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The State of Our Union is Shit

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On Tuesday, February 4th, Trump opened his State of the Union address with “I am thrilled to report to you tonight that our economy is the best it has ever been. Our military is completely rebuilt with its power unmatched anywhere in the world, and it’s not even close. Our borders are secure. Our families are flourishing. Our values are renewed. Our pride is restored. And for all of these reasons I say to the people of our great country and to the members of Congress, the state of our Union is stronger than ever before.” I call BS.

The State of the Union is a speech made by the president annually to a joint session of Congress. The message usually covers what issues the President wants to address in the upcoming year and his priorities politically and economically. The SOTU has been used in the past by Presidents to boast a little bit about the achievements of their administration or boost their public ratings, but this year’s message (as said by Nancy Pelosi) “had no contact with reality whatsoever.” Trump claims he is pro-worker, pro-family and pro-American. He claims the most unified and inclusive society ever. But he doesn’t care to mention that hate crimes are rising and have been since his election. He does nothing to dissuade white-supremacists who use his chants and merchandise in their violent tirades. We are no more or less unified as a nation than before, but his complacency towards injustice is an encouragement to those who used to be in hiding. People are not suddenly becoming antisemitic and racist, America has always been so. Now, our president allows it, so people are less afraid of legal and governmental repercussions for their hateful actions. He claims to be pro-family and yet separates children from their families at the southern border; he is allowing them to be adopted into American homes just as the government did with Indigenous Americans in the 1950s and 60s as an attempt to culturally eradicate Natives. And just in case Trump meant that he is pro-“family values”, I’m sure his numerous ex-wives have stories that could contest that. And if not, there’s always Stormy Daniels and the 23 sexual misconduct allegations against him. 

When it comes to America’s unemployment rate and overall economic stability, he is correct that we are economically doing well. What he is incorrect about are his contributions to said success and stability. He says that “wealthy people and companies are pouring money into poor neighborhoods  or areas that haven’t seen investment in many decades creating jobs, energy, and excitement.” Trump is giving these wealthy people and companies massive tax cuts and pretending that trickle-down economics is working very well while he refuses to raise the federal minimum wage. The divide between the richest in and the poorest in our country is only growing while the middle class is shrinking. Yes, our economy is growing and corporations are doing well, but the average worker and consumer are doing no better. 

Trump boasts millions of people coming off of food stamps, but is this because of economic improvement or because he has been cutting social programs relentlessly, including food stamp eligibility? Trump also mentioned how much the oil and natural gas industries have been growing in the US and that we are now energy independent, however, we still import around one third of our energy. Almost every claim Trump made was a half-truth, either wildly exaggerated or completely vague and unexplained. 

 The SOTU felt like a speech at one of Trump’s rallies, a boastful rant where he received cheers after every statement and the crowd booed at the mention of medicare for all. Nancy Pelosi did her very best to keep her cool during the message as she was seated right behind the president and only clapped for a few things. Pence, on the other hand, gave Trump a standing ovation every other minute or so, which just made the cameraman have to readjust constantly. The only watchable part was at the very end because while Trump was taking his bows, Pelosi was tearing up the transcript of the speech he had just made. My sentiments exactly.