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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Trump’s State of the Union

by Jake Grosvenor and Eli Duncan

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The Good

A year has passed since Donald Trump was elected to the presidency, and the State of the Union Address officially marks that year.

This address is always used as a victory lap for presidents. Obama did it. Bush did it. Now Trump is doing it. And he has a lot to brag about.

For starters, he has brought jobs back to America – over 200,000 manufacturing jobs alone – and brought the unemployment rate down to a decade low (Jan. 2008 – Jan. 2018). On top of that, Hispanic and African American unemployment rate are at record lows, which has been found to be true according to NPR fact checkers.

He also touted the DOW Jones numbers always reaching record highs under his presidency. And alongside that, he was boasting about his tax cuts which will effectively make the first $24,000 a married couple makes is untaxed.

Part of his tax plan doubles child tax credit and cuts some peoples tax payments in half. This would allow more money in the people’s pockets.

“This April will be the last time you ever file under the old broken system — and millions of Americans will have more take-home pay starting next month.” said Trump during his speech.

Economics aside, Trump brought in special guests that shows the true spirit of the American people. The guest list includes parents of children that were slain by MS13 gang members, a North Korean that escaped that brutal regime, and the family of Otto Warmbier, the young American that was tortured and detained in North Korea.

What Trump did better than almost any president before him was incorporate the stories of his guests into his political agenda. He did it in a way that showed compassion and heartfelt, raw emotions for the people but also a hopeful look into America’s future under Trump as president for the next three – potentially seven – years.

So, as Trump put it, “… the state of our Union is strong because our people are strong.”


The Bad

While Trump’s address was one of his best spoken speeches during his presidency and he showed promise on some of his topics, certain statements still show the danger our current POTUS poses for our nation. One of the biggest issues that was presented during his address was Trump’s decision to keep Guantanamo Bay open. It’s a well known fact that the procedures in Guantanamo Bay are not only unconstitutional, but immoral as well.

In an article from from December 2017, Nils Melzer addressed the U.N. about the torture used in the American facility.

“This is one of the most fundamental norms of international law, and its violation is listed among the most serious international crimes, including crimes against humanity and war crimes, no circumstances, however exceptional and well argued, may be invoked to justify torture.” said Melzer

Even during the Obama administration the mention of torture was brought up and his plans to close down the immoral site, but as history has shown, the prison still stands.

Trump’s decision to keep the prison open shows not only the danger of his policies ignoring moral and constitutional ideas, but how he lacks the basic ability to use facts to back up his decision.

During his address where he talked about Terrorism he stated multiple facts that were quickly checked and found to be false. His defense for the claims he made regarding his terrorism showed the danger of his pathological lying.

“In the past, we have foolishly released hundreds of dangerous terrorists, only to meet them again on the battlefield — including the ISIS leader, al-Baghdadi.” stated Trump

Politifact researched that and claimed it was mostly false.

“We rated this statement Mostly False. Trump overstated the number of prisoners released from Guantanamo, who were confirmed to have re-engaged in some type of terrorist activity. That number is 122, not ‘hundreds and hundreds.’” is was Politifact stated on one of many claims they rated throughout his speech.

On you can go through and fact check the majority of his claims, and an upsetting amount of his claims are rated false and mostly false.

While this is nothing new for Trump, it doesn’t take away from the danger of having so many exaggerations and flat out lies. With a mix of facts and lies, it’s up to the general public to check what their president tells them, and people not wanting to do the research or blindly accepting what he says is even worse.


The Ugly

While Trump’s plans and claims have mixed reaction and it’s up to personal interpretations whether you think his next year’s plans are good or bad for the nation, one of the biggest issues that need to be addressed is how both parties and the general public are handling our POTUS.

During the address you could clearly see a divide in the room that shows how immature both parties are acting. After Trump would make a claim you’d see the Republicans overreacting to minor claims, clapping for every other sentence, and you’d see the Democrats refusing to clap or stand on anything, even on bipartisan issues.

This type of division between our nation should be a red flag of the political tension between the two political parties, but it isn’t what people are talking about and they should be. Republicans need to not be so quick to take Trump’s word as holy and Democrats need to stop acting that because Trump is president, what he says doesn’t affect them.

Regardless of if you like Trump or not, his policies will affect us, and not everything he says you can disagree with. Politics has always been a game of supporting your party, but refusing to clap and booing topics because you don’t like Trump is just as childish as booing a classmate you don’t like. This is not how full grown adults who are meant to represent the public should act, and the fact that they due without any backlash is disgusting.

With this issue there is the general public that takes to the internet to criticize the opposing side without even looking at what their criticizing.

Twitter was filled with tweets condemning Trump’s speech with is use of the term “clean coal,” but there are way more issues that could actually spark a debate and conversation between people, but instead people choose to mock a term used that offers zero intellectual thought.

Just like with our politicians, this game of ignoring Trump and his decisions on what policies he stand behind and signs because you don’t like him will ultimately lead to our demise as a nation, if we can’t learn to stop acting like school kids and accept that fact that we have at least two more years with Trump in office. Acting immature and whining over mundane things like clean coal will not fix our nation, unity and working as a nation for the people, not two parties for their own beliefs, is what we need.

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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Trump’s State of the Union