By Brittany Greve
On January 30, 2018, President Trump delivered his first State of the Union Address. The Address included his plans for this coming year, as well as the accomplishments he feels the country has achieved under his presidency.
According to the CNN transcript of President Donald J. Trump’s Address, he focused on the optimism that has been “sweeping the nation” from the time he took office. Though the first few minutes of his speech focused on both the hardships and the achievements of the past months, he ensured that he did not forget those who are still in the middle of their struggle. He reached out to those still recovering in “Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, California and everywhere else,” reminding them that “…we are with you, we love you and we will pull through together.”
Over the course of the Address, the Washington Post and other journalists were focusing on “fact-checking” instead of simply listening to what President Trump had to say. The Washington Post stated that there were 18 claims the President made that were “dubious facts and figures” that he had used more than once.
Whether the aspects of his address were legitimate or not, Drew students had other concerns regarding Trump’s first State of the Union. Megan MacMullen (‘18), a conservative Drewid, said, “I was very disappointed in the SOTU. I felt as if President Trump didn’t touch on the many issues going on currently in the United States. I wanted to hear more about the state of our economy than just him stating that our economy is doing better.”
President Trump’s main focus of the Address was establishing a “down-the-middle” compromise on how to move forward with the immigration bill. He digressed, though, and lost viewers. However, MacMullen believes that President Trump “didn’t talk much about gun violence” and acknowledges that “there is a huge gun problem in our country, [and she doesn’t] think he sees that.”
Many agree that the President’s Address was not successful in advancing bipartisan dialogue. “The President’s State of the Union Address was a mixed bag,” said Trevor Hurst (‘19). Hurst felt that the Address did lay out the goals President Trump had in mind and generously praised specific people. But “the President would do well not to attribute all of the economic prosperity that coincides with his administration to the actions of his administration.”
Drew students are not the only ones who criticized the address; the North Korean government was unhappy with what the President said. According to CBS News, a North Korean Foreign Ministry Official responded to the address, stating that if “[…] Trump does not get rid of his anachronistic and dogmatic way of thinking, it will only bring about the consequence of further endangering security and future of the United States.” The problem between North Korea and President Trump has been ongoing. Trump commented on the issue during his Address, reassuring Americans that they need, “[…] only look at the depraved character of the North Korean regime to understand the nature of the nuclear threat it could pose to America and to our allies.”
Nevertheless, President Trump finished off his Address with a strong statement about Americans, particularly the military and their families. President Trump shed light on how versatile the citizens of American are, how “they work in every trade […] they sacrifice to raise a family […] they care for our children at home” and “[…] they defend our flag abroad.” He ended the Address by promising that, as long as the American people trust in each other and in God, they cannot fail.