Current Affairs

Trump’s SOTU was brilliant, impressive and solidly factual

Yatindra Bhatnagar

The much-delayed and also much-anticipated State Of the Union (SOTU) address by President Donald Trump on Feb. 5, came out as brilliant, most effective, solidly presidential and impressive by any standard.  Even the not-so-friendly CBS came up with a poll result of more than 76% of the American people approving of the address.

It had to be so despite the later usual rebuttal by the losing Democratic candidate for governor in Georgia, Stacey Abrams, who had to disapprove and criticize, though she reportedly did not even listen to SOTU. Obviously it fell flat on facts and figures and the points made by the president. Abrams harped on the now famous Democrat rhetoric against Trump without factually contesting his solid achievements about jobs, security, taxes, and so on.

Trump in his address called for bipartisanship to work for the country, make the borders strong, reform the immigration system, create more jobs, build and reconstruct infra structure, and make the country strong, instead of indulging in endless investigations.

The Democrats, with their new-found majority in the House of Representatives, and a bunch of very vocal new crop of younger lawmakers, are hell-bent upon endless investigations into the personal life (not functioning ) of the president, his businesses, his family and his former and current associates and supporters.

Obviously the Democrats and liberals have no other agenda and they think tactics of investigations would fool the American people and would give them The White House and the Senate also in 2020. Their leaders have forgotten the job of doing something solid for their constituents and the country but are fixed on one item: How to destroy Donald Trump and get him out of The White House where the 2016 election had put him.

To begin with, SOTU was postponed/canceled by the new Speaker Nancy Pelosi citing temporary shutdown of the government as the reason. The two sides could not reach an agreement on funding the wall on the southern border. Pelosi behaved like a dictator and also as the OWNER of the House of Representatives and its building to deny the president the venue to deliver his traditional address. It’s customary; the joint session of the House and the Senate listens to the President, in discharge of his constitutional responsibility and to exercise his privilege. As a compromise, the shutdown was temporarily lifted for three weeks and the face-saving for Pelosi ensured SOTU.

The President did continue his push for a border wall but extensively outlined his agenda about immigration, jobs, building infra structure, and other important issues facing the nation and not frittering away the energies in endless investigations.  He counted his administration’s achievements on many issues – lowering unemployment, creation of new jobs, foreign policy goals and other issues.

He was forthright and mentioned some specific proposals for the consideration by Congress. He earnestly and sincerely pleaded for bipartisanship and working for the country’s progress.   

This was the president’s second State of the Union address and the third address to the joint session of Congress.

In a brilliant speech, interrupted by regular applause, Trump made his points with conviction, but without rancor, malice, or one-sided rhetoric. He said there are the "unlimited potential" to advance an agenda that is not partisan. T0 quote the President: “As we begin a new Congress, I stand here ready to work with you to achieve historic breakthroughs for all Americans. Millions of our fellow citizens are watching us now, gathered in this great chamber, hoping that we will govern not as two parties but as one Nation."

“We must reject the politics of revenge, resistance and retribution,” Trump passionately pleaded in the earlier portions of his speech.

What better opening there could be and it was greeted with big applause, though the Democrats were not enthusiastic about joining it. They however did join in standing and clapping on a few occasions but it was clear that they were still a bitter, and un-cooperative lot only dedicated to oppose the president on every step without offering solid plans for the country.

Trump did mention issues that continue to divide the country, saying: “No issue better illustrates the divide between America's working class and America's political class than illegal immigration. Wealthy politicians and donors push for open borders while living their lives behind walls and gates and guards."

Trump added: “An economic miracle is taking place in the United States – and the only things that can stop it are foolish wars, politics, or ridiculous partisan investigations. If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. It just doesn't work that way!"

Trump exhorted, "We must be united at home to defeat our adversaries abroad. Tonight, I am asking you to defend our very dangerous southern border out of love and devotion to our fellow citizens and to our country."

He did not give in on the wall and said : “I'll get it built."

He devoted time on proposals for lowering the cost of prescription drugs and also on the issue of late-term abortions that a New York law has raised concern in the country. Trump’s impassioned pleas on this issue was: “Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life, and  let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: All children -- born and unborn -- are made in the holy image of God.”

In contrast the rebuttal Stacey Abrams fell flat and could only criticize, in general, the policy of Trump on everything – the usual Democratic agenda.

It was remarked that Abrams rebuttal could only join the ranks of other lack-luster responses to presidential addresses in the past, including one by Bobby Jindal of the Republican Party for his rebuttal to Obama’s SOTU.