First a few general comments. If you watched the State of the Union speech by President Trump last night, there were some things you might have noticed. First of all, the State of the Union speech has become a forum for Congressmen and women to act like children. If you are in Congress, why would you not stand when someone suggests that standing for our national anthem is appropriate? If you do not want to stand for our national anthem, what are you doing in Congress? There were other similar moments that called for unity, but that particular one really should be non-partisan. Charles Edward Montague, English novelist and essayist (1867-1928), one stated, “There is no limit to what a man can do so long as he does not care a straw who gets the credit for it.” It is time we realized that as a country.
There were some very unifying parts of the speech. Unfortunately there are also members of Congress who prefer divisiveness.
Since the election, we have created 2.4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone. After years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages.
Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low. African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded, and Hispanic American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history.
…We slashed the business tax rate from 35 percent all the way down to 21 percent, so American companies can compete and win against anyone in the world. These changes alone are estimated to increase average family income by more than $4,000.
The economic turnaround created by de-regulation and tax cuts has impacted all working Americans.
The speech continues:
We also believe that patients with terminal conditions should have access to experimental treatments that could potentially save their lives.
People who are terminally ill should not have to go from country to country to seek a cure — I want to give them a chance right here at home. It is time for the Congress to give these wonderful Americans the “right to try.”
One of my greatest priorities is to reduce the price of prescription drugs. In many other countries, these drugs cost far less than what we pay in the United States. That is why I have directed my Administration to make fixing the injustice of high drug prices one of our top priorities. Prices will come down.
Lower drug prices are needed. Access to experimental treatments will also be a good thing.
There were a few areas where bipartisanship was called for. One example:
I am asking both parties to come together to give us the safe, fast, reliable, and modern infrastructure our economy needs and our people deserve.
Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for the new infrastructure investment we need.
Every Federal dollar should be leveraged by partnering with State and local governments and, where appropriate, tapping into private sector investment — to permanently fix the infrastructure deficit.
Any bill must also streamline the permitting and approval process — getting it down to no more than two years, and perhaps even one.
Together, we can reclaim our building heritage. We will build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways across our land. And we will do it with American heart, American hands, and American grit.
The President also outlined his immigration plans:
The first pillar of our framework generously offers a path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants who were brought here by their parents at a young age — that covers almost three times more people than the previous administration. Under our plan, those who meet education and work requirements, and show good moral character, will be able to become full citizens of the United States.
The second pillar fully secures the border. That means building a wall on the Southern border, and it means hiring more heroes like CJ to keep our communities safe. Crucially, our plan closes the terrible loopholes exploited by criminals and terrorists to enter our country — and it finally ends the dangerous practice of “catch and release.”
The third pillar ends the visa lottery — a program that randomly hands out green cards without any regard for skill, merit, or the safety of our people. It is time to begin moving towards a merit-based immigration system — one that admits people who are skilled, who want to work, who will contribute to our society, and who will love and respect our country.
The fourth and final pillar protects the nuclear family by ending chain migration. Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives. Under our plan, we focus on the immediate family by limiting sponsorships to spouses and minor children. This vital reform is necessary, not just for our economy, but for our security, and our future.
This is a good starting place. If Congress can debate without acting like five-year olds, something might actually get accomplished.
The President concluded:
And freedom stands tall over one more monument: this one. This Capitol. This living monument to the American people.
A people whose heroes live not only in the past, but all around us — defending hope, pride, and the American way.
They work in every trade. They sacrifice to raise a family. They care for our children at home. They defend our flag abroad. They are strong moms and brave kids. They are firefighters, police officers, border agents, medics, and Marines.
But above all else, they are Americans. And this Capitol, this city, and this Nation, belong to them.
Our task is to respect them, to listen to them, to serve them, to protect them, and to always be worthy of them.
Americans fill the world with art and music. They push the bounds of science and discovery. And they forever remind us of what we should never forget: The people dreamed this country. The people built this country. And it is the people who are making America great again.
As long as we are proud of who we are, and what we are fighting for, there is nothing we cannot achieve.
As long as we have confidence in our values, faith in our citizens, and trust in our God, we will not fail.
Our families will thrive.
Our people will prosper.
And our Nation will forever be safe and strong and proud and mighty and free.
Thank you, and God bless America.
This was a very unifying speech, whether or not you like President Trump. It is time to put petty personalities behind us and work together. It would be nice if this speech was the beginning of that unity.