ICYMI: The State of the Union

NOTE: This article does not reflect the views of Her Campus Wyoming and only reflects the views of the writer.

 

Last night marked Trump’s second delivery of the State of the Union address, and the third formal speech before a congressional setting. And here are some important things you might have caught or missed:

For one, Trump delivered the third-longest SOTU, at one hour and 21 minutes long. Two, his SOTU was actually rescheduled, because Secret Service members weren’t being paid during the government shutdown, causing immense security concerns. And honestly, having the three head honchos of our government together in the same place is risky enough even with proper security measure in place.

President Trump quickly opened his SOTU addressing his foreign policy. “Many of us campaigned on the same core promises… to create an immigration system that is safe, lawful, modern and secure, and to pursue a foreign policy that puts America's interests first.” Trump has repeatedly brought up issues with illegal immigration and building the wall. In case you missed it, the government shut down because Congress couldn’t pass a budget that involved Trump’s border wall.

Milestones

President Trump brought up two very important milestones. This June 6th marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day, when allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy. The second important milestone occurs on July 16, when Apollo 11 was launched into space. Trump introduced Private first class Joseph Riley Staff Sergeant Erving Walker, Sergeant Sartman Zeitcheck, all WWII heroes, and legendary Buzz Aldrin during this portion of his speech.

On Jobs

President Trump has created 5.3 million new jobs and 600,000 new manufacturing jobs. He also comments on the lowest level of unemployment among African- Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian- Americans, and  Americans with disabilities.

On Healthcare

During the SOTU, I was watching live fact checking while reading his transcript. President Trump brings up that his administration has “eliminated the very unpopular Obamacare individual mandate penalty.”

Dan Diamond, a health reporter, confirms this to be true: “The individual mandate penalty was one of the least popular parts of the Affordable Care Act, and Republicans got rid of it in their tax bill at the end of 2017. It’s still not clear if the GOP's move is helping or hurting health insurance enrollment.”

On Veterans

“In the last Congress, both parties came together to pass unprecedented legislation to confront the opioid crisis, a sweeping new farm bill, historic VA reforms, and after four decades of rejection, we passed a VA accountability, so we can finally terminate those who mistreat our wonderful veterans.”

On Illegal Immigration and the Wall… Again...

“Now, Republicans and Democrats must join forces again to confront an urgent national crisis. Congress has 10 days left to pass a bill that will fund our government, protect our homeland, and secure are very dangerous southern border. Now is the time for Congress to show the world that America is committed to ending illegal immigration and putting the ruthless coyotes, cartels, drug dealers, and human traffickers out of business.”

“This is a moral issue. The lawless state of our southern border is a threat to the safety, security, and financial well-being of all Americans. We have a moral duty to create an immigration system that protects the lives and jobs of our citizens. This includes our obligation to the millions of immigrants living here today who follow the rules and respected our laws. Legal immigrants enrich our nation and strengthen our society in countless ways.”

On Empowering Women

One of my favorite parts of the entire speech was when Trump mentioned the progress women have made in the congress this session.

“No one has benefited more from our thriving economy than women, who have filled 58% of the newly created jobs created in the last year, and exactly one century after Congress passed the constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote, we also have more women serving in Congress than ever before.”

On Childhood Cancer and Families

President Trump introduced 10-year-old Grace Eline, who recently won her battle with brain cancer. “Many childhood cancers have not seen new therapies in decades. My budget will ask Congress for $500 million over the next 10 years to fund this critical life-saving research. To help support working parents, the time has come to pass school choice for America's children.”

Trump is also the first president to include a plan for nationwide paid family leave for new parents.

On Good Christian Values and Abortion

One aspect of the speech that I don’t agree with is Trump’s position on abortion. Not so much his stance, but how he introduced the abortion issues in relation to his own religious values.

“And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth — all children — born and unborn— are made in the holy image of God.”

Last time I checked… There was still SUPPOSED to be a distinct line between the church and state.

“Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life.”

On The Military and North Korea

Another aspect that I don’t quite appreciate as much as others is his statement on how ““If I had not been elected president of the United States, we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea.”

I’m sure there have been other factors that have influenced our relationship with North Korea, but I don’t exactly work in the White House. It could have taken another president to sign a treaty with North Korea.

In May of last year, the U.S. opened the American embassy in Jerusalem, and Trump proudly referenced this feat.

On Socialism

“Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country. America was founded on liberty and independence - not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free, and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.”

And another favorite part of the speech… the cameras zoomed in on Senator Bernie Sanders’ face.

On Anti-Semitism

President Trump ties in his comments from the 75th anniversary of D-Day to the anti-semitism and recent attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. He introduced two Holocaust survivors, Judah Samet and Joshua Kaufman. He also introduced SWAT Officer Timothy Matson, who raced into the gunfire and was shot seven times chasing down the killer. Matson recently had his 12th surgery before making it to the SOTU.

Trump proudly tied everything back into the bravery of American soldiers storming the beaches of Normandy. “Why did they do it? They did it for America -- they did it for us.”

Overall Thoughts

In sum, I recommend reading the fact checks of the president’s address. Some information was over-skewed, some of it was well done, but overall the president did what he needed to do in the speech, and that was to let the people know what the state of the U.S. is.

“Members of Congress, the State of our Union is strong. Our country is vibrant and our economy is thriving like never before.”

 

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