Petty Politicians? State of the Union Address

by Janvi Amin

      The State of the Union Address is an annual message delivered by the President of the United States to a joint session of the United States Congress at the beginning of each calendar year in office. This year, President Donald Trump delivered his message on February 4th. Not many teens watch this address, although the actions by Trump and Secretary of State Nancy Pelosi have been circulating on social media. Before the speech began, Trump refused Pelosi’s outstretched hand and walked by her. After the speech, Pelosi proceeded to rip her copy of it in half. On this exchange of events, senior Kaiya Anunciado stated, “I thought what Pelosi did was actually funny, but I hope she doesn’t get in trouble for it.”

      In his speech, Trump talked about a few points, including the economy. Mr. Trump dived into the state of the economy at the top of the speech, making broad declarations about tax cuts, deregulation and the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the new version of which he signed into law last week. Trump then began to talk about the attention he would keep on China and Iran. After signing an initial trade deal with China last month, Mr. Trump pointed on Tuesday to the tariffs he has imposed on the country in order to take on its “massive theft of America’s jobs.” He said that “our strategy has worked.”

      Mr. Trump’s attention on foreign policy later swung to the Middle East, when he highlighted two people his administration killed in recent months: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, and General Suleimani, the Iranian commander. More conflict would not extend to the war in Afghanistan, which he said he was eager to wind down by bringing U.S. troops there home. Lastly, Trump spoke about the socialism threatening the U.S. and Venezuela. He claimed that 132 lawmakers “in this room” have endorsed a “socialist takeover” of health care. 

     Senior Hannah Chacon stated that “[she] heard that some things Trump said weren’t entirely true,” in reference to the speech. Political fact checkers can be used to see what Trump said, and whether or not it was statistically true. Senior Ashley Chen who is taking AP Government this year notes that “Trump didn’t talk about the impeachment trial at all.” As Trump’s term comes to an end, students are waiting to see what Trump will do next, and how the upcoming election will play out.