politics
President Trump's State of the Union Address
Jan 31, 2018 at 08:27 PM
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Food For Thought

What were the highlights and lowlights of the President's speech? How is the speech being characterized by each political party?

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Why It's Relevant

On Tuesday evening President Trump delivered his first State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress. The president spoke for 90 minutes, making this the third-longest State of the Union in the past 50 years.

Focal points of the speech included: the economic successes of the president’s first year in office, immigration, healthcare, and foreign policy. 

Food For Thought

What were the highlights and lowlights of the President's speech? How is the speech being characterized by each political party?

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The Washington Post

A uniquely depressing State of the Union

Dana Milbank
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Our Article Commentary

This opinion in the Washington Post was classified as a view from the left because it included the following types of arguments:

  • Despite promises of a unifying, bipartisan State of the Union address, President Trump delivered a campaign-like speech employing his typical rhetoric to assert Republican agendas.
  • Trump created more disunity than unity by provoking partisan animosity with his boasts about repealing the individual mandate, criticism of black NFL players who take a knee during the anthem, and suggestion that “dreamers” are not real Americans.
  • Last night’s address was the most disheartening State of the Union in the past several decades, and the most discouraging factor was the hypocritical applause from Republicans in response to false statements from the president.
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The Week

How Trump squandered his State of the Union address

David Faris
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This opinion in the Week was characterized as a View from the Mid-Left because it included these types of claims:

  • While Trump may have met the “hilariously low” expectations that Americans set for his speech, he said nothing that will drive progress towards substantial policy proposals.
  • Furthermore, his address did not do enough to direct attention away from his divisive rhetoric and controversial views on issues like immigration.
  • If Republicans want to stand a chance in the 2018 midterms and the 2020 Presidential election, Trump will have to do a much better job of convincing the public that he is not an “impudent jerk”.
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The Hill

Trump's powerful State of the Union laid out 2018 vision: Prosperity, borders, security

Buck Sexton
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This opinion piece written by Buck Sexton was classified as a view from the mid-right because it included these types of arguments:

  • President Trump’s State of the Union address was both celebratory in nature and auspicious for the future of the GOP.
  • The speech offered a counter-narrative to the mainstream media, highlighting the accomplishments made on tax reform during the administration’s first year, and echoing a sense of optimism when it comes to the country’s flourishing economy.  
  • At the crux of his speech Trump delivered his most memorable line : “Americans are dreamers too”, a shrewd turn of phrase that encompasses his agenda when it comes to merit-based immigration policy reform.
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CNN

Trump was the grown-up in the room

Scott Jennings
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Our Article Commentary

This opinion from Scott Jennings was chosen as a view from the right because it included these types of arguments:

  • Despite the cooperative and courteous tone President Trump struck in his State of the Union, his efforts to extend bipartisanship were met with hostility and childish refusals to stand by congressional Democrats in the audience.
  • The president demonstrated his ability to guide the Republican party, outlining comprehensive policy agendas and laying solid foundation for the 2018 midterms.
  • Overall the address was appealing and well executed; it effectively communicated a narrative desired by the Republican party as a whole, while staying true to President Trump’s quintessential populist values.
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