In his State of the Union, President Donald Trump managed to do what political watchers wouldn’t have predicted possible just a few short hours, nay minutes, before his opening words — and that’s draw together the chamber, the Democrats and Republicans, the socialists and progressives, the entire country.
He made Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez smile and applaud, for crying out loud.
“No one has benefitted more from our thriving economy than women, who have filled 58 percent of our newly created jobs last year,” Trump said.
“All Americans can be proud that we have more women in Congress than ever before,” Trump said.
“And exactly one century after the Congress passed the constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote, we also have more women serving in Congress than at any time before,” he said.
And that’s when the miracle happened: The Republican-bashing, Trump-hating, free market-detesting, Constitution-twisting Ocasio-Cortez smiled, clapped and cheered. The women in white who surrounded her jumped to their feet and hooped and whooped, as well.
It was a stunning moment. The chamber, the entire chamber of Republicans and Democrats, began chanting, “USA! USA! USA!”
Trump delivered a speech of unity — and for at least a short span of time, the chamber was unified. Trump the misogynist, as the left likes to paint him, brought the women to their celebratory feet.
That’s not to say Trump caved on his core principles, either.
“No better issue illustrates the divide between America’s working class and America’s political class than illegal immigration,” he said. “Wealthy politicians and donors push for open borders while living their lives behind walls and gates and guards.”
True enough. Yet Democrats — the same Democrats who supported the likes of border fencing and the end of chain migration just a few years ago— now find themselves standing in opposition to these exact provisions when they’re offered by Trump. Why?
‘Cause Trump’s Trump and it’s a Resist Trump era.
But here’s the thing: The country watched as even Ocasio-Cortez was brought to her feet with cheers, by all appearances, for Trump. If even a socialist can be swept into agreeing with Trump, cheering for Trump, on something the Democrats like to embrace and claim as core platforms — women’s rights, women’s equality, women’s social justice, the economy as it pertains to women, job opportunities for women — then Democrats might want to rethink their anti-stance against this White House. They’re overplaying the resistance.
A socialist, in a rare moment of truth, said as much.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley.