Before watching this speech, I was expecting a State of the Union that pandered to President Trump’s base. I was expecting his usual party line with a few good political points thrown in so it wasn’t a strictly populist message. After the full hour and twenty minutes, I was completely in shock. My predictions were completely off. Not only was the speech delivered well, it was also written very well. Props to all of the people that worked hard to help give Trump an excellent speech and for backing the Democratic Party into a corner for the 2018 midterm elections. At this point, I don’t even know what Democrats stand for with the exception that they are anti-Trump.
Most importantly, Trump did not make any outrageous statements or claims, ya know like the 140 character tweets that cause weeks of controversy. He maintained a professional demeanor and was not deterred by any of the booing that came from the Democrats. According to polls from CBS News, 75 percent of those who watched the State of the Union approved of Trump’s speech. On a party level, 72 percent of those who identify as independents approved of the speech. Even the Democrats gave him a 43 percent approval. This is bad news for Democrats, considering that Trump has made huge gains in the polls in recent weeks, and a good State of the Union is only likely to boost those numbers. In addition, the poll revealed that the majority of watchers, which includes Democrats, agreed with Trump’s proposals, the way he has handled the economy, and the situation with North Korea. At this point, the Democratic Party, particularly the Democratic National Committee (DNC), is in the red both in ideas and financially, so they cannot afford to lose a portion of their base too.
The main point that I wanted to hear from Trump was an emphasis on unity, both on a political level and a national level. Thankfully, he delivered on that point. And I’m not the only one who felt that way – the previously mentioned poll found that 81 percent felt the same way. This is how Trump starts to truly win the game of politics – by showing the American people that he is an inclusive President who wants to do right by all Americans, not the crazed, racist, and sexist person Democrats have attempted to paint him. I think that there could soon be some sort of reconciliation between the two parties because if Trump can continue to push a positive agenda, Democrats will need to help Republicans in order to remain relevant.
So now onto some specifics: Trump covered a large number of issues in his lengthy speech, starting with his accomplishments within the past year, such as tax cuts, VA reform, and military successes. The second part of his speech largely focused on what he would like to get done by the next State of the Union. This includes lowering prescription drug prices, allowing terminally-ill people to seek experimental treatment, solving the opioid crisis, and much more. Many of the issues Trump mentioned were completely bipartisan in nature, but the Democrats remained seated.
Finally, my favorite point is the downfall of the so-called Progressives. Trump raised multiple points for which Democrats should have stood, such as record low unemployment nationally and in the African-American and Hispanic communities, but even the Congressional Black Caucus refused to applaud. To be fair, President Obama does deserve some credit for this. In addition, Trump laid out a middle-of-the-road immigration proposal that would give over 1.8 million illegal immigrants a path to citizenship. This is far from a Republican position and goes further than the 600,000 President Obama proposed under his executive amnesty. Essentially, Trump told the Democrats, “Put your money where your mouth is!” and the Democratic Party did not stand, thus folding to Trump. So if the Democrats can’t support this, in addition to many other issues, how can they possibly run in battleground areas?
Before this speech, I was in favor of the majority of Trump’s policy proposals, but not him as a politician. That has slightly changed because he has finally solidified himself as an established politician who can walk the walk and talk the talk.