In an opinion piece in today’s Richmond Times-Dispatch, John Burtka, a friend of mine and the executive editor of The American Conservative, suggests President Trump should rely on the themes of George Washington in his State of the Union speech tonight. Those major themes from Washington’s speeches are unity, safety, and happiness. John writes (abridged):
In President Donald Trump’s inaugural address, he surveyed the nation’s landscape — crumbling infrastructure, leaky borders, costly wars, deadly deindustrialization, and divisive identity politics — and in one infamous phrase, described “American carnage.”
Rejecting a 30-year bipartisan consensus driven by post-Cold War optimism, middle Americans wanted to take the country back from coastal elites, and they handed Trump the task.
As the president puts the final touches on the State of the Union, he should direct his attention to the timeless wisdom of our nation’s first president, George Washington, whose public speeches cast a winning vision of an “America First” policy agenda.
Washington’s major addresses express three principal aims for making and keeping America great: unity, safety, and happiness. In light of the recent government shutdown and a growing sense of division among Americans, this threefold formula provides Trump with a blueprint for a majority coalition in 2020.
Read more here.