It’s actually sort of cute, at least from a distance. There the Democrats are, playing on their hobbyhorses with all the other neighborhood children. Wobbly Chris Matthews is there, rubbing his leg and shouting. Hello, Chris! There’s Don Lemón and Rachel Maddow and Pastor David French and Bill Kristol all in a circle with their little friends from the New York Times and the Washington Post. They’re doing their nervous war dances, sending smoke signals, and hopping along on their make-believe mares, tilting at that giant windmill called Donald Trump, the evil genie they assemble daily to subject to ritual excoriation. What would they do without him?
It’s too bad, of course, that so many mean kids from bad neighborhoods keep showing up to spoil this fun. Where do they come from: truant boys and girls like Christine Blasey Ford and Lev Parnas and former presidential hopeful Michael Avenatti? Why do the hobby horse boys keep dragging them into their sandbox? It spoils the fun, makes the adults nervous, and these bad boys and girls keep getting detention, like Mike Avenatti who is spending his time-out in the room once reserved for El Chapo, another bad boy from a neighborhood far away.
Meanwhile, the president of the United States gave a talk at the World Economic Forum in Davos this morning. The Democrats are running around like banshees in the Senate and have plastered the neighborhood with their make-believe ‘wanted’ posters making fun of the man who has been changing the rules of their game. But Donald Trump, leaving the children to play their games, had two important announcements, one of which should (but probably will not) please the overexcited children at home.
The good news for them, if they have ears to hear, is that their sandbox, in fact, their entire neighborhood, is getting a big makeover. There are already more toys and new playground equipment, and there is a lot more to come. As the president noted, ‘America achieved this stunning turnaround not by making minor changes to a handful of policies — but by adopting a whole new approach centered entirely on the wellbeing of the American worker. Every decision we make — on taxes, trade, regulation, energy, immigration, education and more — is focused on improving the lives of everyday Americans.’
The boys and girls screaming at home don’t like to be reminded of math, but the president had some useful lessons to impart to them and to his friends in Davos. Because of his new approach focusing on American workers, the United States has added seven million jobs over the last three years. Unemployment across the board is at historic lows, wages, especially at the lower end, are rising, manufacturing is flooding back to this country, and consumer sentiment is as bright as that excited puppy Elizabeth Warren got for Christmas.
America is now the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas and is energy independent. That means that we no longer have to go the bad guys across the lake to get the power for our cars and lights and furnaces and airplanes. Some of the boys and girls complain that all that energy is going to cause a big mess, but the president explained that ‘the United States has among the cleanest air and drinking water on earth — and we are going to keep it that way…we are committed to conserving the majesty of God’s creation and the natural beauty of our world.’
And here’s something the boys and girls back home will like: ‘Today,’ the president said, ‘I am pleased to announce the United States will join the 1 Trillion Trees Initiative being launched here at the World Economic Forum.’ All those trees to climb and apples to pick!
The president also had some advice for the crybabies and selfish children who disdain to be pleased. Cheerfulness is better than pouting, he noted, recommending that we ‘reject the perennial prophets of doom and their predictions of the apocalypse.’
‘They are the heirs of yesterday’s foolish fortune-tellers…they predicted an overpopulation crisis in the 1960s, mass starvation in the 1970s, and an end of oil in the 1990s. These alarmists always demand the same thing: absolute power to dominate, transform and control every aspect of our lives. We will never let radical socialists destroy our economy, wreck our country, or eradicate our liberty. America will always be the proud, strong and unyielding bastion of freedom.’
All that will be on the test, class, so take careful notes.
A lot of the president’s speech at Davos was a review for that test: what happened over the past three years. The nearly 200 federal judges confirmed, the two Supreme Court Justices, the astonishing performance of the stock market, and hence of the retirement plans of ordinary Americans, the tax cuts and reforms of the regulatory environment and so on.
The second big announcement in the president’s speech concerned the future. We can expect great things from the new economic deal with Mexico and Canada and the evolving deal with China. We can also expect great things from an impending deal with the United Kingdom, who again, finally, has a playground to call its own.
The world faces many problems, some of them seemingly intractable. But the president looked back in order to look forward. Towards the end of his remarks, he mentioned 15th-century Florence and the optimistic spirit that stood behind the construction of the great dome at Santa Maria del Fiore. In August 1418, the city fathers announced a competition to design and build the dome for the great cathedral, then under construction. It was generally agreed that such a huge dome could not be built without external support. But a 41-year-old goldsmith and clockmaker named Filippo Brunelleschi stepped forward to undertake the challenge. Over the next 28 years, he solved the many problems of the dome’s construction and bequeathed us what is still the largest dome in the world.
The president drew an important lesson from that episode. ‘The cathedrals of Europe,’ he said, ‘teach us to pursue big dreams, daring adventures and unbridled ambitions. They urge us to consider not only what we build today, but what we will endure long after we are gone. They testify to the power of ordinary people to realize extraordinary achievements when united by a grand and noble purpose.’
It would be pretty to think that the boys and girls yelling in around the US Senate today would pause to absorb that lesson. As far as I can see, however, they are still at it and are unlikely to pause even when recess comes and cookies and milk are served.