Here is my typed response, composed in real time, to Donald Trump’s 2020 State of the Union response on February 4, 2020.
Donald Trump began his State of the Union address boasting about how great the economy is doing, and claiming that America is now respected again on the world stage. This is absurd given that he is laughed at and booed on the world stage, frequently has to be schooled on basic issues such as Chairman Xi explaining North Korea to him, and cannot even visit the United Kingdom due to being so despised.
“The state of our union is stronger than ever before.” Actually, it is more fractured, divided, and endangered than it has been in a long time. We have huge political divisions stoked by the most petty president in modern history, and a president leading an executive branch via unvarnished incompetence and unprecedented power grabs reducing the status of the two other branches of federal government.
The unemployment rate for African Americans was lower in the 1950s but the current statistic being used was not calculated going back this far using the present criteria. Trump’s focus on the unemployment rate is pretty ridiculous considering that he said it was a phony statistic not telling the true story of American suffering when it was trending lower during the Obama administration.
People being taken off the food stamp rolls and “lifted off welfare” is a ridiculous statement. The administration is forcing needy people off benefits. Wealth stratification and corporate welfare is at an all-time high. Real wages are not increasing much if at all.
“Blue collar boom”—more like American carnage. Trotting out phony statistics about real wages going up for the have-nots does not convince anyone with any real knowledge. The wealthy are robbing us blind with the help of the GOP tacked straight on the national debt.
Overall, Trump’s focus on the economy is opportunistic and laden with falsehoods. The economy is doing well according to many popular measures, but someone who told us Americans would never be forgotten is certainly forgetting a lot of Americans when it comes to everyone but the top 1%.
“I keep our promises. We did our job.” Pretty rich for someone who said he would give us something better than Obamacare, build a wall that Mexico would pay for, and balance the budget within 8 years… instead we are on track for dangerous and ever-increasing deficits.
“As we restore American leadership throughout the world.” Was it leadership to abandon our allies, the Kurds, in Syria? To threaten Ukraine financially to influence a presidential election? To hob-nob with North Koreans many of which met Trump and were subsequently executed? He “loves” Mr. Kim? He acts as a shill for Mr. Putin in Russia, which is no example of leadership.
Military spending is off the charts and out-of-control. There is no getting around this. It doesn’t matter how patriotic you are or how much you support and love our troops and contractors. American military spending and militarism must decline, sooner rather than later.
This week, I’m visiting Washington, DC with my wife and son. I visited the U.S. Capitol and Supreme Court yesterday, and Mount Vernon, home of George Washington, today. I also re-read the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Trump is a grand disappointment.
Many of the complaints about King George III in the Declaration of Independence could easily be replaced with “Donald Trump” and “Mitch McConnell.” Read through it and you will see. I may make a video about this later!
“No parent should be forced to send their child to a failing government school.” Perhaps they should not be sent to a school that hates gay children or perpetuates patriarchy and misogyny? Why don’t we work on improving the government schools instead of undermining them?
“A good life for American families also requires the most affordable, innovative, and high quality healthcare system on earth.” Allowing states to slash Medicaid benefits via block grants undermines the poorest and lowest income Americans. Repealing or attempting to invalidate the Affordable Care Act makes healthcare unaffordable and inaccessible for Americans.
“We will always protect your Medicare and we will always protect your Social Security, always.” Trump just said in a recent interview that he will look into cutting both of these programs! The insane national deficit is funding a stock market boom that reflects large corporations receiving an unprecedented amount of corporate welfare that is tacked directly onto our massive national debt. About 50% of Americans have no stocks and many others merely have them in retirement accounts such as 401(k) and are not substantially benefitting from this illegal, anti-American gravy train.
The so-called do-nothing Democrats are getting plenty done in the U.S. House of Representatives. We should be talking about the do-nothing, obstructionist Republicans. Mitch McConnell, the “grim reaper,” is preventing hundreds of passed bills from being heard in the Senate. On prescription drug prices, the House passed the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act which Trump will not mention and McConnell will block from becoming law.
Giving Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom is an insult to our veterans and war heroes. It’s an insult to Rosa Parks and so many others. It undermines American values and confidence in American institutions. Rush Limbaugh is a sexist and promotes rape. He said, regarding sexual consent: “How many of you guys . . . have learned that ‘no’ means ‘yes’ if you know how to spot it?” We may as well give the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Harvey Weinstein or Kevin Spacey.
Rush Limbaugh, like Donald Trump, claims, with no facts, that the climate crisis and all of climate science is a hoax. Such propaganda will kill far more humans than were ever killed in the Holocaust. We are talking hundreds of millions of people, within this century, who will die because of the human-caused climate crisis which is charging full-steam ahead under the Republican party in the United States of America, the corrupt coal-funded Labor Party in Australia, the Communist Party’s insanity in the People’s Republic of China, and beyond.
Trump speaks of keeping America safe. Does promoting racism, hatred, and division help such safety? Wasn’t the mass murderer at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas—a domestic home-grown terrorist—spurred on by our president’s vitriol?
Trump speaks of merit-based immigration, but his administration turns away more immigrants than any president in modern history. He won’t give protected status to refugees in war zones, in Venezuela, or victims of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas.
“We celebrate faith. We cherish religion.” Only SOME religions. The religions we like. Others are scapegoated and attacked by Trump’s followers.
Trump says he is protecting your 2nd amendment right to keep and bear arms. Let’s not forget that Trump radicalized the American people and co-opted the Republican party. Trump is a New York Democrat who used to be pro-choice and in favor of stronger gun regulations. In the long run, a failure to regulate guns and prevent them from getting into the hands of family annihilators, mass murders, and other criminals actually undermines the 2nd amendment, and of course, is a prime example of the American carnage being caused by this administration. We cannot continue to have this many unprovoked mass murders of innocent American citizens without public opinion eventually turning against the 2nd amendment. If you want to enforce your right to keep and bear arms, the best way would be to prevent mass murders which reflect poorly on all American gun owners, however unfairly, by guilt of association. Remember that it was just over 100 years ago that alcohol was banned by an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The USA is a bastion of unprecedented innovation, ingenuity, intellect, financial and military power, and charity. We are a grand experiment in representative democracy that has shown that government for the people, by the people, and of the people can work. Donald Trump is possibly the most unqualified president in history and is testing the limits of this system. The Constitution’s framers knew George Washington would likely be the first president, and imbued the office of President of the United States with sweeping, grand powers with the hope that he would set an example for each future president to use these powers for the good of the people and of the Union. Donald Trump, like King George III, is a tyrant and a usurper who should be removed from office and must be voted out of office. He has committed crimes against the United States, such as the recent Ukraine affair, and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Richard Thripp, Ph.D.
Candidate for Congress in Florida’s 6th District