Tuesday night, President Donald Trump made more pie-in-the-sky promises then Marie Callendar’s. He talked about renewing the American spirit and curing every problem known to man and maybe even some not known. He promised the moon, as Jimmy Stewart did to Donna Reed in It’s a Wonderful Life, without the lasso.
Today, most of his supporters and even some of his detractors are throwing bouquets with the velocity of pitchers in spring training. But there were a few details that the man, who says repeatedly he understands better than anyone, didn’t mention:
Climate change: The greatest existential threat to this country and the planet.
Money: As in, where it will come from to build the great, great wall and give huge tax breaks to both individuals and corporations, give everyone better and more affordable health care, increase the military budget?
Mechanization: Most jobs lost, especially in manufacturing, were not because we are in bad trade deals or companies have necessarily moved out of the country. It’s that companies here in America use fewer people and more robotics then at any time in our history. And that trend is only going to increase, which leads to the next point:
Retraining: When those jobs are lost to robots, the work force in this country must be retrained to stay employed in good, high-paying jobs. And that includes miners, of whom there are 70,000 today in the U.S. More and more mine operators are using automation over people to extract coal.
Finally, “demeanor”: The Trump of Tuesday night said Congress must get to work and put trivial fights behind. So, what about Trump’s demeanor for getting things done? So far, he has picked fights with the media, our intelligence agencies, countries around the world. Will Trump begin acting like a rational adult — which admittedly he pulled off last night for an hour — or are his acting skills limited to only when he is in front of a teleprompter?
There are many more issues and challenges our country faces that Trump either gave lip service to or absolutely none. It reminded of the “where’s the beef?” commercial in the 1980s. Sadly, there was not only no beef but the “bun,” or in this case substance, was cut extremely thin. You must hand it to Trump; he did provide good theater, and he talked a good game,
However, the words he used that were supposed to motivate have been said so many times before by this president. Every time, his actions are the antithesis of what he says. The double talk helped get him elected, but unless he shows he can walk the walk, including how to formulate policy and have it legislated through Congress, the dialogue we heard last night came out of a story book called Peter Pan> “I can fly.”