On Tuesday night, Donald Trump will give the State of the Union Address. What, exactly, is the State of the Union Address?
The State of the Union Address is an annual message presented by the President of the United States to a joint session of the United States Congress. The message includes a budget message and economic report of the nation, and also allows the President to outline their legislative agenda and national priorities. The State of the Union Address fulfills rules in Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution, requiring the President to periodically give Congress information on the “state of the union” and recommend any measures that the President believes are necessary and expedient.
Now, obviously Trump did not write his speech himself, for he doesn’t have a large enough vocabulary, and he is not allowed, in this venue, to shout “get them out of here”, or “punch them and I will pay your legal fees”. It is said, by some who aided in the drafting of the speech, that it will be, “a speech that resonates with our American values and unites us with patriotism.” I have my doubts that Trump can pull off such a speech, for any number of reasons. First, he has no clue how to pronounce some of the words. Second, he is incapable of speaking without patting himself on the back and denigrating others. Third, it is far too late for him to attempt to unite us, and I don’t think that is among his goals anyway.
If Trump wished to unite this nation, he could have done so in a number of ways, the first being stay out of the political arena. His rhetoric and actions since June 2015 when he declared his candidacy have been designed to divide, not unify the nation. He could have taken a step toward unifying rather than dividing by supporting and trying to work with the mainstream media, instead of restricting their access, constantly referring to them as “fake media”, threatening them with lawsuits, and even calling them the “enemy of the American people”. Instead, he hopped into bed with Fox and Breitbart, the dual homes of conspiracy theories and white supremacy.
If Trump wished to unite this nation, he could have listened to We The People — all of us, not just the 36% who support him. A man who cared one whit for bringing people together would have worked toward policies that helped people, but instead he has been willing to allow more than 20 million of us be without access to affordable health care. He could have calmed the illogical fears his followers have of Muslims and welcomed, rather than thwarted, our immigrant friends. Instead, he maliciously banned people from the most decimated nations in the Middle East, calling them all terrorists.
If Trump really wanted to unite this nation, he would not be supporting white supremacists, calling them “very fine people”, but instead would be ostracizing them in the manner that they deserve. He would not be referring to our Mexican friends as ‘criminals and rapists’. He would not have on his staff known white supremacists and neo-Nazis. He would not have condemned and turned his back on the good people of Puerto Rico … U.S. citizens … in the wake of destructive Hurricane Maria. Many of those people remain without electricity and potable water.
On Tuesday night, we will hear a speech written by others, spoken by a ‘man’ who is a sexual predator, who has cheated people for personal gain all his life, who in all likelihood sold our nation downriver to the Russians in exchange for his win on November 8, 2016. Remember as you listen to his fine words that he will ‘unify the nation, strengthen bi-partisan relations’, that this is the man who has been fighting against democrats, calling them names and threatening them for a full year now.
Frankly, I do not believe he is capable of sticking to the script, but even if he does, the fine words he will utter on Tuesday night are just that – words. I do not believe he can get through it without tooting his own horn until those watching feel the need for an Alka-Seltzer or a stiff bourbon. Talk is cheap and actions speak louder than words. Trump is incapable of uniting this nation, for he has done far too much damage, done too much to divide us, as I firmly believe was his intention all along. If so, he has done his job well, for he has, in my opinion, done more to divide this nation than any other in our 230 year history.
If he pulls it off without going off-script on Tuesday night, Wednesday morning will be full of people saying what a wonderful job he did, how he has changed and is going to really help bring us together, and his approval ratings will go up. Don’t fall for it folks, for it is all just more of the same ol’ same ol’, smoke and mirrors and the GOP’s attempt to make a silk purse from a sow’s ear.