I am a man of my word who once declared I would speak well of Donald J. Trump when the moment presented itself.
Today is that day.
I just listened to the president’s speech to a gathering of Muslim heads of state and was impressed with what he did not say during his remarks: “radical Islamic terrorism.”
The president today delivered — by far! — his most nuanced, sophisticated foreign-policy speech as it regards our nation’s fight against international terrorism. For that I applaud him.
He spoke to an Arab summit meeting in Saudi Arabia, the country that is home to Islam’s two holiest shrines. He spoke of Islam as a “great faith.” He also repeated a mantra first delivered by President George W. Bush in the aftermath of 9/11 and repeated by President Barack Obama during his two terms in office: It was that we are not at war with a faith, but we are at war with “criminals” who have perverted it.
“We are not here to lecture — we are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship. Instead, we are here to offer partnership — based on shared interests and values,” Trump said.
The speech signals a remarkable about-face for a president who as a candidate and also earlier in his still-brief tenure in office would sail off into unscripted riffs about our war against terror. None of that occurred today. He spoke like the leader of the world’s most powerful nation.
Now … does this wipe away his problems at home? No. He still has the “Russia thing” with which to contend and a special prosecutor is going to look deeply into whether crimes were committed during Trump’s campaign for the presidency.
Today, though, marked a serious change in tone from someone who is leading our nation in its on-going fight against international terror.
Well stated, Mr. President.