February 05, 2019
There's probably never been a State of the Union address that's gotten more media attention before it was delivered than this one! Thanks to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who thought she could score political points by postponing the president's speech, more eyes will be on this year's event than ever. Before Donald Trump takes his second turn at the joint session of Congress, what should Americans expect?
Last night, I got a preview of that answer in a meeting of about two dozen conservative leaders at the White House. Together with Vice President Mike Pence and President Trump, we talked about some of the major themes of tonight's address. Some of that vision has already been spelled out in a few messaging soundbites that the administration released as a sneak peak. The theme, we're told, is "Choosing Greatness," and the opportunity Congress has to reject the politics of division and embrace a spirit of cooperation.
"Together, we can break decades of political stalemate," the president will remind Americans. "We can bridge old divisions, heal old wounds, build new coalitions, forget new solutions, and unlock the extraordinary promise of America's future." But, as everyone knows, the issues before us loom large. President Trump will make a point of featuring the crisis on everyone's minds: our broken immigration system. He'll highlight the humanitarian emergency on our southern border and how stopping the trafficking of women and children -- and blocking the influx of drugs -- across the border is the right and moral decision.
He'll also focus on one of his other major priorities -- protecting American workers, especially through the trade deals the president has been able to renegotiate with key world leaders. He'll discuss health care, infrastructure, and his national security goals – some of which he's already met by rebuilding our military and loosening the grip of Obama-era social engineering.
I encouraged him to speak about the crossroads America finds itself in after the passage -- and celebration -- of extreme abortion laws like New York's. Do we want to be a culture of life or death? On behalf of the country's millions of pro-lifers, I urged him to promise that he'll protect the rights of all Americans -- born and unborn. Like us, he's greatly disturbed by what's transpired in the Empire State and Virginia over the last two weeks, so I do expect him to address it.
As much as the president talked about bipartisanship and unity, know this: the president is not seeking unity at any cost. The unity this president is hoping for is with the American people -- not the politicians in Washington who despise what our country stands for and spends their days trying to stop this White House from succeeding.
The next year is crucial -- not just to our country, but to our identity and future as Americans. Join me in praying for the president tonight, and every day -- as he and his team continue the incredible progress they've made in restoring our country's goodness and greatness.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.