by Donna Martinez
Former Senior Writer and Editor, John Locke Foundation
My husband is a former speechwriter, so I have a special interest in, and appreciation for, the words that are crafted to convey a leader’s vision and thoughts. My practice is to listen or watch a speech, and then a few days later, read the text. I usually find nuggets I missed in the TV/radio delivery. To that end, here is the published text of President Trump’s Feb. 5, 2019 State of the Union address. And below is my favorite passage. I love the rhythm and the cadence of the writing, and I love the can-do spirit of hope.
Here tonight, we have legislators from across this magnificent republic. You have come from the rocky shores of Maine and the volcanic peaks of Hawaii; from the snowy woods of Wisconsin and the red deserts of Arizona; from the green farms of Kentucky and the golden beaches of California. Together, we represent the most extraordinary nation in all of history.
What will we do with this moment? How will we be remembered?
I ask the men and women of this Congress: Look at the opportunities before us. Our most thrilling achievements are still ahead. Our most exciting journeys still await. Our biggest victories are still to come. We have not yet begun to dream.
We must choose whether we are defined by our differences or whether we dare to transcend them.
We must choose whether we squander our great inheritance or whether we proudly declare that we are Americans.
We do the incredible. We defy the impossible. We conquer the unknown.
This is the time to reignite the American imagination. This is the time to search for the tallest summit and set our sights on the brightest star. This is the time to rekindle the bonds of love and loyalty and memory that link us together as citizens, as neighbors, as patriots.
This is our future, our fate, and our choice to make. I am asking you to choose greatness.
Future. Fate. Choice. Greatness. These words also encapsulate the mission of the John Locke Foundation. What do we hope for you? You’ll find our road to freedom here.