President Trump has officially transformed himself from merely a great American president into a historic world leader keeping lit the torch of freedom for all people around the world.
In two speeches this week, Mr. Trump proved himself the greatest champion of freedom since Ronald Reagan. He has become the strongest voice today for “that shining city upon a hill.”
Mr. Trump joins Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Pope John Paul II and Martin Luther King Jr. in the pantheon of great champions of freedom from the past half-century.
In his spectacular State of the Union address, Mr. Trump was America’s biggest cheerleader, celebrating the daring ingenuity and industry that has always made America great.
“If there is a mountain, we climb it; if there is a frontier, we cross it; if there is a challenge, we tame it; if there is an opportunity, we seize it.”
It’s a small thing, but it defines what is best about our country. Kind of the exact opposite of “You didn’t build that.”
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Even better, Mr. Trump celebrated that which America stands for.
When he introduced Ji Seong-ho, he was not celebrating an American or trumpeting an American achievement.
Mr. Ji was a freedom-starved, tortured waste-of-a-life doomed to die in North Korea. The shocking story Mr. Trump told seared in millions of minds just what brutal tyranny looks like.
Stolen coal. Starvation on the tracks. Raw amputations. Eating dirt — so that your brother might have your meager rations. Torture for meeting Christians.
“Today he has a new leg, but Seong-ho, I understand you still keep those crutches as a reminder of how far you have come.”
That scene of Mr. Ji standing, triumphantly pumping those rickety old crutches over his head, will be remembered forever.
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“Today he lives in Seoul, where he rescues other defectors and broadcasts into North Korea what the regime fears the most: the truth.”
In telling Mr. Ji’s story, the president was not celebrating just America, but what America stands for.
Mr. Trump delivered another speech Thursday to Republicans gathered in West Virginia.
It will, of course, be remembered for the greatest line ever uttered by a politician.
“We’ve fulfilled more promises than we promised,” Mr. Trump boasted. Indeed, Yogi Berra could not have said it better.
The speech should also be noted as proof that Mr. Trump aims to keep up his drumbeat for freedom.
“There is one more very important promise we’re keeping,” he said. “No longer are we making apologies for America.”
He said, “We’re proud of our history, we’re confident in our values, and we’re grateful to our heroes.”
Then he talked about building the Empire State Building, the Hoover Dam, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Panama Canal.
“We’re the nation that won two world wars, defeated fascism and communism and put satellites into space and planted our great American flag on the face of the moon. We’ve healed the sick, cured disease and cared for the poor like no other nation. We’ve lifted millions into prosperity and delivered millions into freedom.”
He called these accomplishments our legacy, our birthright and “the foundation on which we build our very glorious future.”
Together, he said, we are “making America great again.”
⦁ Charles Hurt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @charleshurt.