President Trump addressed the State of the Union on Tuesday night. The speech lasted for one hour and 20 minutes and is the third-longest speech ever delivered in the State of the Union addresses.
Let’s take a look at the key point covered in the President Trump’s speech.
Trump’s Call for Unity Received a Cold Shoulder from Democrats
At various occasions the President have said that he wants to lead a unified America. In his speech he said, “Tonight, I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people we were elected to serve.”
Republicans supported this statement with a loud cheer, but House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was found stone-faced. The probable reason for this reaction was Trump’s speech against immigration and immigrants.
Trump Leading with Fear
Although the overall tone of the speech was optimistic – talking about strength of America and its booming economy, however the speech also largely covered fear of gangs, fear of criminal immigrants, and fear of foreign threats.
Trump mentioned about the notorious Central American gang MS-13 multiple times in his speech. He invited parents of his two friends who were killed by the MS-13 gang members. He also invited parents of Otto Warmbier, the late Ohio student who was arrested and kept in captivity in North Korea. He was returned to the U.S. in coma from which he never recovered. One more guest was an immigration officer who has spent his career “fighting gang violence and getting dangerous criminals off our streets.”
The National Anthem
Trump has hammered at NFL players who kneeled during the national anthem as protest of police violence against black suspects. At the same time, he also talked about Preston Sharp, a 12-year-old boy from Redding, who has been placing flags and flowers at the graves of veterans. Sharp was one of the presidential guests at the speech. Talking about Sharp in his speech, President Trump said, “Young patriots like Preston teach all of us about our civic duty as Americans. Preston’s reverence for those who have served our Nation reminds us why we salute our flag, why we put our hands on our hearts for the pledge of allegiance, and why we proudly stand for the national anthem.”
You are What You Wear
It was observed that many members of the Congress made politically motivated fashion statements. Democratic women wore black to symbolize the support to the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment. Some of the members of the Republican Party wore red, white, and blue to symbolize honor for the troops. Few lawmakers were wearing purple lapel ribbons to represent the opioid epidemic.
At the same time Congressional Black Caucus member wore kente cloths to protest President Trump’s recent derogatory remark about African countries.
DREAMers Issue Still Unresolved
Congress is facing a deadline of February 08th to pass the budget to avoid government shutdown due to lack of money, however Republicans and Democrats are no closer to the key dispute – what needs to be done about the “DREAMers” – immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
Trump mentioned, “My duty, and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber, is to defend Americans — to protect their safety, their families, their communities, and their right to the American Dream. Because Americans are dreamers too.”
Overall, the State of the Union speech gave out clear understanding of Trump’s agenda and world-views. Trump focused on taxes, immigration, and American strength. Trump said, “We know that weakness is the surest path to conflict, and unmatched power is the surest means of our defense.” This resembled Ronald Regan’s “peace through strength” view.
Trump did not mention the topics like environment, climate, guns, women, Canada, and diplomacy. He mentioned about Mexico and healthcare only once, stating he is pushing to improve care for veterans.