Jennifer Zuniga Advertising Manager
Each year, the president of the United Sates gives an address called the State of the Union. This address gives the administration’s view of the state of the nations and plans for legislation for the year. On Feb. 5, President Donald Trump delivered his 2019 State of the Union address. Originally scheduled for Jan. 29, the 35-day government shutdown forced him to postpone the annual speech. In his speech, he calls out democracy, brings up topics such as immigration, women empowerment in the US workforce, the end of the war in Afghanistan, and the 2020 elections.
The president opened his address by offering peace with Democrats, then addressed the topic of immigration. “The agenda I will lay out this evening is not a Republican agenda or a Democrat agenda. It is the agenda of the American people.” The president was adamant that Congress approve funding for a wall along the US-Mexico border. “Now is the time for the Congress to show the world that America is committed to ending illegal immigration and putting the ruthless coyotes, cartels, drug dealers, and human traffickers out of business.”
Although Trump stated that he will not declare a national emergency on the southern border if Congress could not come to some sort of compromise before Feb. 15, he did lay the groundwork for if and when the time comes. Trump made the case that the country is under grave threat from illegal immigration and that if Congress won’t act, he will.
He discussed the empowerment of women by talking about the progress made by them in the US workforce. This brought a standing ovation from the entire chamber. Female lawmakers were wearing white that evening in honor of the suffragette movement. They stood up and cheered as he said, “All Americans can be proud that we have more women in the workforce than ever before.” He acknowledges the record number of women serving in Congress – a historic total of 126. This was one of the rare positive moments for all parties during his speech. However, it took a different turn when he called on Congress to pass a bill that would prohibit late-term abortion. This silenced the women who stood up moments earlier.
Later on, Trump mentioned his controversial decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria and call an end to the war in Afghanistan. “Our brave troops have now been fighting in the Middle East for almost 19 years,” Trump said while noting the U.S. had spent more than $7 trillion in the region. He pled for a new approach to how great nations do not fight endless wars. His approach had U.S. military, intelligence leaders, and Republicans in Congress talking. The week prior to his speech, the GOP-led Senate opposed the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan and Syria.
Trump then addressed how socialists were on the rise in America, referencing how socialism has increasingly become the Democratic Party’s platform. “Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country…Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.” Several potential Democratic presidential candidates sat stoically in the audience, including Senators Elizabeth Warren (MA), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Cory Booker (NJ), Kamala Harris (CA), and Bernie Sanders (VT).
His speech raised questions about the building of the border wall, the war in Afghanistan, and ultimately the future of America. It is important to see where the president’s goals with our nation lies as this can direct the changes made this year.