First of all, no, it wasn’t technically a State of the Union Address President Trump gave last night. It was an address to a joint session of Congress. Since President Trump has only been in office a short period of time (40 days as of last night), he’s not expected to be totally versed yet on what the true state of the union is. So it was more about the President’s vision for the future, and what he’d like Congress to do to move us in that direction.
In my opinion, this was without a doubt, the best speech Donald Trump has ever given. It was optimistic; it was interesting; and it had a soaring theme – Renewal of the American Spirit. I wish he’d given a speech like this at his Inauguration. It might have gone a long way towards pulling Americans together at the outset of his presidency.
President Trump reached out to the Democrats in the room quite a few times during the speech. Unfortunately, they sat on their hands pretty much throughout the evening. That’s unfortunate, because in order to accomplish many of the things that most Americans want, it will take Republicans and Democrats working together (especially in the Senate, where since there are only 52 Republicans, and 60 votes are needed to bring anything up for a vote, at least 8 Democrat Senators will have to be willing to cooperate.)
Here were the highlights of what the President had to say last night. President Trump pointed out that in nine years, it will be 250 years subsequent to the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. So that would put us right about at the end of Trump’s second term (assuming he’s been reelected in 2020.) He said we need to give great thought to the kind of country we want to leave our children. He’s right.
President Trump pointed out that we’ve defended the borders of other nations, but left “our borders wide open.” He emphasized that we need to rebuild our military and our crumbling infrastructure, combat our drug epidemic, and energize American businesses by getting rid of two regulations for every new one they have to deal with.
He reiterated that the violent crime in Chicago is unacceptable, and called for a Task Force on Reducing Violent Crime. And not surprisingly, the President called for stronger enforcement of our immigration laws, and the building of not just a Great Wall (like China has), but a Great, Great Wall. (Interestingly, he didn’t mention that Mexico will pay for it.) Maybe it was just an oversight.
The President also said he has directed the Defense Department to come up with a plan to “demolish and destroy ISIS.” He called them “lawless savages,” and God knows, they are.
And yes, the President said he fully supports the Republican Congress’s two main efforts this year – repealing and replacing Obamacare, and reforming our overcomplicated tax code. With respect to Obamacare, he said it is collapsing, and must be replaced with something better and less costly. And tax reform will mean more jobs for more people as the economy grows. I think he’s right.
And finally, the most moving moment of the evening occurred when President Trump recognized the widow of an American hero, Naval Officer Ryan Owens, who was killed during a raid in Yemen recently. You couldn’t help but feel the pain this brave woman has suffered as a result of the loss of her husband, but at the same time, the appreciation of a grateful nation was palpable in the room.
There obviously was more to the speech than I can cover in one blog post, but suffice it to say, I thought it was a great speech. Now it’s up to Congress to work with this president to do everything we can, to Make America Great Again.