Trump’s speech last night was a momentous event. In fact, one can safely say that his address contained more memorable moments than any State of the Union speech in recent history. For a full hour and a half, Trump touted America’s greatness not merely with facts and accomplishments, but with a seemingly endless stream of anecdotes about veterans, astronauts, agents, survivors, and other heroes. The message was clear: America’s greatness comes from the accomplishments and greatness of its people.
Not everything in the speech went smoothly, however. There were moments of awkwardness, to be sure. The hush from half of the room was palpable whenever Trump mentioned border security. Things got downright weird when Trump recognized the accomplishments of American working women, and white-clad Democrat Congresswomen began gesturing to themselves. This self-aggrandizing display was mercifully and playfully cut short when Trump, himself, officially recognized the accomplishments of these women. Classy masculinity trumped toxic femininity.
The moment that stood out most, however, was Trump’s comments regarding Russia investigations. Trump took aim at these “partisan” investigations right after finishing a powerful condemnation of war. “Endless wars,” Trump opined, are a threat to the greatness of nations. In the same way, he argued, endless investigations are a threat to the greatness of American democracy. He went on:
“An economic miracle is taking place in the United States, and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics, or ridiculous, partisan investigations. If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. It just doesn’t work that way.”
President Trump is absolutely right about this. Never before in the history of American democracy has an election-linked investigation been used to cast a shadow over an entire presidential term. At this point, whether Mueller finds any wrongdoing or not, his continued investigation has effectively put an asterisk over Trump’s first two years in office. If Mueller’s presence (and Democrat exploitation of that presence) covers Trump’s entire presidency, a portion of the power of American democracy will have been surrendered to unelected bureaucracy.
What bigger threat to democracy can there be than giving holdovers from a previous administration the power to effectively nullify a president? A Jacksonian “spoils system” would surely be preferable to that miserable situation. Booting every bureaucrat from office every four-to-eight years would be a small price to pay for avoiding the complete abandonment of democratic accountability. So, the next time you hear mainstream talking heads media-splain the value of the “forms” and “institutions” working against President Trump, ask yourself whether you would rather be ruled by cosmopolitan bureaucrats or by the American People.
If you choose the American People, then the endless Russia investigation must conclude. Now.