by Michelle Fitzpatrick Thomas
For some reason, my husband Trevor doesn’t care for watching presidential speeches live. He prefers to check out the commentary from the pundits after the fact. So since he had been at work all day on Tuesday and at his second job in the evening, he earned the right to control the TV programming. I enjoy hearing President Trump speak, so I sat on my loveseat watching the State of the Union address Tuesday night on my laptop. I delivered my own commentary during the address to various children or Trevor, as needed. One such example that warranted commentary and many tears was the precious part when the military family was reunited. I cried along with Amy Williams as she stood in shock at the sight of her husband, back from his fourth deployment. I absolutely love watching military family reunions, and I think it was awesome that President Trump included that in his annual address.
There were many other praiseworthy moments Tuesday night, including when Rush Limbaugh was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the introduction of the precious baby girl born at 21 weeks, the honoring of the 100-year-old Tuskegee airman, and the recognition of Kelli and Gage Hake, whose husband/father was killed in action in Iraq several years ago. It was a powerful and touching night that honored our country and highlighted many of the outstanding accomplishments of President Trump’s first three years in office.
When President Trump finished speaking and Nancy Pelosi stood up—for one of the first times that evening—and began to tear the speech in half, I started screaming to whomever would listen, “She’s tearing up his speech! I can’t believe this! She’s tearing up his speech!”
I watched in shock and horror as the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives stood behind the President of the United States at the State of the Union address, and like a toddler throwing a tantrum, ripped page after page of his speech in front of the entire world. I felt anger and disgust and embarrassment all rolled into one. How could a woman at her age and with all that she has accomplished possibly behave like a spoiled brat on national television? If anyone needed to be taken out behind the woodshed as a kid for a good, old fashioned spanking to teach her that such behavior is wrong, it was her.
As I’ve had time for my thoughts to simmer since Tuesday, I now understand Pelosi’s actions much better. I tried to put myself in her shoes, and I imagined how I would have felt having to endure sitting behind Barack Obama at any one of his State of the Union addresses. I could never stand to watch him speak for any length of time, because I disagreed so vehemently with everything that he said and stood for. If I had been required to sit behind him and behave myself during an hour-and-a-half speech on national television, it would have been pure torture.
As I mentioned recently, our church is going through a Bible study this year called Wisdom 2020. Our assigned chapter for today was Proverbs 29. In verse 11, it says, “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man [or woman] keeps himself [or herself] under control.” What I took away from that verse this morning is that it’s perfectly okay to be angry. It’s fine to disagree with a person’s politics or the way that he conducts himself, but to act on that anger in a destructive or hurtful way is what separates the wise from fools.
So while I certainly understand Nancy Pelosi’s actions in pouting through President Trump’s speech, refusing to honor our nation’s heroes by sitting still while others gave them standing ovations, and tearing his speech into pieces at the end, I believe if she had the wisdom of the Lord guiding her, she would have made better, more productive choices. But then again, if she had the wisdom of the Lord guiding her, she likely wouldn’t be in the Democrat party at all.
There’s a standard of conduct that is required and expected in order to represent this nation as a man or woman in the United States Congress. Nancy Pelosi fell far short of that standard this week. She owes the president and this nation an apology. But like insolent children who have been indulged too much and who think the world revolves around them, she probably will never humble herself enough to offer that apology. Shame on her. I pray that she will learn the wisdom of Proverbs so she can turn from her wicked and foolish ways and make better choices with the powerful platform she has been given.
The lesson I learned from Nancy Pelosi’s behavior this week was that we will all be faced with super difficult situations from time to time for the rest of our lives. We can choose to behave in ways that please the Lord or we can do things that dishonor Him. It is our “choice.” That’s a word that’s popular these days, isn’t it? It’s essential that we pray fervently, stay in The Word every day, and allow the Holy Spirit to fill us with His power constantly so that we display the Fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) in those tough situations instead of the rotten fruit of the devil.
“The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” Proverbs 14:1