Trump's speech soared on a theme of fatherly love

It had not been my intention to watch President Trump's speech to a Joint Session of Congress on March 1.  His policies seem to be both viable and needed, so it seemed unnecessary for me to hear them listed one more time.  But at the last minute, the coaxing of my wife prevailed.  It soon became apparent that this speech was unlike any he had given since he began pursuing the presidency.  There was a passion and imagery in this speech that had not been expressed by him on any other occasion.  It was not only that it was optimistic in tone or that he did not make certain mistakes, which he seems to make repeatedly.  There was a new vision in this speech and a transcendence that one would look hard to find in much of American political speech.

Even the enemedia of CBS had to give positive comments about Trump's speech.  Their commentators, including the ultra-superior-sounding John Dickerson, noted with pleasant surprise that there were no outrageous attacks by Trump on any persons or institutions, and he didn't talk about "I."  (Of course, when Barack Obama rattled off the first-person singular dozens of times in a speech, the pundits of CBS and other MSM types never said a word.  Some, in fact, gushed.)  They congratulated President Trump on his delivery, implying that he did not go off on tangents, was not hostile, not overly simplistic, and did not have a totally clichéd and repetitive statement about the great and beautiful and really great, great big and beautiful and great – the greatest – wall he was going to build.  They praised him for the mistakes he did not, in their discerning wisdom, believe he made.

However, they did not congratulate him sufficiently on the proposals or vision that reached into millions of hearts and minds.  They missed the vision that caused even them to step back from their criticisms.

What did he actually accomplish?  As usual, Trump cut through a lot of standard BS, but this time he shared a different sort of vision.  It was a romantic vision of a peaceful, successful, educated, thriving, productive, unified, strong, responsible America.  He spoke about a "renewal of the American spirit," but he actually went farther than that in his imagery.  He was really calling for a return to a primeval paradise, an imagined time that never was, but somehow could come to be...again, almost comparable to French philosophe Jean-Jacques Rousseau's apocryphal "noble savage" archetype (Rousseau never used the term).  In this invitation to a return to paradise, Trump invited everyone to catch his vision.  In this respect also, his speech was unique.  Liberty lost by African-Americans and Hispanics would be restored through school choice and society's doldrums caused by living every day with a decaying infrastructure would somehow be renewed by a public-private partnership (perhaps he was thinking of the growth of the railroads that was incentivized with land grants by the federal government to the railroads in the 19th century).  Thus, he insisted, in a feeling way, that the masses must experience a sense of progress in their physical environment, and connect with a living experience of freedom in action.

He was practical yet at the same time Utopian in his vision.  He spoke of many miracles, like the young lady who went to Notre Dame who had been given at most five years to live when, at 15 months, she was diagnosed with a rare disease.  Many miracles will come, he told us, if the American spirit, the spirit of a father's love, that same spirit that drove that sick baby's father to develop a drug that ultimately saved his daughter's life, is freed throughout the land.  A father's love will go very far to open doors of opportunity for a son or daughter, and that spirit will revive and renew American life.

To this writer, his focus on a father's love was the link between a humdrum economic platform about growth, fair trade, and lower taxes (any conservative, pro-business candidate could have made these points) and his vision of almost unlimited possibilities for success in every area of endeavor.

A father's love.  What a motivator.  In such a love, the power of Almighty God can be channeled to accomplish great things.  This metaphor of a father's love was the most powerful vision in the entire speech, the most meaningful.  It resonates much more than the mantra about building a wall.  It is a metaphorical parallel of the love of our Father in heaven for His creation, the Lord's love for the patriarchs of the Old Testament, and ultimately His eternal mercy in sending Christ the Messiah.  The president thus, with talk of love, miracles, and paradise regained in a renewed American civilization, moved in the direction of transcendence.  Trump was pragmatic, yes, but his expressed pragmatism suddenly and unashamedly blossomed into a flower of visionary images and prophetic hope.  Just as Aristotle distinguished between potentiality and actuality, where the potentiality of the seed becomes the actuality of the tree, so the potentiality of America now "in a mess" (as he so often states) can and will become a Paradise Gained.

It had not been my intention to watch President Trump's speech to a Joint Session of Congress on March 1.  His policies seem to be both viable and needed, so it seemed unnecessary for me to hear them listed one more time.  But at the last minute, the coaxing of my wife prevailed.  It soon became apparent that this speech was unlike any he had given since he began pursuing the presidency.  There was a passion and imagery in this speech that had not been expressed by him on any other occasion.  It was not only that it was optimistic in tone or that he did not make certain mistakes, which he seems to make repeatedly.  There was a new vision in this speech and a transcendence that one would look hard to find in much of American political speech.

Even the enemedia of CBS had to give positive comments about Trump's speech.  Their commentators, including the ultra-superior-sounding John Dickerson, noted with pleasant surprise that there were no outrageous attacks by Trump on any persons or institutions, and he didn't talk about "I."  (Of course, when Barack Obama rattled off the first-person singular dozens of times in a speech, the pundits of CBS and other MSM types never said a word.  Some, in fact, gushed.)  They congratulated President Trump on his delivery, implying that he did not go off on tangents, was not hostile, not overly simplistic, and did not have a totally clichéd and repetitive statement about the great and beautiful and really great, great big and beautiful and great – the greatest – wall he was going to build.  They praised him for the mistakes he did not, in their discerning wisdom, believe he made.

However, they did not congratulate him sufficiently on the proposals or vision that reached into millions of hearts and minds.  They missed the vision that caused even them to step back from their criticisms.

What did he actually accomplish?  As usual, Trump cut through a lot of standard BS, but this time he shared a different sort of vision.  It was a romantic vision of a peaceful, successful, educated, thriving, productive, unified, strong, responsible America.  He spoke about a "renewal of the American spirit," but he actually went farther than that in his imagery.  He was really calling for a return to a primeval paradise, an imagined time that never was, but somehow could come to be...again, almost comparable to French philosophe Jean-Jacques Rousseau's apocryphal "noble savage" archetype (Rousseau never used the term).  In this invitation to a return to paradise, Trump invited everyone to catch his vision.  In this respect also, his speech was unique.  Liberty lost by African-Americans and Hispanics would be restored through school choice and society's doldrums caused by living every day with a decaying infrastructure would somehow be renewed by a public-private partnership (perhaps he was thinking of the growth of the railroads that was incentivized with land grants by the federal government to the railroads in the 19th century).  Thus, he insisted, in a feeling way, that the masses must experience a sense of progress in their physical environment, and connect with a living experience of freedom in action.

He was practical yet at the same time Utopian in his vision.  He spoke of many miracles, like the young lady who went to Notre Dame who had been given at most five years to live when, at 15 months, she was diagnosed with a rare disease.  Many miracles will come, he told us, if the American spirit, the spirit of a father's love, that same spirit that drove that sick baby's father to develop a drug that ultimately saved his daughter's life, is freed throughout the land.  A father's love will go very far to open doors of opportunity for a son or daughter, and that spirit will revive and renew American life.

To this writer, his focus on a father's love was the link between a humdrum economic platform about growth, fair trade, and lower taxes (any conservative, pro-business candidate could have made these points) and his vision of almost unlimited possibilities for success in every area of endeavor.

A father's love.  What a motivator.  In such a love, the power of Almighty God can be channeled to accomplish great things.  This metaphor of a father's love was the most powerful vision in the entire speech, the most meaningful.  It resonates much more than the mantra about building a wall.  It is a metaphorical parallel of the love of our Father in heaven for His creation, the Lord's love for the patriarchs of the Old Testament, and ultimately His eternal mercy in sending Christ the Messiah.  The president thus, with talk of love, miracles, and paradise regained in a renewed American civilization, moved in the direction of transcendence.  Trump was pragmatic, yes, but his expressed pragmatism suddenly and unashamedly blossomed into a flower of visionary images and prophetic hope.  Just as Aristotle distinguished between potentiality and actuality, where the potentiality of the seed becomes the actuality of the tree, so the potentiality of America now "in a mess" (as he so often states) can and will become a Paradise Gained.

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