Adam Sebastian ‘19: On Tuesday, January 30 President Donald Trump delivered his first State of the Union Address before the Congress of the United States. President Trump’s speech lasted an astonishing 80 minutes, the longest such address since President Clinton’s 2000 State of the Union lasting an unprecedented 88 minutes.
President Trump began his first address by rallying the people and acknowledging all of the hard work Americans continually accomplish.
“So let us begin tonight by recognizing that the state of our Union is strong because our people are strong,” President Trump stated.
Throughout the duration of the speech President Trump focused on his major accomplishments while explaining to Americans why the state of our union remains strong despite continuous tension and disagreement in Congress. The President explained the state of the union remains strong because of the creation of 2.4 million jobs during the President’s first year in office. He also claimed the $8 trillion increase in the value of the stock market keeps the state of the union stable.
President Trump kept consistency between his campaign and his inaugural State of the Union Address by highlighting his objective of keeping America First. The President spoke of his Domestic Policy for a prolonged time period compared to Foreign Policy, thus highlighting the emphasis on the President’s urgent desire to fix problems closer to home.
The President continually stressed the importance of collaboration and working together within Congress, laying parallel with former Presidents. However, it seems this aspiration proves difficult to accomplish because of the lack of unity while applauding between the two greatly polarized political parties. This divide featured most prominently over issues such as tax reform and immigration reform.
President Trump invited multiple guests, some considered as American Heros, to sit in the gallery with the First Lady of the United States, Melania Trump. The guests included Ji Seong-ho, a defector from North Korea, Cory Adams, an average American laborer who plans on using his tax savings on his daughter educations, and David Dahlberg, an American hero who saved 60 children trapped at a California Summer Camp endangered by raging wildfires. Each of these invited guests served a specific purpose for the President through their attendance yet, that reason remains up for interpretation.
The President’s enumerated plans sparked an even larger debate between the two antithetical political parties. The Republican party tended to agree with President Trump’s plans, whereas the Democratic Party scoffed at the plans in complete disagreement. The two sides of this debate extended beyond Washington and into a place much closer to home.
“I think Trump built unity among the people watching,” Nathan Rossol ‘19 said. “I think he did a good job. I think Trump will try and stick with the promises he made.”
However, the leftward leaning American population disagrees with the ideology and presentation of President Trump’s ideas.
“Trump was boasting about himself even though most of the policies he claims were his [ideas], are actually left over from the Obama legislation,” Devin Palmer ‘19 said. “Trump will try to pass more legislature like a Health Care bill but with the House and Senate acting the way they are, it might be difficult.”
President Trump’s first State of the Union address, focusing on the unity of Congress, splits the United States in half yet again. This pattern remains consistent and this consistent state of the United States won’t change until Congress reaches true unity between themselves and the American people.