In the midst of a debate between the Republicans and Democrats for funding for the border wall, President Donald Trump delivered a message during his State of the Union that surprised many. President Trump spoke of bipartisanship and bringing the nation together.
This is perhaps most personified by the choice of many female senators to wear all white to the evening. This was done both to honor those who fought for women’s suffrage 100 years ago, and to draw attention to the growing number of women in congress. Many people speculated that this would draw a comment from our extremely vocal president. It did, though not what most would have expected. The President commented, saying, “No one has benefited more from our thriving economy than women, who have filled 58 percent of the newly created jobs last year.” He went on to mention that we have more women serving in congress than ever before. This prompted a cheer from the section in white which quickly turned into a standing ovation. Trump responded with a teasing comment that they “weren’t supposed to do that.”
There were many other places in the speech where the President made it clear that he was extending an olive branch across the aisle. One of the current biggest controversies, the border wall, was spoken of for quite some time. Trump outlined exactly what was needed for his plan and explained that most of the requested funds are coming directly from the ICE agents that put their lives on the line every day. He came forward with wording that suggested he would be willing to make a deal that would benefit both parties. Specifically, Donald Trump mentioned that one of the main goals of the border wall is to put human traffickers out of business. He brought with him to the event, Special Agent Elvin Hernandez of ICE. Agent Hernandez helped put away more than 1,500 human traffickers and helped free more than 300 women and young girls who were on their way to sexual slavery. This angle to the reasoning behind the border wall is one that is not often discussed and brought a humanitarian aspect to the project - something that made it difficult for democrats to disagree with.
This does not mean that everyone was happy with
the State of the Union. Many
people were quick to begin
fact checking the many statements and statistics quoted by the President. The State of the Union is meant to be a chance for the President of the United States to address the changes He/She has made and their plans for the future. This almost always means that the speech is optimistic and impressive. Many major media sources have come forward with their version of a fact check that shows that there are several points of embellishment throughout President Trump’s speech. Many are somewhat asinine, such as calling out the President for claiming we have been fighting in the Middle East for almost 19 years when it was really almost 18 years. Others, however, make a fairly substantial difference.
Trump claimed that
the amount of new jobs created was 4.9 million instead
of 5.3, though this number is still exceptionally high. Many of the economic wins that President Trump announced can be tied back to policies started in the Obama Administration, though it would not be fair to say that Trump had no involvement in their continued success.
The State of the Union can be surmised with this quote from President Trump, “Victory is not winning for our party, victory is winning for our country.” Trump hopes that in the next year Democrats and Republicans can put aside their differences to enact policies that help keep us safe, secure, and economically strong. He ended the speech by saying that we must keep America first, as one Nation.