Trump heralded the nearly 2.5 million jobs that have been created since he took office and the higher wages that have lined Americans' pockets. On top of that, the largest and most comprehensive tax cuts in history will do a lot to help families and small businesses, he said. Speaking of the economy, Trump made a point to highlight that unemployment is at a 45-year low and that never before in the country's history have more African-Americans and Hispanics had a job. On top of all of this, the stock market is booming.
Rep. Joe Kennedy III from Massachusetts delivered the Democrats' response to Trump's speech and he clearly outlined an altogether different reality. Ignoring the objective facts that the President cited, the opposition figure chose instead to stress the Mainstream Media's perception of a country that has become unprecedentedly divided and at odds with its core values. While Trump powerfully said that "faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the center of American life", Kennedy shot back by saying that "their record is a rebuke of our highest American ideal: the belief that we are all worthy, we are all equal and we all count." While Trump laid the domestic foundations of his speech on verifiable figures, the Democrats chose to go with subjective emotions in promoting their message of "resistance".
Moving beyond the homeland, Trump's State of the Union speech also had an international component as well. The President predictably mouthed the National Security Strategy's talking points about Russia and China being America's rivals, and he seemed to imply a new "Axis of Evil" when he spoke about the "dictatorships" in North Korea, Iran, Cuba, and Venezuela. The man who introduced the mantra of "peace through strength" also lauded the contribution of the military to sustaining his country's global standing and accordingly asked Congress to end the defense sequester. Other important points that he made were to tell Americans that Guantanamo will indeed be staying open and that America will remain in Afghanistan until it wins the war.
To discuss this topic in further detail we linked up with American political commentator Chris Shipler.
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