By Emily Pickering
President Donald Trump delivered his first State of the Union Address this year on January 30. The State of the Union is a presidential speech addressed to Congress that allows the president to reflect on the nation’s accomplishments from the previous year, as well as reveal future plans for the nation in the coming years of the presidency. Donald Trump’s speech was mostly filled with calls for bipartisan unity due to the conflict between Democrats and Republicans while debating a compromise on immigration. In a pre-speech lunch Trump said “unity is what I’m striving for, to bring the country together.” He also used his State of the Union Address to talk about his plans to improve infrastructure in the nation, saying that the government would provide $1.5 trillion towards this goal. However, representative Nancy Pelosi contradicted this statement and said “he actually has a infrastructure plan with only $200 billion dollars over 10 years”.
Trump’s speech was evidently geared toward his supporters, as are most State of the Union speeches. Throughout his speech, he proposed mostly Republican supported policies like burning coal and keeping the military prison open at Guantanamo Bay. When proposing these ideas, President Trump used the phrase “clean coal,” which refers to a type of coal plant that limits excess carbon dioxide production and global warming by capturing the carbon dioxide it releases and burying it. However, only one coal plant in the country uses this method because it is extremely expensive and still releases more carbon dioxide than other energy sources. Trump also did propose plans for paid family leave and opening more vocational schools; ideas that could be seen as more liberally accepted and were one of the only parts of his speech that satisfied Democrats.
Trump’s speech was viewed by 45.6 million people, which contrary to what President Trump has said is not the most viewed State of the Union Address. This speech was a success for his supporters and I believe it embodied what his presidency is about.