysayers need reassuring? What difference will it make? In that sector? None.

    Let’s just look at what he has done, the serious work he has done, and avoid the superficial niggly-piggly.

    Can you see Barack Hussein Obama wearing a yarmulke and kissing the Wailing Wall?
    No?
    Me neither.

  8. Oldflyer Says:

    I am impressed; and hope that this trip will be a watershed.
    Trump is wrapping up the part of the trip which could credibly be termed a mine field for gaffes and missteps. He has enunciated bold themes of statesmanship. So far he has been pitch perfect in a discordant environment, has performed to general acclaim. If he completes the European swing on the same high note, the people who call him unfit to be President will sound even more foolish that they have to this point.

    Now going forward, one could hope that President Trump will reflect on the reputation he is forging on the world stage and decide that the baying pack that nips at his heels is simply not worth his notice; that the petty foolishness that characterizes Washington and New York is irrelevant. If he will concentrate on governing as he promised, while ignoring distractions such as Comey and Mueller, and refraining from stooping to the level of the Dem/media cabal, he will be fine. The country will benefit.

  9. Ann Says:

    Can you see Barack Hussein Obama wearing a yarmulke and kissing the Wailing Wall?
    No?
    Me neither.

    Obama did visit the wailing wall, wearing a yarmulke, didn’t kiss it, but did touch it with reverence.

  10. Bill Says:

    “If he will concentrate on governing as he promised, while ignoring distractions such as Comey and Mueller, and refraining from stooping to the level of the Dem/media cabal, he will be fine. The country will benefit.”

    Amen.

  11. DNW Says:

    “OldTexan Says:
    May 22nd, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    Once more, with all of his faults, Trump exceeds my expectations.”

    Yes … 👍

  12. J.J. Says:

    Masterful! To go into the heart of the Wahhabi sect of Islam and challenge the tenets of it without saying the name is a stroke of genius. By putting all moderate Muslims on the same side as the West is also brilliant. I don’t expect immediate results. This theme will have to be repeated until it is plain to a majority of Muslims that Islam needs to reform its theology. There are many who say it can’t happen. Maybe not, but we just saw the first salvo in the attempt to make it happen.

    Lining up on the side of the Sunnis against the Shias of Iran might force Iran to temper their actions. My guess is that it won’t have much effect until such time as Iran sees nothing but darkness and failure if they continue down the path they are on. Again, it won’t happen overnight. But this is a path that could bear fruit.

  13. J.J. Says:

    I have to add that I was optimistic in 2003 about converting Iran into a Muslim democracy. I believed Thomas P. M. Barnett’s idea about shrinking the “Gap” by bringing democracy and modernity to them. I think Trump’s idea of non-interference in their culture is worth a try.

  14. Frog Says:

    Ann:
    I stand corrected. But it was 2008, and interval events have shown that to be a fraudulent gesture. I mean, he interfered in the last Israeli election! And all Dems know how sinful election interference is!

  15. John Guilfoyle Says:

    And right on cue…a bomb goes off.
    Can’t have the West talking strong now can we?
    Oh yes we can. Drive them out.

  16. parker Says:

    Trump’s speech was the first POTUS speech I watched live since GWB’s 2002 State of the Union speech. I was curious to learn how he would perform. It was a very good oration for all the highlights neoneocon notes above. He needs to keep that speechwriter. The speech fit his calm and collected side very well.

    “… hope that this trip will be a watershed.”

    Yes.

  17. AesopFan Says:

    Frog Says:
    May 22nd, 2017 at 5:45 pm
    It was a masterful speech, written by someone of ability, for someone of conviction,

    * *
    My bet’s on Decius.

    https://amgreatness.com/2017/02/12/decius-darkness-qa-michael-anton/

    (read past the opening “HuffPo says” grafs for Anton’s answers.)

  18. parker Says:

    Frog,

    You are obviously a sharp fellow; but isn’t it obvious Trump has made many, including people like me who had serious doubts about his true character (based upon his own deeds and words), suspicious of his real intentions? I have admitted he has surprised me after taking the oath of office, and he has also disappointed me. For me that is normal for all presidents, senators, representatives, and justices.

  19. Bill Says:

    I’m really curious, not trying to stir up waters.

    The Saudis donate 100 million to Ivanka’s women’s empowerment fund.

    https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/saudi-arabia-uae-pledge-100m-womens-fund-ivanka/story?id=47560100

    Is this OK? Haven’t we had enough of Presidential family members “chatitable” foundations, donations from foreign governments, etc?

  20. Oldflyer Says:

    Doesn’t matter who wrote the speech any more than it mattered who wrote Ronald Reagan’s speeches. What matters is who delivered it, and thus put his imprimatur on it.

    Word smiths are valuable; but, every President has them. They are not the message.

    Trump delivered his message.

  21. Ann Says:

    AesopFan:

    CNN a few days ago reported the speechwriter was Stephen Miller:

    Stephen Miller, Trump’s senior adviser for policy and speechwriter, is the principal aide in charge of writing both the speech on Islam and Trump’s later speech on the future of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a White House official told CNN. Both are topics Miller has spoken out against throughout his career on Capitol Hill and in the White House. The official said the speech has been put together through a collaborative process inside the White House, but that Miller was the primary author.

    Probably a lot of McMaster input.

  22. Bill Says:

    Oops, I meant “charitable”

  23. mikeski Says:

    @Bill –

    It’s not Ivanka’s fund. It’s run by and through the World Bank and Ivanka is a supporter.

  24. Bill Says:

    Mikeski

    Thanks – I stand corrected.

  25. J.J. Says:

    correction: In 2003 I was confident that Iraq, not Iran, could become a Muslim democracy.

  26. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Bill,

    Yes. It’s evidently legal but inappropriate. At the Presidential level, even the appearance of the possibility of impropriety is to be avoided.

    Only Trump or her husband is in a position to explain to Ivanaka the political realities. Whether either one will explain or even understands that reality is another question.

    We are not privy to the details but Ivanka could have insisted that if a donation was desired, that the money be used to establish a Saudi chapter of Ivanka’s women’s empowerment fund… (bet that would have gone over well) but it would have allowed Ivanka to insist that without that condition, she had to politely decline it.

    Given the Saudi’s adherence to Islam’s treatment of women, I cannot think of a sincere reason why the Saudis would donate any amount of money, much less 100 million to Ivanka’s women’s ’empowerment’ fund. It stinks of payola for future influence.

    However, I think it unlikely that either Trump or Ivanka solicited that ‘donation’.

    That’s a lot of money for a questionable return on investment. But entirely in keeping with the Saudi’s experience that influence and access can be bought.

    Hopefully they will learn to their dismay that it doesn’t buy them the influence they expect. Then again they may be happily surprised. Time will once again tell.

  27. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    mikeski,

    That puts a different slant on the donation. I wonder if the World Bank has a Saudi chapter of their women’s empowerment fund?

  28. Ann Says:

    I think Ivanka’s is a fund that will specifically support female entrepreneurship around the world.

  29. Frog Says:

    parker:
    You wrote, “I have admitted he [Trump] has surprised me after taking the oath of office, and he has also disappointed me. For me that is normal for all presidents, senators, representatives, and justices.”
    So Trump is in the normal ALL? Despite his faults and errors, he does not compare to Chuckie Schumer, Harry Reid, Maxine Waters, or Shirley Jackson Lee, does he?

    Perhaps your cynicism runs a tad deep. I know you can tell shit from Shinola!

  30. AesopFan Says:

    Ann Says:
    May 22nd, 2017 at 8:59 pm
    AesopFan:

    CNN a few days ago reported the speechwriter was Stephen Miller:
    * *
    Thanks.
    I purposely do not read the “pre-speech” pundit-o-wheels.
    So far, I have seen a “report” on just about every point of the line between 100% pro-Trump and 100% anti.
    I was okay with both tone and content, but the proof of the pudding is always in the eating.
    For an extra fillip of whipped cream, here’s this from J. E. Dyer:
    http://libertyunyielding.com/2017/05/22/trump-administration-confirms-jerusalem/

    “Placing the president in “Jerusalem, Israel” would, as Adam Kredo notes, amount to a revision of U.S. policy, which has long refrained from explicitly stating that Jerusalem is part of Israel.

    (The U.S. doesn’t say Jerusalem is not part of Israel either. Our policy is somewhat complicated, with a U.S. position from 1948 never formally revised; i.e., that Jerusalem was at that time an “international city,” the subject of competing claims by multiple parties with strong historical ties. Later policy nevertheless endorsed the concept that some aspects of the status of Jerusalem could be negotiated in a final settlement between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs. This is a very simplified outline. Congress, of course, voted over two decades ago to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Trump ran on a promise to do that.)

    Whether the Trump administration will adjust official documents to reflect “Jerusalem, Israel” remains to be seen.

    But in this, too, there’s a distinct contrast with the Obama administration. During the earlier George W. Bush years, State Department photo captions often referred to events taking place in “Jerusalem, Israel.”

    Then Obama took office. At one point, in 2011, the Obama administration – which had also captioned a photo, perhaps inadvertently, with the location “Jerusalem, Israel” – went in and changed its caption after it received criticism over it. But there was criticism over that as well, whereupon the Obama administration claimed that Bush had prohibited the use of “Jerusalem, Israel” in photo captions, and Obama was just following in his footsteps.

    That claim was too easy to disprove, merely by doing simple web searches. So within a short period of time, journalist Omri Ceren caught the Obama State Department actually going through the old photos from the Bush administration and removing the caption “Jerusalem, Israel” from them.

    Besides being a breach of the normal courtesy between administrations, which don’t muck around in each other’s archives, that’s just wiener-ly. There’s more than one reason so many Americans are glad to have an administration that has better things to do with its time.”

  31. AesopFan Says:

    Geoffrey Britain Says:
    May 22nd, 2017 at 9:23 pm
    Bill,

    Yes. It’s evidently legal but inappropriate. At the Presidential level, even the appearance of the possibility of impropriety is to be avoided.
    * *
    The media isn’t even waiting for the appearance of a possibility these days (cf. Ice-cream Gate).
    Although the World Bank is not exactly non-partisan in its depths, it should be a recipient applauded by the Left, which lost no time in basically lying that the donation was going to land “in Ivanka’s fund” — is there anything the First Family can say about anything that won’t be cast as “inappropriate” at the very least?

    Not that I’m into the “they did it first” defense (much), but look at the influence Mrs. Obama had on school lunch programs for crying out loud: something the government in its legally constituted agencies should be leaving alone in the first place (don’t get me started).

    https://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2017/05/22/journalists-and-pundits-who-totally-botched-the-ivanka-trump-fund-story-n2330423?utm_source=TopBreakingNewsCarousel&utm_medium=story&utm_campaign=BreakingNewsCarousel

  32. parker Says:

    Oldflyer,

    It does matter which speechwriter a politician chooses to write his/her/its speeches.

    Frog,

    When it comes to politicians/leaders of any sort, if your cynicism does not run very deep, as deep as the Marianas Trench, one has a nose in his/her/its

  33. parker Says:

    Error… has a ring in their nose and is easily lead.

    Farm boy grown old, I am NOT easily lead by anyone, though Mrs parker is the only one who can influence me in any significant way.

    Frog,

    You misundersstand me by a convoluted mile. Don’t get lost on those up down curvy back roads that don’t show up on google maps. A few of us are not willing to follow naively follow leaders until said leaders prove, over time, the leader is trustworthy. For me, djt ain’t there yet

  34. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Humans can’t even rule themselves with self discipline and they expect me to believe some boy wonder hero king of theirs is going to save the US, whether anybody else likes it or not.

    When a country gets this bad, it implodes and gets Divine Punishment, not a renewal. The Republic is already dead.

  35. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Drive em out? Yes we can.

    These chants are better than the religious fanatic’s.

  36. The Other Chuck Says:

    Remember when Rudy Giuliani returned the $10 million to Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal back in 2001? Well it seems he is a strong advocate of women’s rights.

    Al-Waleed is considered a proponent of female emancipation in the Saudi world. He financed the training of Hanadi Zakaria al-Hindi as the first Saudi woman commercial airline pilot, and said at her graduation that he is “in full support of Saudi ladies working in all fields”.[60] Al-Hindi became certified to fly within Saudi Arabia in 2014…

    On July 1, 2015, al-Waleed held a press conference announcing his intention to donate $32 billion to philanthropic causes. He said that the funds would be used for humanitarian projects such as the empowerment of women…

    Among his assets are…a seven-percent ownership of News Corporation; about six-percent ownership of Citigroup, [which makes him the single largest Citigroup shareholder]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Waleed_bin_Talal

    I wonder if Ivanka met with him. And I also wonder what other financial arrangements have been made or are planned.

  37. The Other Chuck Says:

    Correction:

    In 2007 Abu Dhabi became Citigroup’s largest shareholder, surpassing Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who bought his shares during the mortgage crisis in 1991, which mean’s the the two largest shareholder’s of News Corp are Muslim. Here’s a picture of Rupert and The Prince:
    http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01951/Alwaleed_1951690c.jpg

  38. The Other Chuck Says:

    I give up. Another correction and please excuse because I’m on cold meds for a rotten, miserable early summer bronchial thing.

    It should read: In 2007 Abu Chabi became News Corps largest shareholder…

    Time for another hot cup of tea and then bed.

  39. Dave Says:

    Everyday liberals demand vehemently that the west needs to devote its utmost effort to drive out racism,somehow they can still find ways to criticize this near perfect speech from trump by saying “how can we or anyone else drive them out?” I dont know the answer to this genius question,perhaps the same way how the west drove out racism? if we can drive out white supremacy what makes liberals think muslims aint capable to drive out islamist terrorism? what makes these racist liberals think muslims are less competent than westerners that they cant accomplish what we could?

  40. Dave Says:

    From this speech i finally understand why the left are so afraid of trump and what he represents,and will stop at nothing until they destroy him. Trump is an existential threat to the left,if his pragmatic brand of politics succeed,the kind that only value results instead of empty ideological talking points the democratic party as the way it is now will be over.

  41. Tatterdemalian Says:

    Iraq is still a democracy, so far. In fact the current President is a member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan Party, for those that think the Kurds have no voice in Iraq.

  42. Barry Meislin Says:

    AesopFan (May 22nd, 2017 at 8:10 pm)

    Thanks very much for that link.

    It’s a breath of fresh air. A sign of much-needed sanity.

    (Hence, one may well assume that the Left will continue to go after that guy with everything they’ve got.)

  43. Sergey Says:

    Trump is a terrible man, but also the most underestimated politician I heard about. Al Sisi is exactly right about his most prominent trait: the ability to accomplish impossible. He thinks outside the box, not even thinks, but grasps and sees what nobody else can grasp and see.

  44. Bill Says:

    He thinks outside the box, not even thinks, but grasps and sees what nobody else can grasp and see.

    I remember the euphoria on the left in the early days of Barack “lightworker” Obama.

    It was a good, disciplined speech from a guy who has had a really terrible (from a political point of view) past few weeks. He needed to give a good, disciplined speech and he did.

    I have also long thought it’s a real mistake to underestimate him.

    But I’d suggest people slow their roll a bit on overestimating him as well. I think Parker said it well up thread.

    I’m not a fan of Trump, didn’t vote for him, and don’t support him because I think character is destiny and also am wary of ends justify the means leadership. But it’s been nice to have at least a few days without self-destructive tweets or leaks.

  45. Dave Says:

    Trump is maybe a terrible man but let’s be real is he any worse than JFK, Bill Clinton, or Obama? Your mistake is you believe there are politicians out there that are truly good, just, virtuous people entering the public sector just to serve the people with adsolutely no selfish intents. Those are unicorns only living in your imagination, is ted Cruz really this flawless human being or is this flawless man fighting to restore the respect for constitution in dc just an image projected into your mind. Ask yourself Who is more likely to be the real ted Cruz? this perfect family man who resisted all temptations DC threw at him or just a regular man with his share of flaws reported on national enquirer. You have mistaken a good man from a good image. Even George w bush may have never behaved badly but was it bc he is truly good in heart, or not doing bad things just a deliberatedly calculated choice of actions because he held presidential ambition since he was a child? Trump has been on the public eye since the 70s therefore we know everything he had done in his private life but does not mean he is any worse than these politicians.

  46. arfldgr Says:

    they left out Massids, they always leave out massids…
    heh

  47. DNW Says:

    ” AesopFan Says:
    May 22nd, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    https://amgreatness.com/2017/02/12/decius-darkness-qa-michael-anton/

    (read past the opening “HuffPo says” grafs for Anton’s answers.)”

    Great link. I’m not usually impressed by conservative intellectual credentials. I am in this case. Though what little of Leo Strauss I have personally read, I mostly did not like. (on Hobbes)

    I am also impressed by Anton’s systematic and organized manner of answering the questions impromptu, while nonetheless imbuing the posed questions with both critical background as well as substantive context.

    That Flight 93 Election piece that exploded on this very blog, drove both the left and the compassionate conservatives crazy, precisely because it was so uncompromisingly argued and rhetorically effective. Anton admits that he might have, as anyone might have, assessed the situation incorrectly; but it was the power of his formulations, and the quality of his argument – whether correct or incorrect ultimately – that caused sensitive heads to explode in a way they would not have, had they been confronted with a less masterful essay.

    When he asks, “Who and what is America meant to serve?” and answers: “Americans and their interests” he jars the masochist altruists of the world to the core of their quivering, bureaucratic niche seeking, Bonobo souls.

    Since their rights – as they understand them metaphysically – are not deductions from an intrinsic teleology, but rather grants of appreciation and solidarity extended by their always evolving fellow man, to be unappreciated and excluded is to have no rights, or life.

    That seems to me to be very like the Hobbsean concept which he supposedly inferred from Thucydides according to Strauss.

    But then Anton constantly refers to Jaffa, another of his mentors, who argued for the concept of natural law and justice as it related to American legal foundations.

    “Harry Jaffa always pointed students to the vital importance of that qualifier. The government may not legitimately do anything it wants, for the same reason that the people cannot rightly do anything they want: because right and wrong, good and evil, just and unjust exist by nature. And the proper role of government is promote the good and prevent, resist and mitigate the bad.”

    Interesting.

  48. Frog Says:

    parker:
    I praise Trump for what he has done and for what he has tried to do as Prez. I am not joined to him at the hip, nor do I expect to be. Tweeting was a fine strategy for him once, but must now be modulated.

    Ann (from yesterday): Obama visited the Wall as a private citizen while campaigning in 2008. It probably didn’t hurt him.
    Trump is the first President in office to visit the Wall. That holds some significance.
    BTW, why is it now termed by most in the media the Western Wall, instead of the Wailing Wall? To secularize it, I suspect. Make it about the compass, not Judaism.

  49. AesopFan Says:

    he Other Chuck Says:
    May 23rd, 2017 at 12:12 am
    I give up. Another correction and please excuse because I’m on cold meds for a rotten, miserable early summer bronchial thing.

    It should read: In 2007 Abu Chabi became News Corps largest shareholder…

    Time for another hot cup of tea and then bed.
    * * *
    Not that anyone’s grading corrections or anything …
    Hope you slept well and are feeling better today!

  50. AesopFan Says:

    DNW Says:
    May 23rd, 2017 at 11:12 am

    **
    Nice analysis.
    I was never impressed by Trump, but Anton’s conservative apologetics (and I mean that in the classic sense) struck a chord for me.
    The Jaffa quote ought to be plastered on every GOP campaign office in the country, and every room on Capitol Hill.
    In fact, let’s quote it again:
    “The government may not legitimately do anything it wants, for the same reason that the people cannot rightly do anything they want: because right and wrong, good and evil, just and unjust exist by nature. And the proper role of government is promote the good and prevent, resist and mitigate the bad.”

  51. AesopFan Says:

    Dave Says:
    May 23rd, 2017 at 9:06 am
    Trump is maybe a terrible man but let’s be real is he any worse than JFK, Bill Clinton, or Obama?
    * *
    I was a fence-sitter for a long time, and my spouse was a vigorous anti-Trumper, but this consideration was the tipping point for us both, and we extended the list considerably. We have never elected an Angel for President, and never will.
    And if we did have Angels for rulers, we would probably be surprised at some of their actions.

  52. AesopFan Says:

    Barry Meislin Says:
    May 23rd, 2017 at 4:17 am
    AesopFan (May 22nd, 2017 at 8:10 pm)

    Thanks very much for that link.

    It’s a breath of fresh air. A sign of much-needed sanity.

    (Hence, one may well assume that the Left will continue to go after that guy with everything they’ve got.)
    * * *
    There was a good reason why he used an alias until moving into the administration.

  53. Ymar Sakar Says:

    He thinks outside the box, not even thinks, but grasps and sees what nobody else can grasp and see.

    Nothing new to what I’ve seen, maybe outside the box, but late outside the box.

  54. The Other Chuck Says:

    AesopFan,
    Abu Chabi…jeesh! Like Trump, sometimes we don’t know when to pack it in. As to the rotten bronchial thing, the fever broke last night and I’m on the mend. Hot tea w/lemon and honey. Works every time. Thanks.

  55. Big Maq Says:

    “It was a good, disciplined speech from a guy who has had a really terrible (from a political point of view) past few weeks. He needed to give a good, disciplined speech and he did.” – Bill

    This is why people are falling all over themselves about how trump far exceeded expectations.

    trump truly deserves credit for giving a good one, and for picking the theme, message, and writer.

    However, one, or a few, good speeches is not enough to prove much.

    And, if that is the standard for getting all gushy about how great trump is (ribbit), then maybe the standards aren’t much at all (ribbit).

    To paraphrase parker, let’s see what he actually does and prove himself by that.

  56. Tom G Says:

    “Let’s see what he does” …

    I fully agree; but would also argue that a good, nay a great speech is likely to allow the Trump admin to get some things done.

    I’m reminded that on Obamacare reform, it’s a HUGE failure — of the GOP party. And think tanks, and the whole rotten GOPe. Where is the alternative they’ve had 5 years to come up with?

    All policies have benefits (good!) and costs or disadvantages (bad 🙁 ). The Dem media talks about Obama’s good benefits; and if The Donald has the same policy, the Dems complain about the bad. The GOP has failed to decide what combination of good & bad they’ll accept.

    Insofar as the President has a LOT of leeway in foreign affairs, I’m expecting Trump to do more out of the country, waiting for the Reps in Congress to get their act together.

    Get the budget done. Get tax reform done. Expect dishonest Dem media coverage (the Stupid Party never seems to expect this, tho).

  57. Sarah Rolph Says:

    The term Wailing Wall is considered offensive. The better term is Western Wall.

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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