Sunday, February 09, 2020

Trump’s State of the Union Address Affirms Americanism as Nation’s Guiding Ethos

Patriotism was one of the most important themes of President Donald Trump’s third State of the Union address on Tuesday night.

It was a night of high emotion and more than a few theatrics that began with Trump refusing to shake House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s hand and ending with Pelosi tearing up a copy of the speech. All this took place in the shadow of a highly charged impeachment trial that finally came to a close with an acquittal a day later.

Beyond Trump’s specific descriptions about the state of the economy, American health care, and a variety of other issues relating directly to his policies, he connected modern America to shared and celebrated triumphs from our nation’s past. 

Using that patriotic theme—which Trump has interspersed in all of his major speeches, from his inaugural address to his latest State of the Union address—has been one of the undeniable strengths of his presidency.

It’s a quality that was once shared by presidents across the political spectrum, but in the age of social justice warriors, statue-smashing, anthem-kneeling, and cancel culture—aided and abetted by an array of institutions from the legacy media and Hollywood to academia—Trump’s brand of unapologetic patriotism stands out.

It was particularly pronounced at the end of Trump’s speech, in which he said that Americans have a “glorious and magnificent inheritance,” after naming and praising a long list of American heroes from throughout the country’s history.

He then hearkened Americans to embrace their pioneer, frontier heritage as we as a nation again push boundaries and reach for greater accomplishments, as we always have.

“Our grandest journeys are not yet made. The American Age, the American epic, the American adventure has only just begun,” Trump said. “Our spirit is still young, the sun is still rising, God’s grace is still shining, and, my fellow Americans, the best is yet to come.”

It’s hard to understate the importance of that message.

As I wrote in my book “The War on History: The Conspiracy to Rewrite America’s Past,” there has been a concerted effort to uproot and diminish America’s past as a means to replace traditional American ideals and principles with radical ones.

This effort is on full display with the 1619 Project of The New York Times Magazine, which creates a distorted and often inaccurate picture of American history, a history that at its core the magazine says is rooted in slavery and racism, not liberty.

At the heart of that way of thinking, which is now embedded deeply in American cultural institutions, is that Americans should feel shame, rather than pride, in their country’s accomplishments and that the bad things about our past negate the good.

That in part is why so many of those institutions are now being looked upon with skepticism, why Americans are in a populist mood, and why Trump’s message resonates with so many people.

Trump wisely chose to highlight both the heroes of our history—like Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, and the Wright brothers—as well as the ones still with us, such as 100-year-old Charles McGee, one of the few surviving Tuskegee Airmen, who he promoted to brigadier general.

The message was not simply that we must celebrate our past. Instead, it was about keeping Americans rooted in the best aspects of their past, while focusing their eyes squarely on the horizon.

That is a quintessentially American outlook. Often, it’s the very belief that our nation has a special mission in this world—that we are the unique pathfinders, trailblazing as no one else has—that has become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Though Americans, like any other people, are flawed and fallen, the United States was not created to be a nation like any other. We may not be perfect, but we are committed to a great cause, and it took many heroes—both remembered and forgotten—to ensure that that legacy would endure.

We look to that brighter future not because we are ashamed of our past, but because we are proud of what our country stands for and would like nothing more than to see it have a greater and even more triumphant future.

Today, as new and potent threats to our way of life emerge in the world, it is essential that Americans come to understand and deepen their appreciation of our history, reject the noxious identity politics that threaten to shatter the concept of e pluribus unum, and embrace an inclusive Americanism that can unite the country in the face of its challenges.

Trump’s State of the Union address affirmed that ethos.



Romney’s Trump envy disappoints Utah

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement blasting Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) for announcing he would vote to convict President Donald Trump:

“Mitt Romney has proven that his venal nature and envy over President Trump’s election has overcome any rational judgment when it comes to impeachment. Romney’s vote to convict reveals much more about his lack of character than it does about President Trump. While this is not surprising, it is disappointing in that prior to the 17th Amendment, the legislature of the state of Utah would have been able to immediately remove him from representing their state.”



How experts plan to treat the new coronavirus

As the coronavirus outbreak in China continues to spread, having infected over 24,000 people so far, scientists around the world are racing to find a treatment. Most of the people infected with the new coronavirus, dubbed 2019-nCov, have not received a treatment specific to that virus — because there isn't one.

In fact, none of the handful of coronaviruses known to infect humans has an approved treatment, and people who are infected typically receive care mainly to help relieve symptoms, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, a handful of repurposed drugs, from drugs targeting Ebola to HIV, have already shown promise, according to new findings.

Until recently, there were very few effective antivirals, said Stephen Morse, a professor at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. That was especially true for RNA viruses — like 2019-nCov and HIV — which use RNA, rather than DNA, as their genetic material, Morse said.

That's changing.

"In recent years, perhaps encouraged by the successful development of HIV anti-virals, which proved it might be feasible to do more, our armamentarium has greatly expanded," Morse said. Even so, developing brand-new drugs requires a huge investment of both time and resources, he added. So "while you're waiting for the new miracle drug, it's worthwhile looking for existing drugs that could be repurposed" to treat new viruses, Morse told Live Science.

That's exactly the route doctors took to treat a 35-year-old man in Washington state, the first U.S. patient to have been infected with the new coronavirus. When his symptoms worsened, the man was given an unapproved antiviral drug called remdesivir that was originally developed to treat Ebola, according to a case report published Jan. 31 in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Doctors gave this drug to the patient by making a "compassionate use" request to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA),  which allows experimental drugs to be given to people outside of clinical trials, usually in emergency situations. The patient, who was recently released from the hospital, didn't seem to experience any side effects of the drug.

In animal models, scientists have found that remdesivir can knock down similar coronaviruses, such as the ones that cause Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Despite its use in an emergency situation, the drug "has not been demonstrated to be safe or effective for any use," Gilead Sciences, the biopharmaceutical company that is developing the drug, said in a statement.

Recently, a group of researchers tested a number of antivirals in the lab for their effectiveness against the new coronavirus. They found that remdesivir stopped the virus from replicating in a lab dish. Similarly, the group found that chloroquine — an approved and widely used anti-malarial and autoimmune disease drug — was also effective in stopping the virus from spreading in human cells in the lab, the researchers reported in a short letter published Feb. 4 in the journal Cell Research. What's more, both drugs were effective at low concentrations, and neither drug was highly toxic to human cells.

"These findings were encouraging but not entirely surprising" because of the previous testing in Ebola patients, cell cultures and animal models, said Fanxiu Zhu, a professor in the Department of Biological Science at Florida State University who was not part of the study. Both drugs "maybe are worthy of trial in this unprecedented and devastating situation," Zhu told Live Science.

Though researchers expected the drugs to work, this group effectively proved they did, at least in the lab, in a short time frame, Morse said. Chloroquine "seems to need a higher concentration than remdesivir, but it's within the feasible range, and if it really works as well as the published in vitro results, it would be quite promising," he said.

Despite those results, testing antivirals in lab dishes "is the beginning, not the end of the process," Morse said. If it works in the lab, or even in animal models, "that's no guarantee it will work in a human patient." Gilead Sciences is now working with health officials in China to establish clinical trials to test the effect of remdesivir on patients infected with the new coronavirus, according to their statement.

"I think that there's a lot of hope with remdesivir having some effect, and I think we'll only find that out from clinical trials," said Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious-disease specialist and a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in Baltimore.




GRANDSTANDING WAS REHEARSED: Pelosi pre-ripped SOTU speech during Trump address (Fox News)

JUST SAYING: "I wasn't sure if [Nancy Pelosi] was ripping up the speech or ripping up the Constitution." —Mike Pence

DECORUM FOR THEE BUT NOT FOR ME: Democrat House minions rejects GOP resolution condemning Pelosi for ripping up Trump's speech (The Hill)

"HE SHREDDED THE TRUTH": Pelosi unloaded on Trump in private meeting after SOTU standoff (Politico)

AWESOME: McConnell, immediately after impeachment acquittal, files cloture on more judges to remake judiciary (The Daily Wire)

REMINDER: Top Romney adviser worked with Hunter Biden on board of Ukrainian energy company (The Federalist)

CLEARER PICTURE: Buttigieg, Sanders nearly tied as Iowa caucus results narrow (AP)

TRADE TRUCE: China cuts tariffs on $75 billion of U.S. imports (AP)

FOR THE RECORD: ObamaCare made things worse for patients with preexisting conditions (The Daily Signal)

RAINBOW MAFIA: "Sesame Street" to feature cross-dressing gay entertainer for impressionable preschoolers (The Federalist)

WHEN RITUAL IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN REUSE: Baltimore County admits it hasn't been recycling glass for seven years; it still encourages residents to recycle glass (Reason)

POLICY: The deregulatory achievements of the Trump Labor Department (National Review)

POLICY: As Trump said in State of the Union, demand for school choice is huge (Washington Examiner)

NO KIDDING: "I wish Romney fought as hard for voters in 2012 as he does against the Trump administration." —Dana Loesch

HOT AIR: "In the year 2020, how can a president of the United States give a State of the Union speech and not mention climate change?" —Sen. Bernie Sanders

AND LAST... "Democrats think President Donald Trump committed a high crime or misdemeanor the moment he defeated Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. That is the original sin of this presidency." —Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

AL-QAIDA IN THE CROSSHAIRS: U.S. kills another top terrorist, days after his group claimed responsibility for Pensacola attack (CNSNews)

INTOLERANCE: Pelosi omits Christians as she lists religious persecutions around the world (The Daily Signal)

BURISMA UPDATE: Senate gets "highly sensitive" Hunter Biden records after letter to money-laundering unit in Treasury Department (The Daily Wire)

AMAZING THE DIFFERENCE A HANDS-OFF REGIME MAKES: New high of 90% of Americans satisfied with personal life; Republicans, married adults are among the most satisfied (Gallup)

POLICY: What year did healthcare become a "right"? (Hint: never) (Mises Institute)


For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), A Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here  (Personal).  My annual picture page is hereHome page supplement


No comments: