March 6, 2017

A Unifying Speech

By Jason Smith, member of Congress

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- My grandmother once told me, "God gave you two ears and one mouth so that you would listen more than you speak". On Tuesday night I listened and followed along as President Trump delivered the most important speech of his new Presidency. What I heard was a message of strength, of unity, and of determination from a President committed to using his time in office to put the needs of the American worker, family, and farmer first above all else.

Laid out were plans to rebuild our military, invest in our nation’s infrastructure, and to take care of our veterans. I heard about investment in students, in those underemployed and unemployed as well as a plan to make life easier for working parents. Our President talked about his desire to work with Republicans and Democrats alike to remove the government intrusion between you and the doctor of your choice and to lower the costs of sky rocketing healthcare premiums for millions of Americans. He talked about reducing the regulatory and taxation burden which is suffocating so many middle class families, farmers, and small businesses. He laid out a vision for securing our border, properly vetting those trying to enter our country, and enhancing the safety and security of American families.

Maybe what struck me the most was the stark contrast of this speech compared to the empty rhetoric of the last eight years. Instead of a glorified vision of what ‘change’ may one day come, I heard a man determined to actually take the steps now to improve the lives of American’s tomorrow. Just this week the President finally put an end to the dreaded "Waters of the United States" Rule which would have allowed the EPA to regulate every lake, pond, stream or flow of water on a farmer’s land. This is something I have authored language to defund and that over my last two annual farm tours I have heard consistent concerns, complaints and criticisms about – Washington regulators who have never step foot inside Missouri writing rules and orders impacting the very families and farmers back home who are charged with feeding the world.

The President was spot on, "In 2016, the earth shifted beneath our feet...the chorus became an earthquake." He was speaking to you, to me, and to all of us who have had enough of the government knows best mentality. To us who want to shrink the size of a bloated federal government, who believe in personal liberties and freedoms and who believe our founders knew what they were doing when they wrote the United States Constitution.

For me, one of the most memorable moments occurred when the President was speaking about his role as Commander in Chief and a return of the United States to its rightful place as a world leader who stands with its allies and deters its enemies. The President recognized Carryn Owens, the widow of Senior Chief William "Ryan" Owens of the U.S. Navy. Ryan died giving his life to secure America’s place in the world. He went to those countries few will ever visit - those areas where coward terrorist networks live, plan, and hide. Ryan’s job was to gather intelligence on and help root out these hate filled individuals in order to keep American families safe thousands of miles away. Ryan gave his life so that your family, my family and our friends and families around Missouri are secure each and every day.

When I think about people like Ryan, it is easy for me to answer back – "Yes, Mr. President, we are ready to lead again".