The Top Takeaways from Trump's State of the Union

1) It was one of the longest State of the Unions in history

Trump's speech was the third longest in history, beaten only by Bill Clinton. Trump's speech clocked in at one hour and 20 minutes, while Clinton's longest was one hour and 28 minutes. However, Clinton’s speeches were known to be very wordy and long speech-wise, while Trump may have just been talking slowly.

2) It was not the most watched State of the Union ever

After the speech, Trump took to Twitter to declare his State of the Union as the most watched in history. This was a lie, as it was actually the ninth most watched State of the Union, millions behind the past three presidents. George W. Bush drew in the most amount of views, at 62.1 million. Trump had 45.6 million, over two million less than Barack Obama’s first State of the Union.

3) America First is still very real


Trump's speech mentioned little to no foreign policy, apart from addressing the Iranian protests and North Korea. However, Iran was mentioned mostly in passing. North Korea was mentioned because one of Trump's guests had defected from the country. Trump also announced that the United States will now only give aid to our “good friends," or those who do what we tell them to do. 

4) Trump took credit for many of the things that Obama actually did

Trump claimed responsibility for the defeats of ISIS, the economy's strength, and low unemployment rates (especially for African Americans). However, fact-checkers found that all of these successes can actually be attributed to the lasting effects of Obama policies. 

5) Trump really loves adjectives

He added in many adjectives that were not in the official transcript of his speech. These included the repetitions of the words "beautiful" and "totally."

6) Coal is now "beautiful and clean"

The coal industry is dead, but that doesn't stop Trump from pretending that it isn’t. Trump emphasized that he has single-handedly saved the coal industry, although experts agree that this is not true. Coal's new rebranding as "beautiful and clean" also drew a lot of flack, since coal is anything but clean.

7) Trump doesn’t understand US immigration policies



Immigration is the hot topic on the Hill right now. Trump weighed in on DACA and Dreamers, as well as asking for immigration reform. Of course the wall is still a major part of his plan, although experts agree it would do little to stop drugs or people from coming over the border. He also talked about ending "chain migration," where individuals can sponsor family members to come to the US, and the visa lottery program. However, he showed a total lack of knowledge on how the programs work. Trump insisted that individuals can bring in an unlimited amount of family members with no resistance, which is not true. The program is also only starting to look at sponsored family members from 2004, as it is so overwhelmed with requests. Trump said that random people are allowed admittance into the US through the visa lottery program, which is again false. The program is based on some merit, and only individuals from some countries are eligible to apply. 

He also brought up the MS-13 gang in order to garner support for more deportations, a gang whose history is much more complex than Trump explained. In fact, the gang's spread was due in part to deportations back to El Salvador, where it is based.

8) Unity is a big deal now

Trump's tone was noticeably much softer. He tried to appeal to Democrats with criminal justice reform, DACA, and infrastructure projects. He specifically asked to "set aside our differences, to seek out common ground and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people.” This is a lot coming from the man who calls people names and backs out of deals

9) Melania maybe probably does not like Trump

                                                                                                                                Melania and Donald Trump dancing at the Liberty Ball

I'm not sure if anyone is surprised by this. She broke tradition by arriving earlier and separately than Trump, and made a statement by wearing all white.

10) All talking and no walking 

One of the biggest issues Trump brought up was the opioid epidemic, which is something that he has declared he is stopping many times. However, it turns out that he isn't really doing anything to stop the opioid epidemic, other than just talking about it. 

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