State of the Union

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Mason Dunleavy, News Editor

On Feb. 4., President Donald Trump delivered his third State of the Union address shortly after the acquittal from the Senate. Highlighting the achievements of the past year, President Trump also spoke about numerous guests and their stories.

Several freshman representatives did not attend the State of the Union, which has drawn criticism from their colleagues. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley announced that they would not be attending the State of the Union due to the “illegitimacy” of President Trump’s speech. Pressley called the address a “sham” and even questioned the legitimacy of Trump’s presidency.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was filled with mixed emotions during the speech. Few of President Trump’s points received an applaud from the speaker. At the end of the State of the Union, speaker Pelosi proceeded to tear her copy of President Trump’s speech. Some saw it as an act of solidarity, others saw it as highly disrespectful to the families who were brought up during the speech. 

President Trump spoke proudly of the U.S. during the State of the Union. Several points were made about the economic conditions that Trump takes credit for. Unemployment, growth and the stock market were all brought up during the speech.

“The days of our country being used, taken advantage of, and even scorned by other nations are long behind us,” President Trump said. “Gone, too, are the broken promises, jobless recoveries, tired platitudes and constant excuses for the depletion of American wealth, power and prestige.”

President Trump has strived to implement policies that benefit minorities in order to elevate them. School choice, fewer illegal immigrants and more jobs were all factors brought up to help increase opportunities for minorities to succeed.

“We are advancing with unbridled optimism and lifting our citizens of every race, color, religion and creed very, very high. Since my election, we have created 7 million new jobs, 5 million more than government experts projected during the previous administration,” President Trump said.

President Barack Obama and his administration were also brought up numerous times in an effort to display the effectiveness of President Trump’s policies. Trump highlighted that without his leadership, the U.S. would not be in the successful state that it is today.

“If we hadn’t reversed the failed economic policies of the previous administration, the world would not now be witnessing this great economic success,” Trump said.

Trade was another hot topic brought up by Trump. More specifically, the United States, Mexico and Canada Agreement (USMCA) and its predecessor the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) pushed by President Bill Clinton.

“One of the biggest promises I made to the American people was to replace the disastrous NAFTA trade deal. In fact, unfair trade is perhaps the single biggest reason that I decided to run for president,” President Trump said. “Following NAFTA’s adoption, our nation lost one in four manufacturing jobs. Many politicians came and went, pledging to change or replace NAFTA, only to do so and then absolutely nothing happened. But unlike so many who came before me, I keep my promises. We did our job.” 

 

The Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunities Act and the First Step Act were also brought up and received roars of applaud. A family was brought up when President Trump spoke about the freedom to choose the school you want to go to, which most Democrats don’t agree with. The First Step act helped reduce sentencing for some non-violent criminals and encouraged training programs for prisoners.

 

President Trump brought up historical figures from the U.S. near the end of the speech. “America is the land of heroes,” as Trump put it by listing names such as Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Amelia Earhart and multiple others. The American pride was felt by much of the crowd as Trump wrapped up the State of the Union.

 

“The American age, the American epic, the American adventure has only just begun. Our spirit is still young. The sun is still rising. God’s grace is still shining. And my fellow Americans, the best is yet to come.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.” President Trump said.