There was much anticipation leading up to President Trump’s first State of the Union address. While no one could predict what horrifyingly embarrassing thing Trump might suddenly decide to say – after all, this is the same president who complained about “fake news” and bragged about the size of his crowds to the Boy Scouts of America – it’s was easy to predict what he wouldn’t talk about.
It was no surprise that what he did talk about brought loud boos from the audience.
Overall, it was the State of the Union speech most political pundits predicted, read from a teleprompter with all of Trump’s rabid fan base’s favorite talking points plugged in by his speechwriters.
Of course, he spent time exploiting his guests who are grieving slain family members to prove just how dangerous brown people really are. Of course, he pointed out that immigrants are dangerous and need to be arrested and forcibly removed from their homes so that “other families never have to endure this kind of pain,” and so that this “compassionate nation” doesn’t have to live among the gang members, rapists, and drug dealers coming from Mexico. Of course he blamed immigrants for the poverty and unemployment rates of white middle Americans and blatantly lied about “chain migration” and “visa lotteries.” Of course he turned his State of the Union address into a dressed-up white nationalist rally, and of course the GOP cheered him on. It’s what their racist base expects.
His wild lie about immigrants being able to bring scores and scores of any familiar member they wish to fill up the country with brown people and steal all the jobs while draining resources as welfare and food stamp recipients, none of which is the case, brought loud boos from Democrats.
— Morgan Finkelstein (@momofink) January 31, 2018
There was no mention of the two indictments and two guilty pleas against people in his own administration and campaign staff. He failed to mention that he tried to take healthcare about from 24 million people. He definitely forgot to mention that his much bragged-about tax plan, the only major piece of legislation Trump has gotten through Congress so far, gives billions in tax breaks to the one percent and short-term crumbs to the middle class. Unsurprisingly, Stormy Daniels didn’t show up to sit in the audience, either.
Pres. Trump heads into his first State of the Union with 36% approval rating, the lowest in modern polling for a president at this point, per @ABC News/WaPo poll. https://t.co/wdGSMPsS9y #SOTU pic.twitter.com/gi9pGMbJTW
— ABC News (@ABC) January 31, 2018
As expected, Trump spent the major portion of his opening on all of the wonderful things he’s already accomplished for the U.S. economy without ever mentioning that his predecessor handed him an economy already thriving after saving it from the disaster of the last Republican president. He praised Americans for standing strong through “floods, fires, and storms,” but forgot to make any promises to struggling survivors in Puerto Rico, many of whom are still without electricity and clean water.
Trump mentions the devastating hurricanes. Today, FEMA announced it is cutting off food and other aid to Puerto Rico. #SOTU
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) January 31, 2018
Trump also couldn’t resist a shout-out to his racist base by criticizing NFL players protesting the disproportionate use of police brutality against black Americans. He talked about how proud America is to “stand for the national anthem” since black men who take a stand against racial inequality are, in his mind, apparently not really Americans.
Less than 5 minutes after calling for "unity," Trump takes a dig at NFL players for engaging in peaceful protest — and then immediately launches into a defense of the Constitution "as written" (which, notably, includes the 1st Amendment). #SOTU
— Caroline Orr (@RVAwonk) January 31, 2018
It's infuriating that Trump just attacked Kaepernick's peaceful protest against police brutality then immediately mentioned the constitution. If he really loved the constitution he would support Kaepernick's 1st amendment rights! #SOTU #StateOfOurUnion
— Secular Talk (@KyleKulinski) January 31, 2018
The president made sure to praise law enforcement despite the fact that he has been on endless rants about corruption in the FBI, and to voice the GOP’s support of active military members and veterans while never mentioning the military service of DACA recipients whose lives he’s holding hostage until he gets funding for his unnecessary border wall that he promised his supporters Mexico would pay for. He also didn’t apologize to the transgender military member in the audience, who has been deployed to Afghanistan three times, and who Trump tried to ban from service based on her gender.
Meet some of the Dreamers who will be present at tonight’s #SOTU.
— Juan Escalante (@JuanSaaa) January 30, 2018
A Democratic lawmaker has invited a soldier who Trump believes shouldn't be allowed to serve in the military because she’s transgender to attend the president’s State of The Union https://t.co/XhYwrsqHry
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) January 29, 2018
Tonight our client Nahrain Hamama will attend the #SOTU for her husband, Sam. He is one of hundreds of Iraqis swept up in ICE raids this summer, many of whom fear religious persecution if deported.
— ACLU (@ACLU) January 30, 2018
My #SOTU guest, Angelica, is one of the many Dreamers who have had their lives thrown into turmoil by Donald Trump as part of his cruel political game. These bright young people deserve nothing less than a clean DREAM Act. pic.twitter.com/owBlb2cgQH
— Keith Ellison (@keithellison) January 30, 2018
Trump’s address was everything his voters hoped for and everything that divides us by speaking to those who would rather blame vulnerable populations with the least power for all our nation’s problems than hold the wealthy and powerful accountable.
How else could a billionaire former reality show television host have ended up as president?
Featured image screengrab via video.