Friday, August 28, 2020
The President's Address
President Trump's address last night was certainly one of the most unconventional convention speech in the history of American politics. I was among the roughly 2,000 people gathered on the White House lawn for the president's remarks.
The atmosphere was festive, and ended with a tremendous fireworks display. It harkened back to the early days of our history when the White House was opened to the public during presidential inaugurations.
A significant portion of the crowd consisted of Catholic and evangelical leaders because the president made a special effort to ensure they were included.
President Trump reminded Americans about what he accomplished during his first three years -- historic tax reform, renegotiated trade deals, reshoring manufacturing jobs, higher wages, record low unemployment -- all leading to a robust and growing economy.
Yes, it was interrupted by the coronavirus. And voters will have to decide whether to judge the president based on the past three months or the previous three years.
Several recent polls all show measurable movement toward the president. There was no bounce for Biden from the Democrat convention. If anything, it appears that Trump got a bounce from Biden's convention last week.
Democrats know the gap has closed. CNN's Jake Tapper said after Trump's address that he expects a "narrowing of the polls." Democrat pollster Doug Schoen said Trump's speech was "highly effective," adding that "the race for the White House will be much closer than most people are predicting."
The Biden campaign also announced that the former vice president will begin holding in-person campaign events after Labor Day.
A final thought: Past conventions have always featured non-politicians and attempted to spotlight average Americans. Usually those "unknown" or non-celebrity speakers were quickly forgotten. But this week was very different.
Some of the most stirring, poignant and powerful addresses came from regular Americans – a fisherman, parents, police officers, former athletes, former prisoners, a grieving widow.
A Near Riot
While events inside the White House gates may have been festive, there was a very different atmosphere outside.
I had to walk several blocks to get to my car last night. I was with a number of other evangelical leaders (names you would recognize) who were going the same way. It was like running the gauntlet.
The people on the streets appeared drug-crazed. The threat of violence hung in the air. Sen. Rand Paul and his wife could have been seriously harmed. Fortunately, a couple of police officers rescued them.
Sadly, I still hear well-meaning people ask, "Why is this happening?" But we know why.
The left says we are "deplorable," that we're "fascists." The left continues to lie about Charlottesville, insisting that Trump called neo-Nazis "really fine people." Nancy Pelosi says we are "enemies of the state."
They say conservative Christians are "the American Taliban." They say conservatives "wage war on women." They say that conservatives would put blacks "back in chains."
How many more churches have to be burned? Believe it or not, last night a mob gathered outside the historic St. John's Church and chanted, "Burn it down!"
This is the barbarism we are fighting, my friends.
Totalitarian movements always demonize and dehumanize their political opponents. Eventually, the rhetorical attacks lead to physical attacks. And once the totalitarians gain power, the real trouble starts as they attempt to erase those they have decried for years as subhuman.
Standing With Israel
As we have reported, the Trump Administration is taking serious steps to contain the threat from the radical mullahs of Iran, which threatens every nation in the Middle East and vows to annihilate the Jewish state of Israel.
But our feckless allies in Europe and useless U.N. bureaucrats are standing in the way. The U.N. Security Council recently rejected a measure to reimpose sanctions on Iran.
Ambassador Kelly Craft, America's representative at the United Nations, denounced the U.N.'s appeasement of Iran. She said:
"Let me just make it really, really clear: The Trump Administration has no fear in standing in limited company on this matter. I only regret that other members of this council have lost their way and now find themselves standing in the company of terrorists."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blasted the Security Council's action as "outrageous" and "absurd." Netanyahu added:
"Today we hear countries in the Gulf speak out as forcefully as I am doing now. I would suggest to our friends, especially our European friends, . . . that when Arabs and Israelis agree on something [the threat from Iran] it makes sense to pay attention."
Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was in Jerusalem this week, reaffirmed America's commitment to a strong and safe Israel, saying, "The United States has a legal requirement with respect to qualitative military edge. We will continue to honor that."