Why Trump’s Speech Was a Big Win For Conservatives

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“Amazing,” “inspirational,” and “visionary” were just some of the words used by conservatives to heap praise on President Donald Trump‘s first State of the Union address following its completion on Tuesday night.

The speech, which was one of the longest in history, was mostly a list of perceived accomplishments by Trump with a few sprinkled in moments that rankled Democrats, particularly on immigration and culture issues.

However, while many Democrats are stewing with anger following the State of the Union, major conservative names spent the hours following the speech fawning over it.

Fox News host Sean Hannity called the speech “visionary,” and declared that “America is back,” while dismissing any criticism of the speech—of which there was a lot.

Hannity wasn’t alone with exhaustive praise of the president, with at least one conservative personality saying Trump’s address was reminiscent of former President Ronald Reagan.

Trump’s address took a sharp tone when he discussed immigration. The president used the violence by gang MS-13 to segue into immigration policies, delighting his base.

The undercurrent of the rhetoric on immigration was as nationalist as ever, with Trump calling on Congress to “finally close the deadly loopholes that have allowed MS-13 and other criminal gangs to break into our country.”

He also drew support for his base explicitly calling out “chain migration.” That sparked one of the speech’s more divisive moments, when he was booed by Democrats but lauded by the right.

But it wasn’t just the conservative personalities who were enthralled with the speech. A number of sites began praising the president following the conclusion of the State of the Union. The Daily Caller, a far-right website, led with a prominent headline declaring that “Trump’s State of the Union rocks the House.” The site singled out the line ‘Americans are dreamers, too’ delivered by the president. It was lauded by a number of conservatives as a way undercut Democratic rhetoric on DACA.

Trump also played to his base by reviving his current favorite culture war, discussing why Americans stand for the national anthem.

While conservatives may have loved the speech, Democrats felt differently.

On Tuesday night “Thanks Obama” was trending on Twitter while the president listed off statistics about unemployment in the United States. One of Trump’s favorite statistics—Black unemployment—garnered an enthusiastic “Thanks Obama” response, with people tweeting charts showing how unemployment for African Americans steadily declined from 2010 until Obama’s term ended in 2016.

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