Patriot’s Farewell

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by Peter E. Schultz

History will plainly confirm the great success of Donald J. Trump’s US presidency. As in his business legacy, sooner or later, Trump’s array of executive victories will be documented in a manner eclipsing even the most hate-filled, fabricated attacks on him.

Overshadowing any of his negligible missteps is the dulled awareness of those who are still believing and responding to the systemic dishonesty of people who simply didn’t want him to be our President.

Patriotic to his core, he has given us a glimpse of a truly healthy America. Following are excerpts from his farewell address on January 19, 2021:

“My fellow Americans, four years ago we launched a great national effort to rebuild our country, to renew its spirit, and to restore the allegiance of this government to its citizens. In short, we embarked on a mission to make America great again for all Americans. As I conclude my term as the 45th President of the United States, I stand before you truly proud of what we have achieved together. We did what we came here to do, and so much more. This week we inaugurate a new administration and pray for its success in keeping America safe and prosperous…

America had given me so much and I wanted to give something back. Together with millions of hardworking Patriots across this land, we built the greatest political movement in the history of our country. We also built the greatest economy in the history of the world. It was about America first because we all wanted to make America great again. We restored the principle that a nation exists to serve its citizens. Our agenda was not about right or left. It wasn’t about Republican or Democrat, but about the good of a nation, and that means the whole nation. With the support and prayers of the American people, we achieved more than anyone thought possible. Nobody thought we could even come close. We passed the largest package of tax cuts and reforms in American history. We slashed more job-killing regulations than any administration had ever done before…

We restored American strength at home and American leadership abroad. The world respects us again. Please don’t lose that respect. We reclaimed our sovereignty by standing up for America at the United Nations and withdrawing from the one-sided global deals that never served our interests. And NATO countries are now paying hundreds of billions of dollars more than when I arrived just a few years ago. It was very unfair. We were paying the cost for the world. Now the world is helping us.

And perhaps most importantly of all, with nearly $3 trillion, we fully rebuilt the American military, all made in the USA. We launched the first new branch of the United States Armed Forces in 75 years, the Space Force. And last spring, I stood at Kennedy Space Center in Florida and watched as American astronauts returned to space on American rockets for the first time in many, many years…

Above all, we have reasserted the sacred idea that in America the government answers to the people. Our guiding light, our North star, our unwavering conviction has been that we are here to serve the noble everyday citizens of America. Our allegiance is not to the special interests corporations or global entities, it’s to our children, our citizens, and to our nation itself. As president my top priority, my constant concern has always been the best interests of American workers and American families. I did not seek the easiest course. By far, it was actually the most difficult. I did not seek the path that would get the least criticism. I took on the tough battles, the hardest fights, the most difficult choices because that’s what you elected me to do. Your needs were my first and last unyielding focus. This, I hope, will be our greatest legacy.

Together, we put the American people back in charge of our country. We restored self-government. We restored the idea that in America no one is forgotten because everyone matters and everyone has a voice. We fought for the principle that every citizen is entitled to equal dignity, equal treatment, and equal rights because we are all made equal by God. Everyone is entitled to be treated with respect, to have their voice heard, and to have the government listen. You are loyal to your country and my administration was always loyal to you.

We worked to build a country in which every citizen could find a great job and support their wonderful families. We fought for the communities where every American could be safe and schools where every child could learn. We promoted a culture where our laws would be upheld, our heroes honored, our history preserved, and law-abiding citizens are never taken for granted. Americans should take tremendous satisfaction in all that we have achieved together. It’s incredible.

Now, as I leave the white house, I have been reflecting on the dangers that threaten the priceless inheritance we all share. As the world’s most powerful nation, America faces constant threats and challenges from abroad. But the greatest danger we face is a loss of confidence in ourselves, a loss of confidence in our national greatness. A nation is only as strong as its spirit. We are only as dynamic as our pride. We are only as vibrant as the faith that beats in the hearts of our people. No nation can long thrive that loses faith in its own values, history, and heroes for these are the very sources of our unity and our vitality.

What has always allowed America to prevail and triumph over the great challenges of the past has been an unyielding and unashamed conviction in the nobility of our country and its unique purpose in history. We must never lose this conviction. We must never forsake our belief in America. The key to national greatness lies in sustaining and instilling our shared national identity. That means focusing on what we have in common, the heritage that we all share. At the center of this heritage is also a robust belief in free expression, free speech, and open debate. Only if we forget who we are and how we got here could we ever allow political censorship and blacklisting to take place in America. It’s not even thinkable. Shutting down free and open debate violates our core values and most enduring traditions.

In America, we don’t insist on absolute conformity or enforce rigid orthodoxies and punitive speech codes. We just don’t do that. America is not a timid nation of tame souls who need to be sheltered and protected from those with whom we disagree. That’s not who we are. It will never be who we are. For nearly 250 years in the face of every challenge, Americans have always summoned our unmatched courage, confidence, and fierce independence. These are the miraculous traits that once led millions of everyday citizens to set out across a wild continent and carve out a new life in the great West. It was the same profound love of our God-given freedom that willed our soldiers into battle and our astronauts into space.

As I think back on the past four years, one image rises in my mind above all others. Whenever I traveled all along the motorcade route, there were thousands and thousands of people. They came out with their families so that they could stand as we passed and proudly wave our great American flag. It never failed to deeply move me. I knew that they did not just come out to show their support of me. They came out to show me their support and love for our country. This is a republic of proud citizens who are united by our common conviction, that America is the greatest nation in all of history.

We are and must always be a land of hope, of light, and of glory to all the world. This is the precious inheritance that we must safeguard at every single turn. For the past four years, I have worked to do just that. From a great hall of Muslim leaders in Riyadh to a great square of Polish people in Warsaw, from the floor of the Korean Assembly to the podium at the United Nations General Assembly, and from the forbidden city in Beijing to the shadow of Mount Rushmore, I fought for you. I fought for your family. I fought for our country. Above all, I fought for America and all it stands for, and that is safe, strong, proud, and free.

Now, as I prepare to hand power over to a new administration at noon on Wednesday, I want you to know that the movement we started is only just beginning. There’s never been anything like it. The belief that a nation must serve its citizens will not dwindle, but instead, only grows stronger by the day. As long as the American people hold in their hearts, deep and devoted love of country, then there is nothing that this nation can not achieve. Our communities will flourish. Our people will be prosperous. Our traditions will be cherished. Our faith will be strong and our future will be brighter than ever before. I go from this majestic place with a loyal and joyful heart, an optimistic spirit, and a supreme confidence that for our country and for our children, the best is yet to come. Thank you and farewell. God bless you. God bless the United States of America.”1

1 See the transcript of President Trump’s complete address at https://www.rev.com/blog/transcripts/president-donald-trump-farewell-address-speech-transcript