The True Effectiveness of President Trump's State of the Union
What was especially effective about the State of the Union was how well it universalized conservative themes and ideas from school choice to rejecting socialism to pro-life views by using the lens of universal views and personal stories
This is something that the Left has usually done well.
For a political figure whom the Left has sought to ceaselessly demonize, President Trump pulled off a State of the Union that spoke effectively and accessibly to ordinary Americans. While the media quickly sought to depict the address as an appeal to the base, Trump took the agendas of the base and universalized them in a way that nearly everyone except opposing ideologues would agree with.
He took pro-life ideas and filtered them through the lens of a preemie baby. He took school choice and projected them through the lens of an African-American girl and her single mother. He used the brother of a victim of sanctuary state criminal policies and the widow and son of a hero killed by Soleimani's IEDs to put Democrats on the defensive without ever ceding an inch ideologically.
And it was strikingly effective.
Trump did not just speak to the base. If he had the media would have been a lot less worried and Pelosi wouldn't have torn up the speech. He addressed African-Americans. He spoke to the Rust Belt. He built a coalition of appeal to the voters Democrats needed, while leaving the ideologues in white fuming, booing, and protesting in their seats. He reduced them to their disrespectful tantrum while speaking to the nation.