Several memorable remarks President Donald Trump made on Tuesday night about socialism, energy – and the sanctity of life – continue to draw reaction from experts and politicians.
Trump: "Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country. America was founded on liberty and independence – not government coercion, domination and control. We are born fee, and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country." (State of the Union address, Feb. 5, 2019)
Frank Gaffney, founder and executive chairman of the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security during the Reagan administration. He says the president drew a sharp line between the source of America's greatness and socialism – the alternative that some progressives insist should be the nation's future:
- "[He did that] by elevating a choice for greatness on the part of our country and contrasting that with the nightmare that socialism represents – not just in Venezuela most immediately, but everywhere it's been tried at the expense of freedom that we take for granted in this country."
According to Gaffney, a staggering number of Democrats are bona fide socialists.
- "There's something on the order of 125 members of Congress – House and Senate – who would qualify as people who have extensive ties to the Democratic Socialists of America or to the Communist Party of America or to the various outriders, some of them Isalmists, but others more in the leftist fold."
Trump: "... We have unleashed a revolution in American energy. The United States is now the number-one producer of oil and natural gas anywhere in the world. And now, for the first time in 65 years, we are a net exporter of energy." (State of the Union address, Feb. 5, 2019)
Dan Kish of the Institute for Energy Research says that's not "fake news."
- "It's great news for Americans who have worried for decades about whether we have enough energy – and the truth is we have more than enough for not only ourselves, but also to sell to other people and to also have an impact on the world geopolitical and strategic circumstances."
There is a movement to reduce the USA's dependency and usage of fossil fuels. For example, Sierra Club and 350.org are pushing "clean energy." Still, groups such as the Institute for Energy Research and others maintain that today's alternative energy platforms are expensive and not as efficient as energy powered by fossil fuels.
Sanctity of life
Trump: "To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb. Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life. And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: All children — born and unborn — are made in the holy image of God." (State of the Union address, Feb. 5, 2019)
U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-Montana), chairman of the new Senate Pro-Life Caucus, was in the House chamber to hear Trump's SOTU address.
- "[When] I think about great moments I've had in public service – those moments you'll never, ever forget – that is and will be one of those moments. I was sitting with our newly elected senator from Missouri, Josh Hawley, and James Lankford was nearby [as was Tennessee Senator] Marsha Blackburn. That was a defining moment. In fact, you can hear it [in the reaction in the House].
"... You hear this visceral response of joy from the pro-life leaders in the U.S. Senate and the House. [It was a] chilling moment. I would challenge anybody to find a greater moment of putting down a marker on behalf of the unborn than that moment. We rose to our feet and we cheered – but as we looked across the chamber and saw our Democratic colleagues sitting on their hands and scowling ... If that's not a clear demarcation here, a moment of moral clarity, of what is evil and what is good, then I don't know what is."
Daines admits he was surprised when he joined the U.S. Senate that there wasn't a pro-life caucus.
- "The House has had one for years, so we launched a pro-life caucus [in the Senate]. We announced it at the March for Life a couple of weeks ago. We [also] wrote a letter to the president asking him to stop or veto any legislation coming out of the House that would strip any of the protections ... we have that we've fought for for years. We're very concerned about Nancy Pelosi and what she is up to in the House. I had 48 of my colleagues join me, so 49 U.S. senators join ... in that letter – and the best news all? The president said: I'll stand with you."
Editor's note: Senator Daines' comments were made Wednesday on "Washington Watch with Tony Perkins."