Opinion: Trump’s State of the Union was more wishful thinking than fact


On Tuesday February 5th, President Trump delivered his second State of the Union address masked with the backdrop of a changed Congress. The speech was delayed due to the longest shutdown in government history.

Though he failed to mention the shutdown in his nearly 120 minute speech, there was no shortage of time dedicated to discussing his wall and the “urgent national crisis” at the Southern Border— the mainspring of the shutdown.

In Trump fashion, he argued the need for a border wall attributing “the lawless state of the southern border” to the “tremendous onslaught” of Mexicans traveling on buses to cross the border.

The theme of his speech was “unity,” in which he called for bipartisanship saying “victory is not winning for our party, victory is winning for our country”, and calling to “govern not as two parties but as one nation.”

This stance on unity comes at a time when the country and government is deeply divided on several policies coming from his administration. On Twitter, the President regularly takes aim at Democrats and those he disagrees with, often assigning nicknames to mock them.

The only true moment of bipartisanship that night came when the President announced “we have more women serving in Congress than any time before.” The statement was met with subsequent “U.S.A” chants and some of the most visible applause by Democrats throughout the speech.

While unity was the supposed main theme of the speech, it took a back seat to the economy. A great deal of time was allotted to discuss the economic state throughout the night. Trump boasted the same job numbers and unemployment rates among several American demographics that he regularly shares on Twitter, some of which have been questioned for veracity. From the beginning of his time in office, some have credited Obama with the success of the economy as it has been trending positively since he left office.

The attempts to celebrate guests in attendance was unimpressive as it turned into an exploitation of their struggles, and celebration of the President himself. One such example was the pardon of Alice Johnson, which he took credit for to segue into criminal justice reform.

In a vacuum, Trump’s speech was a boring promise of what America’s future entails and what America should look like currently. However, with the context of the past two years of divisive political opposition and controversial policies involving the President, the speech was a far cry from an accurate representation of the country.

With a divided country possibly headed toward another government shutdown, Trump’s claim that the “the state of our union is strong” is more wishful thinking  than fact. Unfortunately, the state of the union is wavering and needs more than an idealistic speech to heal the wounds at hand.