“The state of our union is strong.”
In front of a house divided, President Donald Trump spoke of the many achievements and issues of his ongoing term Tuesday night.
Trump covered a lot of topics in his speech: the economy, immigration control, the opioid epidemic, healthcare, abortion, international treaties, the military, anti-Semitism and socialism. Yet, one issue that was omitted is what the public wanted to hear about the most: the shutdown, and how we’ll go about avoiding it.
After a 35-day government shutdown and a one-week delay on the speech, Trump’s second State of the Union address was the first given to a Democrat-run House. The president started his report with the strongest — pardon the pun — trump card in his deck: the economy.
America has the strongest economy in the world today, bellowed Trump, and that is, in fact, right.
The president spoke of how many jobs he’s created, how many businesses have returned to the United States, how minorities’ unemployment rates have declined (and have been declining long before his election), and how the United States is now the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world.
Trump boasted about the First Step Act, a new trade deal with China, wanting to prohibit late-stage abortion nationwide, withdrawing from the INF Treaty, and announcing a second summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. After every sentence, half of the House would cheer him on.
He proudly puffed out his chest and said with utter confidence that he is the sole reason the United States did not enter a nuclear war with North Korea. The crowd went unusually silent after that statement.
This year, the country will commemorate three very important anniversaries that Trump made sure to highlight in his rhetoric: a century of voting rights for women, 50 years since the moon landing, and the 75-year anniversary of allied liberation, or D-Day.
Everyone waited with high expectations for Trump to address the immigration policies, and of course, his famous yet-to-be-built wall. Nothing was repeated more throughout the two-hour speech than the word “compromise” — and yet, there was little mention as to how he will do it on his end. He hammered on about “our very dangerous southern border” and how he believes the only way to make it safe is to build a steel wall.
So where exactly is the compromise? Will the government shut down again in ten days for lack of a decision on budget spending? Most likely.
Trump may repeat the word “compromise” as much as he’d like, but it’s clear he will not listen to reason, and he has no intention of hearing the other side. He wants the Democrats to cave in because he promised his constituents a wall, and as he so simply put it, “the proper wall was never built. I will get it built.”
Trump also said that the city of El Paso, Texas, used to be the most violent city in the U.S. He also claimed that because they built a wall on its southern border, the city is now the safest in our country.
As Trump loves to say, that is wrong.
Contrary to what Trump wants the American people to believe, not all of our problems surge from illegal immigration; not all drugs come from the border, not all MS13 gang members are from outside the U.S. and not all illegal drugs found here were smuggled into the country.
Trump also highlighted the achievements of ICE in taking down illegals all throughout the nation. He was loudly booed when he mentioned the caravans coming to our border, and as his earlier tweet mentioned, “tremendous numbers of people are coming up through Mexico in the hopes of flooding our Southern Border. We have sent additional military. We will build a Human Wall if necessary. If we had a real Wall, this would be a non-event!”
Tremendous numbers of people are coming up through Mexico in the hopes of flooding our Southern Border. We have sent additional military. We will build a Human Wall if necessary. If we had a real Wall, this would be a non-event!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 5, 2019
So what is it? Will we have a wall?
While our own president holds the country and the government ransom, there isn’t much of a choice to be made. Walls with no other security measures are ineffective. For every ten-foot wall, there’s someone that can build an eleven-foot ladder.
The president said that we cannot be divided internally.
“There cannot be war and investigation,” Trump declared, before Pelosi rolled her eyes in the background. We can only imagine how scared he is of said investigations, since he was so eager to point out how unnecessary they are.
The next priority is to lower the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs. Also, Trump said, “together we will defeat AIDS in America and beyond.” Many promises and propositions followed that statement.
“America will never be a socialist country,” the president said, earning lots of cheers.
In the end, we were left with pretty words and empty promises. The optimist in me hopes that there is some truth to the vague statements Trump delivered.
However, I would like to know the outcome of our most pressing matter, Mr. President: Will we have a wall, or will the tantrum go on, and will the American people continue to suffer for it?