One thing that struck me about the speech was that if we tweaked a few things (perhaps omitted a couple?) and simply changed that R to a D, the democrats could have applauded the whole speech. Some did clap at points, but often the Dems sat sullenly while the GOP side erupted in applause, frequently rising to their feet. There were plenty of causes championed by the Left that got a nod from Trump: black history month, women entrepreneurs, paid family leave, even women’s health. A democrat probably could have given exactly the same speech a decade ago and been praised by his party.
Surprisingly, many of the reactions, even on the Left, were positive or at least not all-out-attack mode (to which we’ve become accustomed). Here’s one response:
Liberal CNN commentator Van Jones was blown away by President Trump’s tribute to slain Navy SEAL Ryan Owens and his widow during Trump’s address to Congress Tuesday night.
“He became President of the United States in that moment, period,” Jones said. “There are a lot of people who have a lot of reasons to be frustrated with him, to be fearful of him, to be mad at him. But that was one of the most extraordinary moments you have ever seen in American politics, period.
“And for people who have been hoping that he would become unifying, hoping that he might find some way to become presidential, they should be happy with that moment. For people who have been hoping that he would remain a divisive cartoon, which he often finds a way to do, they should begin to become a little bit worried tonight,” Jones added. “Because that thing you just saw him do–if he can find a way to do that over and over again, he’s going to be there for eight years.”
And from CBS, “How did world leaders react to Trump’s speech to Congress?” — a somewhat comical article due to it’s rather limited coverage of “world leaders” and that they felt the need to bring up Russia as “a country … the intelligence community believes hacked the 2016 U.S. election to aid Mr. Trump.”
Considering the more-positive-than-expected reactions, it’s interesting that supposedly “fewer people watched President Trump address Congress for the first time than tuned in to see Barack Obama do the same in 2009.” While Mainstream Networks were rather down in their numbers, Fox did have the highest ratings among them. But do these numbers say more about the networks losing viewers than they do about interest in the president’s speech?
Lower viewing numbers may have more to do with where people are watching than how many actually watched. The past 8 years have made a real difference in where folks are getting their news and watching “TV.” It’s called the internet people. I know I didn’t watch the speech on tv. Nielsen’s ratings isn’t bothering to try to calculate numbers for all the people who’ve watched online (is that even possible?); so it seems the rating are rather meaningless for making comparisons.
But considering that a viewing of the speech on youtube leads to multiple recommendations of negative leftist reactions, I can’t help but think the development of alternative platforms are needed now more than ever. Here’s hoping the non-liberal techies out there are hard at work.