Washington, D.C. – In his State of the Union Address on Tuesday, President Trump called for unity among politicians, honored his special guests, and listed American accomplishments while looking forward to the future.
Trump began his speech saying he hoped that the politicians, who were gathered with him in the stately House of Representatives, would “govern not as two parties but as one nation.”
He continued along these lines, with the American flag hanging on the wall behind him, as he said that “Victory is not winning for our party. Victory is winning for our country,” to which he received one of many standing ovations from nearly everyone in the room.
Trump went on to give a brief history of D-Day, ending it with acknowledging three military men who were present and served in World War II. He followed this up with recognizing former NASA astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who had landed on the moon with Neil Armstrong as part of the Apollo-11 mission.
The president then mentioned several achievements that have been made under his administration, such as nearly five million Americans being “lifted off food stamps,” the lowest rate of unemployment in over half a century, including the lowest levels ever recorded of unemployment for African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, and Americans with disabilities.
“More people are working now than at any time in the history of our country — 157 million people at work,” Trump said to applause.
“Members of Congress: The state of our union is strong,” he declared, to which Republicans in the audience chanted, “USA! USA! USA!” as they gave a standing ovation.
Trump smiled, “That sounds so good,” as people laughed in response.
The president said the only things that could stop this “economic miracle…taking place in the United States… are foolish wars, politics, or ridiculous partisan investigations,” he said. “This new era of cooperation can start with finally confirming the more than 300 highly qualified nominees who are still stuck in the Senate. In some cases, years and years waiting. Not right. The Senate has failed to act on these nominations, which is unfair to the nominees and very unfair to our country.”
Trump discussed illegal immigration and securing the U.S.-Mexico border, calling it “an urgent national crisis.” He said he wants “people to come into our country in the largest numbers ever, but they have to come in legally.”
The president then asked Congress “to defend our very dangerous southern border out of love and devotion to our fellow citizens and to our country.”
He pointed out that “No issue better illustrates the divide between America’s working class and America’s political class than illegal immigration. Wealthy politicians and donors push for open borders while living their lives behind walls and gates and guards.”
For this Trump received a standing ovation from Republicans, whereas Democrats continued to sit quietly in their seats.
Explaining how illegal immigration increases crime, Trump mentioned human trafficking, drugs, and murders. He then told the story of an elderly couple who were burglarized at their home before they were shot to death by an illegal immigrant. A daughter, granddaughter, and great-granddaughter of the couple were in the audience, and were applauded out of respect as they wiped tears from their eyes.
Later on, as he praised the improvements made in the economy the past couple years, Trump said: “No one has benefited more from our thriving economy than women, who have filled 58-percent of the newly created jobs last year,” to which he received a standing ovation as some Democrat women danced and hollered while they clapped.
“You weren’t supposed to do that,” Trump smiled as people cheered in response, “Thank you very much. Thank you very much.”
“And exactly one century after Congress passed the constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote, we also have more women serving in Congress than at any time before,” he said.
Trump later recognized Juan Guaidó as the new Venezuelan president, condemned the socialist policies of Maduro, and then said that the calls for socialism in America were alarming.
“America was founded on liberty and independence, and not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free and we will stay free,” the president declared near the end of his address.
Republicans gave a standing ovation to this and another short chant of “USA!” while Democrats remained seated.
Trump discussed anti-Semitism, calling it a “vile poison” that must never be ignored and a hatred that must be confronted.
He recounted the fatal attack on the Tree of Life Pittsburgh synagogue in October and recognized the SWAT officer in the audience who was a first responder to the scene and shot seven times while pursuing the killer.
The president then acknowledged a survivor from the shooting, Judah Samet, who arrived at the synagogue during the massacre. Samet is also a Holocaust survivor, and it was his eighty-first birthday the day of the speech. When Trump announced this, the chamber broke out in applause, followed by singing “Happy Birthday” to the Jewish survivor of anti-Semitism.
Trump concluded his speech with another call for unity.
“No matter the trials we face, no matter the challenges to come, we must go forward together,” he said. “We must keep America first in our hearts. We must keep freedom alive in our souls. And we must always keep faith in America’s destiny that one nation, under God, must be the hope and the promise, and the light and the glory, among all the nations of the world.”
Below is the video of the State of the Union Address:
Natalia Mittelstadt is a contributor to the Daily Runner.