State of the Union, is just one Trump-specific problem
Izzy Manzo—Copy Editor
At this point, few would be surprised to learn that President Donald Trump has a bit of a penchant for stretching the truth, kind of like a kid at the lunch table, desperately trying to make friends. Tuesday night’s State of the Union addresses an “agenda of the American people” that focused heavily on the economy and the recurring fantasy that there will be a wall between the U.S. and Mexico to combat the drug trade and “coyotes” that prey on women and children.
There was no shortage of news sources standing over Trump like hawks, hanging on to his every sentence and rapidly fact-checking as the night went on. Politico and The New York Times stood as watchdogs during the address, as well as the Democratic rebuttal lead by Stacey Abram that followed.
First and foremost I want to say that is not a Democrat vs. Republican issue, but a Trump-specific problem. It does not matter if the President is a Republican, Democrat, or anything in between. Blatantly lying and embellishing statistics just for your own self-satisfaction is not cool.
I also want to point out that there still was some truth to what he said. It was a rare occasion, but it was there. The times he told the truth were just marred by him making statements and listing facts that honestly just sound like he came up with them on the spot, boasting about the creation of 5.3 million jobs and additional 600,000 manufacturing jobs, “something which almost everyone said was impossible to do,” according to The New York Times.
In actuality, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that since Jan. 2017, 4.9 million new jobs have been created, as well as 454,000 manufacturing jobs. Still impressive, but it’s comparable to growth the Obama administration saw in the same amount of time and is slower than the pace of job creation in the 1990s.
He was also prone to blanket statements such as, “more people are working now than at any time in our history,” which sits in limbo. Trump is technically right, but it is of no thanks to him and his policies; more people are working in the U.S. now than ever before simply because more people live here now than ever before.
Immigration was the main highlight of the State of the Union, and Trump used fearmongering and hate-filled rhetoric to give off the illusion that immigrants are apparently taking over the country.
Kind of like what happened in 1620 where the Mayflower landed and the pilgrims colonized what is now America, But I digress. Trump referenced the caravan of thousands of immigrants that made headlines in Jan., stating that organized hordes of people are marching towards the U.S.-Mexico border “as we speak.” While some of the travelers of the caravan did plan to make it to the United States, most actually intended to stay in Mexico according to the New York Times, thanks in part to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador making it easier for Central Americans to obtain visas and jobs.
Trump also referenced the Reproductive Health Act passed in New York, which ensures a woman’s right to an abortion even if Roe v. Wade gets overturned. It will let a woman have an abortion if it’s for the sake of her health or if the fetus is not viable. Trump, however, said that lawmakers in New York “cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from its mother’s womb moments from birth.”
Not only is that statement incredibly misleading, but it is harmful and does nothing to help lessen the stigma around having an abortion. The image that a baby can be aborted right before its born takes away from the fact that that not only does not happen, but the fact that such a late-term abortion would only happen if the mother and/or baby’s life is in danger.
The blanket statements he made surrounding illegal immigrants and abortion only instigate fear where there should be none. By perpetuating such stereotypes that all immigrants only bring crime and drugs into the U.S., or that women can choose to abort their children moments away from birth, is harmful and only increases hate and stigma.