President Trump’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly this morning was an eloquent piece of work. It warrants review in its entirety. The White House has posted the full text here. Video is embedded below (about 42 minutes).
It was in many respects a speech that returned to the traditional themes of American foreign policy running back to the Truman administration, the Marshall Plan and the founding of the United Nations itself. Trump is held out in elite opinion as some kind of a freak, but his speech constituted a fount of reason and prudence by contrast with the wishful thinking and bizarre fantasies of the Obama years.
There is much that could be said, but I think the single most important point to make is that Trump sought to impress on his audience that under his leadership the United States has moved on from the Obama era. He is the unObama. He unashamedly asserts American national sovereignty. He expresses pride in the United States and its Constitution, without qualification or apology.
Here, for example, is a key passage:
In America, we do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to watch. This week gives our country a special reason to take pride in that example. We are celebrating the 230th anniversary of our beloved Constitution — the oldest constitution still in use in the world today.
This timeless document has been the foundation of peace, prosperity, and freedom for the Americans and for countless millions around the globe whose own countries have found inspiration in its respect for human nature, human dignity, and the rule of law.
The greatest in the United States Constitution is its first three beautiful words. They are: “We the people.”
Generations of Americans have sacrificed to maintain the promise of those words, the promise of our country, and of our great history. In America, the people govern, the people rule, and the people are sovereign. I was elected not to take power, but to give power to the American people, where it belongs.
When it comes to the bad state actors of the world — the regimes of North Korea, Iran and Venezuela foremost among them — the Trump administration has their number. Speaking of Iran, Trump stated:
We cannot let a murderous regime continue these destabilizing activities while building dangerous missiles, and we cannot abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program. (Applause.) The Iran Deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into. Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it — believe me.
This was the unObama speaking, as was this:
We will stop radical Islamic terrorism because we cannot allow it to tear up our nation, and indeed to tear up the entire world.
As was this:
One of the greatest American patriots, John Adams, wrote that the American Revolution was “effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people.”
That was the moment when America awoke, when we looked around and understood that we were a nation. We realized who we were, what we valued, and what we would give our lives to defend. From its very first moments, the American story is the story of what is possible when people take ownership of their future.
The United States of America has been among the greatest forces for good in the history of the world, and the greatest defenders of sovereignty, security, and prosperity for all.
Now we are calling for a great reawakening of nations, for the revival of their spirits, their pride, their people, and their patriotism.
There is a new sheriff in town. He confronts knotty if not insoluble problems. We pray he finds the actions to match his words.
Benjamin Netanyahu is not a disinterested party, but I think his straightforward review is entitled to serious consideration. Expressed in his own words, his reaction is not unlike my own.
President Trump spoke the truth about the great dangers facing our world
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) September 19, 2017