Because he didn’t go on any bizarre tangents or spend 30 minutes ridiculing the media, reporting on Trump’s Tuesday night address to Congress has been almost flattering. But don’t buy it.
Trump hasn’t changed at all. Anyone can read from a prepared script, and this one no doubt had a lot of hands on it, from Chief Advisor (and noted white supremacist) Steve Bannon to Trump’s daughter, Ivanka. Trump took credit for things he really has no control over, like the stock market’s meteoric rise since the election. (A rise not based on any economic fundamentals, and doomed to collapse once the real effects of Trump’s policies begin to play out.) He also spun his failures, like the botched raid in Yemen, going so far as to use a fallen soldier’s widow as a prop–indeed, a human shield–against criticism. He also flat-out lied about who perpetrates terrorist attacks in this country. (Hint: most terrorists who carry out attacks here are home-grown.)
Then there’s the positively Orwellian VOICE office, designed to represent the needs and interests of people victimized by immigrants, as if they are a special class of victim that needs extra attention. In fact, immigrants commit fewer crimes than the general population. Much like the proposed border wall with Mexico, put forth at a time when net migration is nearly zero, it’s a solution in search of a problem, a purely political move with no coherent policy content.
That he didn’t simply shit on the carpet is apparently enough to earn him rave reviews, even though he’s not really backtracked on any of his toxic policies. He was able to keep the mendacity to a minimum because he wasn’t speaking off the cuff–a feat literally anyone could accomplish when given a prepared, vetted speech. But in place of lies we got ruthless propaganda, echoes of his “law and order” speech from last year’s GOP convention, a portrayal of the United States as besieged, belittled, and bullied by a world that doesn’t appreciate us. But don’t worry, Trump is going to fix it!
Stay vigilant and don’t buy this nonsense. He hasn’t changed at all, and it’s disappointing that so many outlets are falling for it.