Don’t Get Distracted. Nothing Has Changed.
“That was one really long, irritating inspirational poster of a State of the Union.”
That’s what I texted my friend after the 80 minute long, political rhetoric cocktail of a speech. There were more than a couple of alarming points made during the whole debacle, but afterward, the Anchors on CNN didn’t seem to mind.
“He sounded really Presidential,” one of the commentators said.
They were right, of course. Donald Trump did manage to make himself sound like a politician last night — an impressive feat for a man known for quite the opposite. To the average, right-leaning American, that probably sounded like something ‘descent enough’ by Trump standards. Even I was kind of impressed. Steve Bannon is a great speech writer.
That’s what makes the whole thing even more troubling. Donald Trump has figured out how to sell his disaster to the American people while making it look like he might actually know what he’s doing. He’s kind of like a college student: make it till you make it.
The truth is, that Trump’s platform hasn’t changed a bit. He’s still going to build a wall that the American people are going to end up footing the bill for, all while attempting to sell the public on another immigration ban soon to come. He proposed a massive infrastructure program, something I’ve personally supported for years, but wants to pay for it by deregulation of big business — something that has been proven catastrophic by the disaster crash of 2008. Trump also pushed the idea that the very controversial pipelines are great for American jobs, which they could be, but ignoring the serious environmental and human rights concerns. The tone bulldozed through the actual issue without considering the other side.
Trump spent a large portion of his speech talking about the dangers of illegal immigrants and is now set on creating a new agency, VOICE, targeted at halting ‘violent illegal crime.’ While this is certainly following his position, conservatives are generally against creating new agencies at all — especially if what they’re doing can be covered by an already existing one. He also spoke about the need to increase military spending, which is an incredibly unnecessary show of militarization that the United States doesn’t need. Not only do we have more than 800 military bases, but we spend more on our military already than all of our allies combined.
Lastly, his health insurance promises are incredibly strange. Donald Trump cannot promise the things that he has and expect them to come to fruition. The current proposed plan, while giving states more money to pay for ‘high-risk pools, sets far too little aside to cover actual healthcare costs. He is also promising the creation of yet another government subsidized system — something some Republicans are very against. The leaked portions of the healthcare bill are just skeletons of real legislation.
Most people praising Trump’s speech are pointing to the emotional moment near the end when Trump pointed out the woman whose husband died during the Yemen raid. While I agree that it was touching, people are missing the disturbing point. Donald Trump is the one that called for that raid in Yemen but refuses to take the fall for the soldiers death, letting his generals take the fall instead. I find this incredibly ironic considering that this same party continuously brought up Clinton’s connections to Benghazi, even when she was somewhat removed from the situation. By that logic, Donald Trump should be more than responsible for that man’s death.
The most telling part, though, is what was not said. Russia was never brought into the speech, and neither was a significant amount of foreign policy. Yes — he talked about ISIS — but real policy and attitudes were never brought up. Trump avoided several hot-button topics, including Syria and Afghanistan. He also never spoke about China and the south China sea —
an incredibly tense situation for everyone. Sure, he flip-flopped a bit on NATO and talked about Canada, but those are easy topics for Trump. There’s nothing controversial about our relationship with Canada or women’s STEM.
Overall, the biggest elephants in the room were never even touched. He also missed quite a few major domestic issues, like the Flint Water Crisis and the concerns of the LGBT community over the roll back of trans protections. For someone whose America first, he neglected serious topics and went for cheap Nationalist rhetoric. One thing was very clear, though. American nationalism is number one.