President Donald Trump sounded almost all the right notes from a nationalist perspective in his State of the Union tonight. It is especially important that he identified Americans as pioneers, not merely immigrants.
The American nation was carved out of the vast frontier by the toughest, strongest, fiercest, and most determined men and women ever to walk on the face of the Earth. Our ancestors braved the unknown, tamed the wilderness, settled the Wild West, lifted millions from poverty, disease, and hunger, vanquished tyranny and fascism, ushered the world to new heights of science and medicine, laid down the railroads, dug out the canals, raised up the skyscrapers -- and, ladies and gentlemen, our ancestors built the most exceptional republic ever to exist in all of human history.
[President Trump's 2020 State of the Union address, annotated, Washington Post, February 4, 2020]
This framing is key. America was not built by "immigrants" or "slaves" but pioneers and settlers. In fact, the only mention of "immigrants" was when President Trump said "the state of California passed an outrageous law declaring their whole state to be a sanctuary for criminal illegal immigrants, a very terrible sanctuary, with catastrophic results." After giving an example, President Trump stated: "I ask Congress to pass the Justice for Victims of Sanctuary Cities Act immediately. The United States of America should be a sanctuary for law-abiding Americans, not criminal aliens."
President Trump also took credit for efforts to secure the southern border, though, of course, we wish he was doing more. "If you come illegally," he said, "you will now be promptly removed from our country." Tens of millions of illegals already here disagree, though, as Peter Brimelow always reminds me, President Hillary Clinton would have already given them citizenship. Still, some strategic deportation would be welcome.
President Trump also praised the Border Patrol and ICE, pinning the Democrats (especially Bernie Sanders) down on their extreme position to abolish ICE [Ilhan Omar at Sanders Rally: 'We Need to Abolish ICE' and 'We Should All Be Proud to Be Radicals', by Michael Van Der Galien, PJ Media, December 18, 2019]. This is something to hammer on during the election.
Unfortunately, official English was not mentioned. Neither was a remittance tax. I've been assured by journos that the White House is reading VDARE.com, so I expected at least some rhetoric on this. Instead, in the last State of the Union before the 2020 election, President Trump leaves a wildly popular issue on the table and allows the Democrats to push back on President Trump's campaign promise that "Mexico will pay for the wall."
These are both things that could have been done in 2017 when the GOP controlled Congress and had they been done, the GOP would probably still control Congress. However, we are where we are, and look at the alternative.
President Trump also said that he would replace America's "randomized" immigration system with a merit-based system. This is certainly more rational than the absurd system we have now, but it's questionable whether it is really better. America needs a moratorium, not more immigrants to compete with educated Americans. President Trump's boasting about improving education is pointless if he's just going to turn around and undercut them with overseas competition.
President Trump is clearly shifting back to campaign mode, which is a good thing. However, he still needs nationalist pressure to go in the right direction. The 2020 election is going to be about the Rust Belt, and if President Trump wants to win, he needs to turn the GOP into the Workers' Party he promised, not the party of H1-B Visas.