Expectations for President Donald Trump’s first address to Congress are colossal in range.  From another dark, carnage filled version of America,  amalgamated from his inaugural address and last week’s campaign rally speech at CPAC, to a con-temporized, slightly upbeat edition based on his nomination acceptance speech in Cleveland, where he claimed only he can fix things.

In what will be the Donald’s biggest reality TV show stunt so far, the speech Trump will deliver tonight won’t be boring, “believe me, I can tell you that,” as Trump himself would say about standing for the first time before a joint session of congress — not his typical campaign crowd for sure — that will include one of his least favorite groups, sore losers, or as he calls them, Democrats.

If they sit on their hands and don’t stand with Republicans to applaud his greatness after he trots through his standard campaign rally agenda, touting how fast, wonderful and record-breaking things are going almost 40 days into his leadership of the free world, will he aim and fire a verbal tweet at them, opening the door for retaliation in real time ? His joint session speech tonight could be one of the most interactive speeches in the nation’s history.

What would the president do if a Democrat shouts out something as derogatory to the Donald as Republican Joe Wilson from South Carolina did in a verbal ambush of President Obama in 2009 when the topic was health care? Wilson’s shout out represented a milestone for Republicans in their long march against Obama and his administration. If some member of Congress were to say what many think the president does everyday, “You lie!,” would the Donald continue or stop and fire back like he did to Hillary Clinton in more than one debate last year?

Brown, Hill To Watch Speech

Watching along with everyone else who tunes in to the broadcast tonight will be Steven Hill, owner of Sparano’s Pizza in central Ohio. Hill was invited by Ohio’s senior senator Sherrod Brown, and will be seated in the chamber with Sen. Brown to hear what Trump has to say on what he’ll do to raise workers’ wages, among other topics the senator and his constituent consider important.

Sen. Brown made the invitation to attend Tuesday’s address after Brown’s office received a letter from Hill talking positively about raising wages for workers.

“As a small business owner, Steven Hill knows that better wages for all our workers lift up our economy and put money back into local businesses like Sparano’s,” said Brown, in a prepared statement . “I’m honored to have him as my guest this week to remind President Trump that we will hold him to his promise to put American workers first and that must include raising the minimum wage.”

Sen. Brown is running for a third term in two years and workers’ issues, including equal pay, sick and family leave, among others, are pillars of faith for him when it comes to workforce advances.

Sen. Brown makes a compelling argument that workers who work 40 hours a week or more should not have wages so low that to fill the gap of everyday life they need to turn to federal or state assistance. The irony here is that Republicans who oppose raising the minimum wage, which includes President Trump, also want to shred the safety net government has provided to keep workers and their families from suffering more.

For Steven Hill, small businesses like his do better when Ohioans earn enough to afford to put money back into the community, which includes buying pizzas from him.

This logic makes sense to anyone who has owned their own small business. More people with more disposal money in their pocket are eager to spend it, and that’s basic economic development calculus as one dollar creates more as it cycles through a community.

And what Mr. Hill is ready to do, that some big corporations are not ready to do, is pass some of this rising revenue along to workers who deliver in real time in the marketplace, that magic field of dreams that Republicans love to fantasize about but which they appear still not to understand in full scope.

“Sen. Brown supports better wages and benefits for all workers and has worked to increase the minimum wage, ensure equal pay for equal work, and grant workers paid sick leave,” Brown’s office noted.

 

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