Sunday, July 9, 2017

Strike Up The Band--Trump Has Finally Arrived

The long-awaited event has finally happened—Trump has become presidential. The speech in Poland marks a watershed for the twitterer-in-chief. Some prematurely thought the magical event occurred during his address to a joint session of Congress last February, a veritable Disney production that announced the end of everything bad from flies in your Fourth of July potato salad to itchy, scaly skin. Some thought it happened with the Syrian bombing; that his sudden excursion into military air-strikes marked his transformation from weekend duffer to supreme allied commander. But that now appears false. The actual full transformation occurred on Polish soil where seemingly overnight, Trump became an expert on Polish history, and used that hard-won and almost instantaneous knowledge to cement America’s ties to its longstanding ally.

Some would say it was a singular event, nothing like it having ever happened before and not likely to ever happen again. Trump himself would probably say this. It has become a hallmark of his speeches that he lecture his hearers in history. His acquaintance with history prior to becoming president consisted largely of previews from the History Channel caught while flipping between talk shows and the golf channel. But whatever he does is the first and best of its kind, and the audience for his Poland speech seemed to agree, interrupting him with frequent applause and chanting his name. 

We shouldn’t nit-pick his speech or question how it came about. God was invoked numerous times to the largely Catholic Polish audience. And everyone knows presidents have speech-writers and don’t write their own orations, with rare exceptions. The point is he read it well and the speech itself was a summation of America’s highest ideals. It was gracious, articulate, inspiring, historically accurate, grammatically correct; and if we don’t find out who wrote it, we can at least assume he read it on the trip over and ad-libbed during its delivery.

The president knew almost nothing about the job when he took over but it’s clear he now understands the importance of giving a good speech and saying what his advisors tell him he should. Rubbing shoulders with other world leaders has increased his stature. There has been some friction but that only enhances his respect back home and reinforces his image as a tough negotiator who doesn’t mind making enemies so long as he gets what he’s after, a man willing to fight for what’s his and, by extension, ours. And who can find fault with someone who champions civilization? Bringing up election hacking by Russia now and pursuing an investigation would seem petty and vindictive, especially now that both Trump and Putin agree it never happened.

No comments: