State of the Union address exacerbates divide

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Shealah Craighead

The State of the Union is the time of year the President gives his/her own formal job performance review. While the whole process is already a little shaky and used only to highlight their own positive views of themselves, some presidents, like Trump, go above and beyond to ensure that the State of the Union is a completely absurd reality TV show event. 

Honestly, I’m still completely shocked at how much Trump turned the State of the Union into a publicity stunt and a show,”

— Alexis Somoza

The State of the Union was not only filled with stunts such as giving out scholarships, reuniting families with members in the military and giving out Presidential Medals of Honor to worldwide known racists, but it was also filled with blatant lies, with the President not caring at all if what he said was simply untrue. His followers seem to either not realize or not care the extent to which he lies. The Washington Post logged 31 false statements in his address.

“I just don’t know where to begin; I can’t honestly comprehend how people listen to him without cringing or going insane by how obvious his lies are,” Somoza said. “He even tried to come after Obama–like why is he still even concerned with him?”

Trump made many claims that are simply false, and the one Somoza mentioned was how Trump claimed under the Obama administration 300,000 jobs were lost. In fact, 5.4 million jobs were added under his presidency. Furthermore, the economy is largely out of the president’s hands. While they do have influence, many voters wrongly believe the president determines the level of job growth or decline. With that being said, Trump made many claims regarding the economy saying it is “the best it’s ever been” and unemployment is “the lowest it’s ever been.” However, GDP growth actually fell 2.3 percent last year, thus disproving his economy point, and unemployment levels have been declining for the past decade, Trump simply had nothing to do with this at all. It was falling under Bush, Obama and still under Trump’s administration. 

“Presidents simply do not control the economy. I mean do people seriously believe one individual has the power to speed up or slow down GDP growth?” Somoza said. 

Of course, while uncountable mistruths were being stated, there was also the issue of Trump’s acquittal from the impeachment proceedings. Of course, this was expected as the Senate is majority Republican at the current moment and the Trump administration has exacerbated partisanship and political divide like never before. Trump was flashing newspaper headlines to the world for multiple days after his acquittal, with almost no regard for the level of severity this process holds (or how lucky he is that the Senate is Republican-majority at the moment). 

“I have a lot of thoughts on the impeachment process, but I really just don’t think he would have had any hope if the Senate was controlled by enough Democrats to convict him,” Somoza said. “It literally would have been the end of his presidency.”

After the most partisan impeachment proceedings America has ever seen, the Republican majority excluded witnesses which simply exacerbated the dangerous precedent that was already set by the proceeding. 

“The Republican party has turned into a Trump party. I don’t know why they defend him so strongly or what he’s done to get so much support, but I have a strong feeling the Republican party is going to collapse after he’s gone and no longer in the spotlight,” Somoza said. 

The point of no return has come and gone for party divide, and only a large wave of moderation can combat partisanship and bring back what America was founded on: compromise.

“I think Nancy Pelosi’s act of ripping up her copy of Trump’s speech says everything about where we are as a country, and I don’t think she was wrong in doing that. I mean really, how did he get in office in the first place?” Somoza said.