Jim Antle, editor of The American Conservative, remarks to readers that “renewing American greatness means summoning it to peace.” He writes (abridged):
“Great nations do not fight endless wars,” declared President Donald Trump to bipartisan applause belied by many of the assembled lawmakers’ actual voting records.
“Our brave troops have now been fighting in the Middle East for almost 19 years,” Trump said in the highlight of his speech. “In Afghanistan and Iraq, nearly 7,000 American heroes have given their lives. More than 52,000 Americans have been badly wounded. We have spent more than $7 trillion in the Middle East.”
Trump has cited these sad statistics many times. In recent weeks, he appears to have renewed his commitment to acting on them. It was therefore noteworthy he repeated his calls to withdraw from Syria and begin to draw down troops in Afghanistan, our country’s longest war.
Trump called for bipartisanship throughout his speech.
“If I had not been elected president of the United States, we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea,” Trump said. “Much work remains to be done, but my relationship with Kim Jong Un is a good one.”
Trump had clever lines designed to make even the sea of liberal women dressed in white in protest stand to applaud, including his tribute to their unprecedented numbers in Congress (thanks in no small part to the Resistance). But foreign policy and ending the wars gives him the best chance at a meaningful bipartisan achievement as the Democratic Party’s center of gravity shifts from Hillary Clinton to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and perhaps even Tulsi Gabbard.
Nevertheless, Trump made the case that renewing American greatness means summoning it to peace. That could be a winning message for a Republican candidate in 2020 too.
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