Originally published on February 13, 2019
Last week, during President Trump’s second State of the Union address, there were a lot of clarifying moments. While the successes of the past and the visions of the future were being presented, a great disparity was rising amongst the calls for unity. The disparity was one of cheer and applause. Many moments applauded by the Republicans were met with Democratic silence. These moments, however, were far from partisan.
Nobody should expect cheers from the Democratic side of the Chamber when the President denounces abortion or socialism, both of which he did to great effect. The Democratic Party has long since caved to their most extreme base regarding both. The abortion policies in New York and Virginia have been discussed ad nauseam over the past few weeks, and a DC abortion clinic is advertising abortions up to 36 weeks on their website. When Trump said, “All children – born and unborn – are made in the holy image of G-d,” reporter Benny Johnson tweeted “…I’ve been in the gallery all night. NEVER was there a more solid block of Dems frowning, not clapping, looking angry.” So a cheer as loud as the Republican side of the House Chamber should not be expected.
Even the claim “America will never be a socialist country” received, at best, lukewarm applause from some Democrats, and sour faces from many others. The camera lingered on Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who spent his honeymoon in the USSR and openly pushes socialism, being obviously distressed from this pronouncement. As with abortion, the extremist wing of the Democrats is now in charge, their centrist masks discarded. So nobody should expect cheers from the crowd when their policy prescriptions are derided.
However, there are some things that every American should cheer, but Democrats won’t. Record black unemployment? No cheers. Record Hispanic unemployment? No applause. Record Americans with disabilities unemployment? No claps. The Republicans in the room probably needed to make a group chiropractor appointment with all the standing ovations over these pronouncements. When mentioning the Southern border, even at the call to put “the ruthless coyotes, cartels, drug dealers, and human traffickers out of business,” the Democrats stayed seated and Kamala Harris, Senator from California and Presidential candidate, could be seen shaking her head.
There was one moment that had the Democrats, especially the white-clad Democrat women, on their feet, high-fiving and laughing like their team just won the World Series. That was when they were congratulating themselves. In a moment that was truly reaching across the aisle, Trump congratulated the women who were elected to Congress a century after the very body they were joining gave them the right to vote. The display that followed was truly unbecoming, bordering on egregious. The women in the crowd were attempting to mock and disparage Trump, which is clearly seen by the statements that came afterwards. They attempted to make that accomplishment a partisan issue, whereas Trump was simply trying to unify the country with the news.
So why is it that Democrats do not celebrate the accomplishments that are truly non-partisan? Unemployment, lower food-stamp participants, catching criminals at the Southern border – these are things that everyone should get behind. However, they were met with silence. This is because the Democrats have fully embraced the idea that they are no longer the opposition party – rather, they are the Resistance. They no longer compromise; they attempt to find, as President Obama put it, common ground. These simple language changes may seem inconsequential, but they are the embodiment of the division in the country and the reason why it won’t change.
The opposition party, the minority party, or even the loyal opposition as they refer to it in the United Kingdom, works with the party in power towards a common goal, but with a different path in getting there. This is how government was done. This is what kept the two parties cordial, even when they were fighting. Nobody will deny that Republicans were not fans of President Obama, but when he talked about the unemployment numbers in his last State of the Union address, there was applause on both sides. When he mentioned cutting bureaucratic red tape, Republicans were the first on their feet. They were the opposition, but they had the same goal, which was American prosperity.
Compromise in government, much like anywhere else, is everybody getting something but nobody getting everything. Common ground, while it sounds like compromise, is actually much different. Common ground, when Obama used the term, was essentially the notion that the Republicans will come to the Democrat way of thinking if they are called “bigoted” enough times. This is why Obama had zero major bipartisan legislative accomplishments on immigration reform, healthcare, prison reform, and many other policy initiatives. Democrats were unwilling to give up a little of what they wanted for other policy victories. Democrats today are still refusing to compromise, or even negotiate. Trump offered, in late 2017, amnesty for 1.8 million illegal immigrants in exchange for a border wall. Democrats refused. Trump mentioned compromise in last week’s State of the Union address; Pelosi is seen shaking her head. This is because Trump and the Republicans aren’t the opposition; they aren’t to be compromised with. They are the force to be resisted, and they must be brought to the Democrats’ common ground.
When you are a member of the Resistance, you cannot cheer for your enemy, even if the accomplishments of your enemy help your constituents. This doesn’t only position Democrats against Trump or even Republicans, but against American prosperity itself. When you won’t cheer for jobs and reduction in crime, you are against American prosperity. So how do you cheer for your enemy? The Democrats need to stop viewing Republicans as the enemy. They need to return to the idea that they oppose the President, yes – but they aren’t “the Resistance.” They need to return back to compromising, not pulling towards a fictional “common ground.” Hillary Clinton said, prior to the 2018 midterm election, “If [Democrats] are fortunate enough to win back the House and/or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again.” Well, the Democrats won back the House of Representatives, and even by that incredibly low standard, they are failing at civility. Civility starts when both sides can agree that American prosperity is a good thing, regardless of who is giving the State of the Union address.
You can follow Moshe Hill on Twitter @TheMohill.
By Moshe Hill