North Texas Daily

Trump’s speech confirmed how critical the state of the union really is

Trump’s speech confirmed how critical the state of the union really is

Trump’s speech confirmed how critical the state of the union really is
February 07
00:39 2019

“There is a new opportunity in American politics if only we have the courage together to seize it,” the president said at the beginning of his annual State of the Union address Tuesday. “Victory is not winning for our party. Victory is winning for our country.”

These are all great sentiments and would normally make sense coming from just about anyone but Donald Trump.

The glaring differences between this articulate speech and the unfortunate blunders we’ve all come to expect from our president are almost insulting — with Trump in charge, the State of the Union is an elaborate puppet show to reassure the nation, perform damage control and gloss over our real issues.

Conveniently, the most conspicuously absent topic of discussion was the recent government shutdown — the longest shutdown in government history that left countless people working without pay, left national parks with irreparable damage and forced many government employees to rely on food banks. Trump danced around the topic of the shutdown during the State of the Union, but on other occasions he has not hesitated to declare how “proud” he would be to shut down the government until he got his wall.

That was just the beginning.

Trump’s speech only continued to corroborate how out of touch his administration is with the problems and desires of our country.

His attempt to convey honesty and bipartisanship was quickly undermined by factual inconsistencies and unsubstantiated claims at nearly every turn. He referred to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation as “partisan,” likely meant to be a dig at congressional democrats, despite the fact that GOP members also support Mueller’s investigation.

Trump used the address in part to push the false narrative that all immigrants are violent criminals, implying the wealthy support open borders only because they are protected “behind walls and gates and guards.” Since his campaign, Trump has aided in the cultivation of baseless fear regarding the border and immigration, calling immigrants “rapists” and “animals.”

Many analyses have proven the crime rate among immigrants, including drug offenses, is no higher than any other group and may be lower. Trump insists those who immigrate illegally are to blame for the influx of drugs to the U.S. and the opioid crisis, when it was found by the Massachusetts attorney general that the wealthy family behind OxyContin almost single-handedly engineered the epidemic by openly lying about its addiction rate and using corrupt sales practices to draw more patients to the drug. The union is in a state of an overdose epidemic.

Another missed opportunity was the president’s lack of acknowledgment of gun violence when mentioning the Pittsburgh church shooting last October. It’s certainly not a secret that the union is in the throws of constant, preventable gun violence.  The state of our union cannot be not “strong,” if issues that contribute to its devolution are swept under a rug.

The true state of the union is all around us — it is obvious each time you see a new GoFundMe on social media raising money for a lifesaving surgery someone can’t afford due to rising cost of insurance. The true state of the union is reflected in devious government sting operations to deport immigrants who want to make a living, while billionaires who are exploiting their workers are left untouched.

Is this the best we think we can do as a country? This is no longer a conversation about a partisan divide. These are easily fact-checkable claims and accusations. Asking for an honest and accurate address to the public doesn’t seem like asking too much.

 Illustration by Chelsea Tolin

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North Texas Daily

North Texas Daily

The North Texas Daily is the official student newspaper of the University of North Texas, proudly serving UNT and the Denton community since 1916.

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