2019 State of the Union Address



By Jessica Irrera, MANAGING EDITOR

President Donald Trump held his second State of the Union Address on Feb. 5, roughly two weeks later than its annual date of Jan. 29.
The historic 35-day government shutdown halted the address after Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi rescinded the invitation to speak until after the government had been reopened.
President Trump discussed the need to resist “political revenge” between parties, in an effort to present a unifying and bipartisan speech while still addressing the battle between Democrats and his administration.
“Together we can break decades of political stalemate. We can bridge all divisions, heal old wounds, build new coalitions, forge new solutions, and unlock the extraordinary promise of America’s future,” Trump said. “We must choose between gridlock, results or resistance, vision or vengeance, incredible progress or pointless destruction. Tonight, I ask you to choose greatness.”
The President continued his speech by addressing the economic successes of his first two years in office, including new job opportunities, increasing wages and a decrease in the use of food stamps.
“The U.S. economy is growing almost twice as fast today as when I took office, and we are considered far and away the hottest economy anywhere in the world,” he said. “Not even close.”
Trump expressed his disappointment in the lack of Congressional funding for border security at the nation’s southwestern border, which he has demanded since his campaign trail in 2016. Although he also discussed his pride in the “economic miracle” happening in the United States.
“Tonight I am asking you to defend our very dangerous southern border out of love and devotion to our fellow citizens and our country,” said President Trump. “No issue better illustrates the divide between America’s working class and America’s political class than illegal immigration.”
Trump went on to explain the dangers of illegal drugs and violence being brought through the border by illegal immigrants and used the MS-13 gang as an example. He celebrated Immigrations Customs Enforcement agents and their arresting of migrants with violent charges against them.
“ICE officers made 266,000 arrest of criminal aliens, including those charged or convicted of nearly 100,000 assaults,” he said. “30,000 sex crimes, and 4,000 killings or murders.”
Trump did not mention the controversial arresting and separation techniques used against an estimated 2,654 children in 2018, although he did referenced ICE’s success in arresting those with existing violent charges.
The president went on to discuss plans to lower healthcare rates for prescription drugs and protections for those with pre-existing conditions, despite his continuous refusal to defend the Affordable Care Act, which has inherently hurt those suffering from preexisting conditions.
“Already as a result of my administration’s efforts, in 2018 drug prices experienced their single largest decline in 46 years. But we must do more,” he said. “It is unacceptable that Americans pay vastly more than people in other countries for the exact same drugs, often made in the exact same place.”
Trump continued with his plan to “fully rebuild the United States military,” through the estimated $700 billion provided to the military each year of his presidency. He also challenged NATO spending as an unequal and unfair trade of support and funding from other countries.
He also touched on his recent work with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on denuclearizing the Korean peninsula as a result of the withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty which put limitations on nuclear weapons production in the United States and the former Soviet Union.
“Our hostages have come home, nuclear testing has stopped, and there has not been a missile launch in 15 months,” Trump said. “If I had not been elected president of the United States, we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea.”
Socialism became a topic of conversation when Trump referenced the United States’ support to the new interim Venezuelan President, Juan Guaidó which quickly transitioned into a statement against socialist views infiltrating American government techniques.
“Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country,” Trump said. “America was founded on liberty and independence- not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free, and we will stay free.”
He finished his speech with his thoughts on American involvement in Middle Eastern regions like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. The threat from radical terrorist groups like ISIS was counteracted with a promise to negotiate with the groups to enhance counter-terrorism techniques at home and abroad.
“This is the time to rekindle the bonds of love and loyalty and memory that link us together as citizens, as neighbors, as patriots,” said Trump. This is our future- our fate- and our choice to make. I am asking you to choose greatness.”