There were plenty of epic moments on May 25, 2018, as President Donald Trump gave the commencement speech at the graduation ceremony for the United States Naval Academy.
For instance, he shook the hands of every one of the over 1,100 graduates. That was pretty epic.
Or there was Trump confirming “that we are committing even more to our defenses, and we are committing even more to our veterans. Because we know that the best way to prevent war is to be fully prepared for war.
“And hopefully, we never have to use all of this beautiful, new, powerful equipment. But you know, you are less likely to have to use it if you have it and know how to work it.”
But it wasn’t the most epic line of the commencement speech. Oh, no. In fact, there was a line that got plenty of us thinking it may just be the best line of his presidency.
It came as the president was giving a paean to the class of 2018, telling them that they “are still not tired of winning.”
“You chase discovery, and you never flinch in the eye of a raging storm. America is in your heart. The ocean is in your soul,” Trump said. “The saltwater runs through your veins. You live your life according to the final law of the Navy. The word ‘impossible’ does not exist, because Navy never quits.
“You don’t give up. You don’t give in. You don’t back down. And you never surrender. Wherever you go, wherever you serve, wherever your mission takes you, you only have one word in mind, and that’s ‘victory.’
“That is why you are here. Victory. A very important word. You are now leaders in the most powerful and righteous force on the face of the planet. The United States military. And we are respected again, I can tell you that. We are respected again.”
Now, let me ask you a question I’ve asked so many times during the Trump administration: Could you imagine those words ever escaping the lips of Barack Obama?
During his eight years in office, Obama almost seemed to apologize for our military power.
He did it through hasty withdrawals in Iraq and Afghanistan, where the Islamic State group and Taliban were allowed to grow and metastasize.
When he did fight them, it was using limited engagement tactics that handcuffed our pilots.
He left our military in such disrepair that one of our most legendary units, the “Screaming Eagles” of the 101st Airborne, was more or less decimated by budget cuts.
He declined to put military pressure on North Korea, preferring “strategic patience.”
Would Obama have ever said our military was “the most powerful and righteous force on the face of the planet?” Of course not.
Things have changed a lot over the past few years. This is one instance where we can say they’ve definitely changed for the better — where we finally have a commander in chief willing to say those wonderful words.
That alone could make it the best line of his presidency.
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