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President Trump’s First State of the Union

Chloe Boxer, Op/Ed Editor

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President Donald Trump delivered his first State of the Union Address on January 30, just over a year after his controversial inauguration. The response from both parties was as partisan as expected. With House Speaker Paul Ryan on his left and Vice President Mike Pence on his right, President Trump addressed the nation with a compelling and honest speech.

He began his address by highlighting the year as one filled with highs and lows, courage and tragedy, and victorious tests of the American spirit. President Trump acknowledged Ashlee Lepper of the U.S. Coast Guard Aviation Tech for her brave actions during Hurricane Harvey. Her actions saved over 40 lives in Houston, Texas. He then recognized the states and territories still suffering in the aftermath of natural disasters by promising America “always will pull through together” which received a standing ovation. President Trump then honored Republican member of Congress and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who was on the verge of death after being shot in June of 2017 while practicing for a Congressional baseball game.

“The state of our union is strong because our people are strong,” President Trump declared. He continued by providing statistics on the amount of job growth in the United States and the record low unemployment rates among various minority groups. He went on to praise the massive growth of the stock market and the beneficial changes caused by the nex Tax Act.

President Trump then shifted to the future of America and celebrated this country’s police, military, and veterans “as heroes who deserve our total and unwavering support.” A young boy named Preston Sharp was then recognized by the President for noticing veteran’s graves were not marked with flags on Veteran’s Day and decided to take action.

The President also acknowledged Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and claimed the U.S. is still protecting the 2nd Amendment and religious liberty. He promised veterans he would never stop making sure they are properly taken care of. He discussed his goals to lower the price of prescription drugs and assured Americans that prices on everything would come down. President Trump claimed it was time to rebuild America’s “crumbling infrastructure” and said it was a disgrace how difficult it is today to get simple permits to build roads. He began to discuss the issues still facing this country and effortlessly segued into the major conflict between the U.S. and ISIS as well as North Korea.

In September of 2016, two teenage girls were brutally murdered by six members of MS-13. The parents of these two girls were in attendance and received a standing ovation after the President’s remarks. He followed this up by calling on Congress to fix the immigration laws which allow gang members to enter the country illegally. He also called upon Congress to pass the immigration reform package and build a wall on the southern border.

President Trump reminded Americans that ISIS is no longer a cohesive threat because of the Trump administration and the intense pressure they put on their strongholds in Syria and Iraq. He revealed he had just signed an order directing Defense Secretary James Mattis to keep Guantanamo Bay open. President Trump also recalled the moment a few months prior to the State of the Union address when he recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The final point President Trump made was related to North Korea and the threat it poses to America and the entire world. He reminded America of the tragic death of Otto Warmbier caused by the North Korean regime. The President promised to “honor Otto’s memory with total American resolve.” He then called one more witness to depict the devastation caused by the North Korean dictatorship.

Ji Seong-ho was a starving boy who was run over by a train in North Korea in 1996. He then endured multiple amputations without anything to numb the pain. He was soon tortured after a trip to China and decided he would find freedom outside of North Korea. He walked thousands of miles across China on crutches to find his freedom. President Trump told his story and then Ji Seong-ho stood and held those crutches in the air. Tears were streaming down his face and he knew he was free.

Freedom is the one aspect of America we will never give up and the President told the world in no uncertain terms that we will never back down. President Donald Trump extolled two things in his first State of the Union speech we have been missing for too long – common sense and hope.

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President Trump’s First State of the Union