Steve's Blog

So How’d President Trump Do Last Night?

This was President Trump’s first OFFICIAL State of the Union Address. About a year ago, shortly after he was inaugurated, he gave what seemed like a State of the Union Address, but officially it was merely a speech to a joint session of Congress. But this was the real deal.

So how’d he do? I think quite well. Despite the fact that a bunch of Democrats thought it was a good idea to show their disdain for this president by boycotting the speech altogether. Now that’s not to say some Republicans haven’t seen fit to do the same thing when the shoe was on the other foot and Barack Obama was President, or Bill Clinton.

But personally, I just think that’s wrong. It’s disrespectful. I believe as a Member of Congress, we have the duty to be there. We may not like what the guy from the other party is saying up there, but we should respectfully listen. And understand that our president is the president of ALL the people – even if some of those people protest and march and chant things like “not my president!” (He still is.)

Anyway, as I said a few paragraphs back, I think he did quite well. The substance of the speech was excellent. His delivery was the best so far. Yet most of the Democrats in the room sat on their hands, for most of the speech.

Here were the highlights in my opinion. President Trump emphasized that the recently passed tax cuts (opposed by every Democrat in the House and the Senate) are having a tremendously positive effect on the economy and on the pocketbooks of the vast majority of Americans. He also emphasized that during his first year on the job, we’ve gotten rid of more job-killing regulations than any administration in American history. And he said we need to streamline the permitting process, noting that it only took one year to build the Empire State Building, yet it can take 10 years to get a permit to build a simple road nowadays.

The President honored and praised our military, our veterans, and our first responders during several moving parts of the speech. And he very effectively recognized true American heroes who had been invited to hear the speech in the visitors’ gallery. Ronald Reagan began this practice nearly 40 years ago, and each president since then has followed his lead.

President Trump also pointed out that many companies are opening plants and creating jobs right here in the United States, rather than overseas. In the auto industry for example, he said Chrysler is relocating a major plant from Mexico to the United States, and both Toyota and Mazda are setting up shop in Alabama.

The President took on the cause of reducing prescription drug prices, and making cutting edge experimental drugs available for terminally ill patients. And he challenged Congress to pass a “right to try” law.

The President said he was willing to work with both Democrats and Republicans to solve the nation’s long-festering immigration problem. President Trump’s offer: yes, most DACA/Dreamer folks can stay, but in return he gets his wall, the end of chain migration, and no more visa lottery system.

And finally, there was tough talk about dealing with America’s adversaries, from ISIS to North Korea to Venezuela to Cuba. (I’d have included Russia and China.)

Anyway, the President covered more ground than what I mentioned, but in the interest of respecting your time, I’ll stop there. The bottom line, this President gave the best speech I’ve heard him give thus far. My guess is Republicans and independents for the most part, really liked the speech. Democrats, not so much. Whether there is long-term positive (or negative) impact from the State of the Union speech, well, only time will tell.

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