By Devin Dubon
Since its inception, the State of the Union has always been used to highlight the main goals and ambitions of the incumbent administration. Well, it seems this tradition was upheld Tuesday night as President Trump highlighted his main goal: confuse the American people.
After weeks of controversy and childish exchanging of letters between Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and President Trump, the two finally decided to look each other in the eyes for once as this year’s State of the Union address was finally delivered on the House floor.
Prior to the address, the White House released comments saying the speech would be “unifying” and Trump honored that adjective for all of two minutes before reverting to the rhetoric-spouting and misinformation one comes to expect from his speeches.
It was a whiplash-inducing speech as Trump flipped between calling for bipartisan support on criminal justice reform one second and warning against the dangers of an “onslaught” of immigrants and “executing” newborn babies the next.
Notably missing from his railing against partisan politics? His role in inflaming it. Also missing was any mention of the historic 35-day government shutdown instigated by his refusal for compromise.
What he did include, however, was overexaggerated claims of U.S economic growth (which he claimed full credit for, of course), promises of building a wall (or “smart see-through steel barrier”), and cherry-picked stories of illegal immigrants committing crimes.
There were some genuinely heartwarming moments, of course. The story of Grace Eline, a 10 year old cancer survivor, and veterans of the Allied liberation of Europe, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, brought a tear to many eyes across the country. Judah Salem, a survivor of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting and Nazi concentration camps, even had the entire House chamber singing “Happy Birthday” to honor his 81st birthday that happened to align with the speech date.
However, those rare moments were the only times when Democrats and Republicans alike stood to applaud.
That, and the moment when Trump was celebrating the increase of women in the workplace which got all of the newly elected Democratic women–many of whom took their jobs from Republican men–up and dancing, cuing Trump to comment “You weren’t supposed to do that.”
What was supposed to be a unifying speech only strengthened the already great partisan divide in the country. Trump railed against immigration, Obamacare, trade agreements, abortion, and the “partisan investigations” uncovering his campaign’s ties to Russia.
He claimed his existence was the only thing that saved the U.S from war with North Korea (It isn’t). He claimed that they were ripping babies from the womb moments before birth (They’re not). He claimed that a caravan of illegal immigrants were preparing a “tremendous onslaught” on America (Most have humanitarian visas to be in Mexico and are seeking legal asylum in the U.S).
And for their part, the Democrats aren’t doing enough to properly combat him, and appeal to the American people.
For their choice for the response to the State of the Union, they chose the 2018 Democratic candidate for Georgia governor, Stacey Abrams, despite the fact that she has held no nationwide office–and lost her election.
This obvious pandering didn’t even result in a decent speech. Abrams took the time that was supposed to be used to rebut the policies proposed by the President in favor of their own and used it as a way to boost her own career, exulting her family and values in order to increase her already darling status in the Democratic Party.
Although the speech didn’t succeed in its intended purpose, it did manage to make one thing clear: the Democratic and Republican parties are more divided than ever before, and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.
Bipartisanship is a respectable goal but there’s no way the current leadership of both parties will ever achieve that. The divisive, partisan politics that has arisen following Trump’s election will not and can not be solved by a simple speech–especially not this one.
Source:: The Harbinger