If you were an alien being who swooped down to earth and landed inside the House chamber just in time to catch President Trump's first State of the Union address to a joint gathering of Congress, you would think that one side of the room loved America, and the other side literally hated its guts.
Praise to the U.S. flag? One side stood and cheered, the other side sat silent. Applauding America's gritty veterans? A no brainer, right? Wrong. Republicans stood and clapped, Democrats didn't budge. Freedom and democracy? Yawn, said the Democrats, as Republicans whooped and hollered.
When Trump touted the fact that black unemployment has hit a record low, you'd think the Democrats — the party of black America, seeking always to divide the races — would have at least fallen into a polite golf clap. Think again.
That's right, black Democrats hate Trump so much that they refused to cheer the rise of the black community — or even acknowledge that whatever fears they may have had about Trump, he's done, so far anyway, all right.
Throughout the 80-minute speech, Democrats were downright glum. None apparently wanted to be captured by cameras applauding anything Trump said, but it all just got weirder and weirder as the night went on.
"That is why, tonight, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to help ensure American foreign-assistance dollars always serve American interests, and only go to friends of America, not enemies of America," Trump said. Applause from the right side of the room, crickets from the left. So, Democrats object to that pledge — that America only aid friends, not foes? That's a tough sell in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, or Abilene, Texas.
When Trump told a heart-wrenching story about two young girls killed by MS-13 gang members — their parents were in Trump's box and sobbed softly — he said, "Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to finally close the deadly loopholes that have allowed MS-13, and other criminals, to break into our country. We have proposed new legislation that will fix our immigration laws, and support our ICE and Border Patrol Agents ... so that this cannot ever happen again."
The camera panned the room: One side clapping, the other side, nothing. In fact, boos and groans were heard when Trump began his story. Again, so Democrats are on the side of MS-13 and they DO want that to happen again?
It all got more silly. At one point, dissing the NFL, Trump said, "we proudly stand for the national anthem." Republicans stood. Democrats sat. So petty.
"Since we passed tax cuts, roughly 3 million workers have already gotten tax cut bonuses — many of them thousands of dollars per worker." Democrats didn't applaud that, either. They seemed sad — angry, even — that Americans are getting some of their money back. The Middle Class they're always saying they fight for? No joy for them. But then again, Rep. Nancy Pelosi has called those "thousands of dollars" mere "crumbs," so that makes sense.
At another point, Trump expressed solidarity with the people of Iran. "When the people of Iran rose up against the crimes of their corrupt dictatorship, I did not stay silent. America stands with the people of Iran in their courageous struggle for freedom." Republicans cheered, Democrats sat stonefaced.
CRUX — THEY REFUSED TO APPLAUD FREEDOM IN A COUNTRY THAT OPPRESSES WOMEN AND GAYS! ALL BECAUSE THEY HATE TRUMP SO VERY MUCH.
A shot on Fox News at one point caught Democrats looking at their phones and chatting with each other during the speech. They had decided, en masse, that they wouldn't listen to Trump — and they certainly wouldn't agree with anything he said. But they missed a helluva speech.
In a section on North Korea, Trump told an amazing story that led to the picture of the night. He told the tale of Seong-ho, who in 1996 as a small boy tried to steal a lump of coal to trade for food. Exhausted and starving, he passed out on some train tracks and was run over and gravely injured. He underwent multiple amputations, but still had no food — his family sometimes ate dirt.
But he made it out. "Today, he has a new leg. But, Seong-ho, I understand you still keep those old crutches as a reminder of how far you've come. Your great sacrifice is an inspiration to us all. ... Seong-ho's story is a testament to the yearning of every human soul to live in freedom," Trump said.
Seong-ho stood and, with tears streaming down his cheeks, held aloft those old crutches, worn and beaten. The room erupted in applause.
But only a smattering of Democrats stood. They couldn't give Trump even this small moment — they couldn't cheer one man's escape from tyrannical rule merely because it was Trump telling the tale!
In his famous orations, former president Barack Obama was all about himself. In his first State of the Union, he said "I" nearly 100 times. In another speech, he praised himself a whopping 156 times.
But Trump was different last night. He said "we" 129 times, and offered his hand repeatedly to the Democrats.
Too bad they hate Trump so much they now hate America.
At the end of the speech, Trump launched into some soaring rhetoric about America. The audience, moved, began chanting "USA! USA!" Rep. Luis Gutierrez — an advocate for letting illegal aliens stay in America — was clearly triggered. So distraught was he at the chants that he rose quickly and fled the House chamber.
That's how much Democrats hate America.