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Trump's "State of the Union": "Americans are Dreamers too"

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President Trump's first State of the Union address occurred on Jan. 30, 2018.
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YUKON, Okla. -- Tuesday evening marked President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union to Congress.

The State of the Union is a time-honored tradition for presidents dating back to 1790 with President George Washington. This address is to ensure the nation of the president’s agenda for the upcoming year, to highlight key issues, and ask Congress for their attention to certain topics.

At 8:09 p.m., the gavel rang throughout United States Capitol.

“Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, First Lady of the United States, and my fellow Americans,” President Trump started his speech. As he entered the chamber in his navy blue suit and aqua blue tie, members of the Republican party met the president with eager applause.

The Democrats were silent.

Sitting in solidarity, each wore an expression of quiet contempt. On the lapels and dresses of the Democratic lawmakers was a purple ribbon. This was in order to raise awareness of the opioid crisis.

In a balcony seat to the right of the chamber sat First Lady Melania Trump in a crème-colored pant suit. She was surrounded by families of murdered teens, a North Korean defect, firefighters, veterans, business professionals, and police officers.

Many political scientists and politicians were anxious to see what the president might do with the time he is allotted. What they would come to find is a president which was low-tempered yet hard-edged.

According to White House officials, the speech which was prepared for President Trump was written and edited over the span of four months. The speech wished to highlight the Trump administration policies as well as inform the American public of the accomplishments of the past year.

A year has passed since a newly elected President Trump took the stage and said that the nation was, “American carnage.” Since that time, the president has taken a lighter approach to the subject of the nation.

“A new tide of optimism is sweeping across our land to make America great again for all Americans,” President Trump said. “We’ve seen the American soul and steel of American spines during the aftermath of the hurricanes and the shootings. We’re with you, we love you, and we’ll always pull together. Always.”

Often the camera would show the right side of the room standing and applauding. The other half was reserved for democrats who often decided to remain seated. According to reports from the White House, nine democratic lawmakers, including Civil Rights Activist John Lewis, declined to show at the event.

President Trump began his speech by applauding the first responders and volunteers who aided the disasters the nation endured over the past year.

This was quickly followed by Trump bragging about the accomplishments which his administration was able to accomplish over the year. These included: 2.4 million new jobs, rising wages, and, according to Trump, the “lowest unemployment of African Americans and Hispanics in history.”

The actual number of jobs created, according to the PEW Research Institute, was 2.1. This marks the slowest job rate in the past six years.

Rising wages are only included in the upper-middle class and upper class citizens on the pay scale. The tax reform, as well as the cuts provided by the administration do little to no good for the middle and lower economic classes in the country.

While President Trump was correct about the unemployment rate of African Americans and Hispanics, this number was derived from an old poll conducted in 2010 during President Barack Obama’s term.

“This is your time,” he said to the American public. “We can do absolutely anything. We, as an American family, can do anything.”

He ended the sentence to an uproarious applause from the right side of the room when he abided by, “In God We Trust.”

While the applause generally was related to the right side of the room, President Trump would turn his back away from the Democrats while they remained silent. It was only when the Democrats applauded did President Trump acknowledge their existence.

As many presidents have done in the past, President Trump brought a number of guests to sit in the balcony with First Lady Melania Trump. This including Preston Sharp, the young man who made the Flag and Flower Challenge in which he placed flowers at the graves of soldiers.

To this, President Trump said, “Preston, a job well-done.”

This was a means to turn on a heel and to bring up the controversy of kneeling during the national anthem.

Among what the Trump administration has called successes, this includes removing 1,500 veteran affair employees and replacing them with efficient workers, and, according to Trump, ending “the war on new energy and bringing back clean coal jobs.”

Trump called on Congress to let go of employees who do not take the values of the American people and treat, “Americans fairly.”

President Trump also called on Congress for a $1.5 trillion infrastructure rebuild bill. Not a sound could be heard from the Democrats side of the chamber.

“The era of economic surrender is over,” President Trump said concerning spending money to help build American infrastructure.

What got President Trump the most applause was his call on Congress for more vocational schools to be built for workers to obtain a valuable trade. It was by the sound of applause from both sides which Trump faced the front of the audience.

The tone of the night turned to a darker place when President Trump transitioned towards illegal immigration. Trump brought two sets of parents whose daughters were murdered by gang members in New York known as MS13.

MS13 is an international gang which originated in California and is mostly occupied by Latinos.

As Trump was laying out his illegal immigration policies, he continued to refer to all illegal immigrants as MS13. The only mention of “Dreamers” is when he said his more controversial statement of the night.

“Americans are dreamers too,” he said.

President Trump wants to send more border patrol agents across the country to, “ensure the safety of the nation from crimes done by illegal immigrants.”

Throughout the hisses and boos, President Trump told Congress of his immigration plan which consisted of four pillars.

The first pillar is a path to citizenship. According to Trump, “this will bring in over 1.3 million newly documented immigrants.” This “path to citizenship” should take upwards to 12 years, according to White House officials.

The second pillar includes building the border wall President Trump has wanted since he began campaigning for the presidency.

The third pillar ends what is known as the Visa Lottery. The Visa Lottery is a system in which an immigrant is picked from a bunch and is granted citizenship on a fair, unbiased system. President

Trump wants a “merit-based system to bring in people who want to work and people who love and respect our country.”

The final pillar is to end chain migration. Chain migration allows for immigrants to bring their families to the United States whenever they are accepted as citizens. President Trump wants to limit this to only spouses and children.”

He said it is, “vital to American safety,” that the country has these strict migration laws.

President Trump also called on Congress to refund the military and to boost our nuclear arsenal higher than any modernized country. He did this all while mentioned the threats of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

“There will be a time when nations can come together and get rid of all of these weapons,” President Trump said. “Unfortunately, now is not that time.”

While referencing the foreign threat, Trump switched tones to terrorism. He told the American people that he is keeping Guantanamo Bay open for terrorists and domestic threats.

President Trump went on to mention his decision late last year to call Jerusalem the capital of Israel. As it was controversial, 12 countries in NATO, including Afghanistan, Great Britain, and France, voted down the decision by the United States.

Trump had a response for this decision.

“Foreign aid money should go to countries which help Americans and those who are friends to America,” he said while referencing the disagreement.

President Trump took the time to say that the people of the country are only as strong as the people before.

“Our people will prosper,” President Trump said. “And our nation will forever be safe and strong and proud and mighty and free. Thank you, and God bless America. Goodnight.”

The Democrats left immediately from the chamber without shaking any hands or greeting anyone across the aisle.

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Brandon King

Brandon King is a journalism student at OCCC, working towards becoming a professional writer....

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