An Overview of President Trump’s 2018 State of the Union Address

As the month of January came to a close, we as Americans were given the opportunity to reflect on the past year’s events while also getting a sneak peek into future political movements by listening to the President’s State of the Union address. This year’s address, just like any other speech given by President Trump, was full of headline-worthy moments and sparked much controversy. President Trump started off by telling Congress to “Set aside our differences…and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people..” However, his statements on key issues implied otherwise.

On the topics of tax reform, immigration, gun control, environmental sustainability, and healthcare, President Trump remained adamant in pushing the Republican agenda even though he spoke of finding a middle ground between party lines.  

 

Image: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

On the issue of immigration, President Trump argued that building a wall between the United States and Mexico would be the most effective way to stop all illegal immigrants from crossing the border. This has always been a contested matter between the two parties making the President’s attempt at bipartisanism less effective than anticipated. He also makes statements that are simply not true. President Trump avoided the huge issue of climate change but spoke on how he “ended the war against beautiful clean coal.” While it sounds good in writing, there is no such thing as clean coal. It is a marketing technique used by big coal companies to reduce the fear of climate change. While the coal industry is great for American jobs, it is a major contributor to environmental degradation.

President Trump spoke on many other topics of interest, including the Second Amendment and how Congress should do better at interpreting the Constitution correctly. He also emphasized that Americans should always stand proudly for the national anthem even though this idea has seen a lot of backlash as NFL players have continued to kneel during the song in protest of police brutality.

Although President Trump said some pretty divisive things regarding those topics mentioned earlier, he did talk about the great sacrifices people have made in the wake of disaster. He spotlighted the life-saving heroes of Hurricane Harvey, the mourning parents of an MS-13 victim, the distraught siblings of a North Korean prisoner, and the courageous man who staggered his way to freedom, all of whom were acknowledged with respect as the President closed out his speech. Even with a government so seemingly torn apart, we as Americans can still attempt to find common ground where it really matters.