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The State of the Union is Uncertain at Best

In the spirit of separating facts from opinions and combating biases in ‘journalism,’ I want to preface this post with directly stating that I am not a supporter of Donald Trump. I do not believe that he is qualified to be the President of the United States because he has time and time again proven that he does not understand the position that he holds. 

Tonight, February 5, 2019, after taking six minutes to get to the podium, President Trump began his 2019 State of the Union Address. The speech began and ended the same way: scripted, vague, narcissistic, nationalistic, and, most importantly, dull. There were only a few things that he said that I even care to discuss. 

As someone who identifies as pro-choice, I was irritated that he brought up the issue of abortion, especially in a 2019 State of the Union Address. We are currently involved in multiple military conflicts. Our country is in serious debt. If the government doesn’t come to a budget agreement, the government will shutdown again. Abortion is not a topic of importance. There is currently nothing that anyone is going to due policy-wise that is going to change the current abortion law. This topic is often used as a distraction because it is such a hot-button issue.  

Although I am not a fan of Trump, I didn’t disagree with everything that he said. Criminal justice reform is certainly something that should be on our country’s agenda and shall remain on our country’s agenda until it has been damn near perfected. Only an irrational human being would believe that a nonviolent drug-offender should spend time in prison. I absolutely agree with Trump that this is an issue. I believe that more could be done than he is willing to do (e.g. legalize drugs), but I was satisfied with Trump’s inclusion of criminal justice reform.

One part of the speech that stuck out to nearly every late-night talk show host and myself was when Trump declared that “America will never be a socialist country!” This struck me because the option for a more socialistic country was on the table in the 2016 election. The American people did not take it. However, in the 2018 midterm elections, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the congresswoman for NY-14. Her views are similar to those of Senator Bernie Sanders who has defined himself as a democratic socialist in the past. 

The President’s statement implies that the Republican Party fears the influence that is eradicating in the left. America will never be a socialist country because an honest interpretation of the Constitution would never allow for any other economic system than capitalism. With a constitutional right to property, and our labor being a piece of our property, socialism as a system would be deemed unconstitutional because of socialism’s premise that the the labor of its citizens is owned by the government. I do not believe that Trump actually fears socialism. I believe that this is a tactic to create fear among those on the right in order to secure their votes in the 2020 election. He obviously used the address as a platform for his 2020 campaign, which explains why he even touched on the topic of abortion. 

I did appreciate his free-market example when discussing lowering the costs of healthcare in America. I believe that the free-market approach drives costs of products down because of the competition for your business. It is important that people recognize that there are other solutions to our nation’s problems than government solutions. The more aware of this we become, the closer we can get to being a truly free country. 

Like any Trump speech, it was not perfect. It was filled with lines that are already making headlines. I do not believe that he offered up any new information in the speech. I do not agree with the President that the state of the union is strong; I believe that the state of the union is confused. Trump took a more reactive approach to immigration when he assumed office than Obama had in the past eight years. Although the Obama administration did deport illegal immigrants, they were not actively seeking to do so. There are many people in our country that have no idea where they stand and if they will still be standing there tomorrow. 

The uncertainty of our nation is reflected in our media, the stock market, the job market, etc. To declare that the state of our union is strong is at least misleading, if not a complete an utter lie. A strong state of the union does not see a shift of party in any chamber of the Congress during a midterm election. Trump’s pleas to not be investigated create a distrust in the office of the presidency alone, not to mention the already growing distrust in government as a whole. This is why I conclude that the state of the union is uncertain at best.  

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