No, Virginia, Trump Has Not Lost A Step

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Monday, Feb 26, 2024 - 01:35 PM

Authored by Roger L. Simon via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Don’t tell the legacy media or the various left-wing politicians, bureaucrats, intelligence agencies, and their minions, paid or unpaid, who wish him ill, but the meme they are seeking to promulgate, overtly and covertly, is dead wrong.

Former United States Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump speak at NRB on Thursday Feb 22, 2024 at Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville Tennessee. (Photo by Roger L. Simon/Epoch Times)

The 45th president of the United States, Donald J. Trump, has not lost a step.

If anything, it’s the reverse. He is sharper than ever.

That’s what experience does.

The attempts to draw an equivalency between the mental fitness of Mr. Trump and President Biden are absurd malicious propaganda.

How do I know this?

I was in the audience of two thousand plus at Nashville’s Opryland on Feb. 22 when Mr. Trump addressed the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) for more than an hour and a half with nary a stumble, consulting a teleprompter or extemporizing as he wished.

He was also wittier than anyone on late night television.

He began this speech some minutes beyond 9:30 p.m. after he had given a previous talk that same evening at a fundraiser in the city.

The man is a force of nature.

This was, roughly, the fifteenth time I had heard 45 speak live, and I had vowed for once not to sit in the press section in the rear.

When Mr. Trump, as he almost always did, called out the “fake news” while pointing at that section, it always seemed he was wagging his finger directly at me.

I wanted to say, “Wait! Wait!”  (His real targets were often only a few feet away from me.)

But my effort, this time, to be “among the people” misfired. From the outset, it was clear the event contained more useful information than I would be able to remember, and I retreated to the press area to take notes with my laptop.

Here is what jumped out at me:

I expected the introductory speeches to be boring. They weren’t.

First up was NRB CEO Troy Miller, who began by telling us that all presidential candidates from both parties had been invited to speak, but only one had accepted. He shrugged knowingly after this, generating a good laugh.

More importantly, he spoke forcefully of Christian support for free speech, noting, “The righteous have no need to suppress the truth.”  (I scribbled that one down.)

Also on hand was Paul Dans from the Heritage Foundation’s 2025 Presidential Transition Project, which seeks to bring conservatives to Washington D. C. to replace the Deep State unelected bureaucracy, thereby diminishing their numbers and ability to shape, even control, policy.

There was also a representative of Salem Media who talked of their company’s fight against “woke” rhetoric before one of Salem’s stars, talk show host Hugh Hewitt, gave the first formal talk.

Mr. Hewitt alerted the audience to the left’s latest propagandist buzzwords, “Christian nationalist.”  As he put it, “They are trying to steer Christians into believing we are something we are not. We have no desire to run other people’s lives. Demand they define their terms.”

Then Kevin Roberts, president of the Heritage Foundation, gave an accurate and well-received tour d’horizon of everything conservatives despise about modern liberalism and progressivism and what to do about it.

In urging the election of Donald Trump, he spoke a sentence that provided a pungent introduction to the next speaker (after some delay), the 45th president himself:

“This November, we’re choosing a president, not a pastor.”

Indeed so, but he brought up an issue I and many others had been cogitating.

Back in 2016, it seemed the alliance between Donald Trump and evangelical Christians was an uneasy one. It was more of a marriage of convenience—they both thought Hillary Clinton anathema-- than a “marriage made in heaven,” given that Mr. Trump had spent decades living the lifestyle of what one might call a jazzy New York public figure, scarcely an evangelical one.

But the welcome Mr. Trump was given the night of Feb 22 at Opryland was in no way uneasy. It was resoundingly positive. No one remained in their seat when he entered. Cellphones were waving as people stretched on their tiptoes for a better camera angle.

Mr. Trump delivered a speech that was, in part, what many of us had heard before but skewed slightly to emphasize his Christianity and, probably consequently, his deep-seated love and defense of Israel.

He stated he “fought harder for Christians than any president has done before.”

Is that true? I’m not sure, but there is an argument. He is the first president to attend the March for Life in Washington, D.C.

Did that “jazzy” New Yorker actually deserve this wholehearted support of evangelical Christians? He would not be the first in history to have evolved from a largely secular life. It’s an illuminating process for some that changes people to a surprising extent. It did for me, on a much smaller scale, when I gradually evolved from a secular Jew to one of more faith.

Mr. Trump’s evolution has led him to affirm his religious faith emphatically as he did that night with statements like “Our allegiance is to our Creator. They [the Democrats] don’t get that.” Or: “They can’t stand we don’t answer to bureaucrats in Washington. We answer to God in Heaven.”

For once, with a politician, I actually think he means it. Or, perhaps more accurately, he has come to mean it—and that’s a wonderful thing.

It’s amusingly ironic that the headliner, with Mr. Trump himself of course, of the fundraiser 45 had just left was his supporter, the great singer/songwriter Kid Rock, a man known to employ expletives not often heard in church or read on the pages of The Epoch Times.

I would argue, however, that Mr. Rock (real name Robert James Richie) is a man who is, in his own way, of as deep a faith as any of us—unless you’re a Bud Light beer can. (Full Disclosure: I am a huge Kid Rock fan.)

Nevertheless, perhaps out of discretion, Mr. Richie did not accompany Mr. Trump to the NRB convention, at least as far as I could tell.

Who did accompany him, the sole person he invited to join him on stage—he often invites many—was his former ambassador to Israel, David Friedman.

The reasons were obvious.

Mr. Friedman was greeted with utmost warmth and applause by an audience largely of evangelicals who are known as the greatest friends of Israel, not only in our country but arguably anywhere. (There were also a few religious Jews I spotted in the audience wearing their yarmulkes.)

Mr. Friedman saluted his former boss, saying, “Mr. President, you are the greatest friend Israel ever had.”

You could argue in favor of President Harry Truman, who was the first to recognize the fledgling country, but the litany of Mr. Trump’s achievements—moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and, needless to say, the epochal Abraham Accords, all while preserving peace—it’s hard to dispute Ambassador Friedman.

As a Jew, you can imagine how I was feeling through all this.

Mr. Trump continued with a list of his intentions on his election, or should we say reelection. All were well-received, but the loudest applause came from his pledge to unwind the gender ideology overwhelming our schools and universities and his promise never to allow men to compete in women’s sports.

He ended by urging all not to be complacent but to vote on March 5 (Super Tuesday): “We have to let the world know we are coming in big numbers because you can only cheat so much.”

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times or ZeroHedge.