United States President Donald Trump gave his first State of the Union Address Tuesday, January 30, during which he touted his administration’s various accomplishments, but less than half of the citizens watching and listening were impressed, according to a CNN poll. Many believed his bullet points about bi partisanship, the economy, unemployment, healthcare, tax and immigration reforms were merely rhetoric and did not paint a truthful picture of the administration’s agenda. For her part, Congresswoman Maxine Waters called Trump “divisive” and “unprincipled” despite his speech that garnered applause and included phrases like “lowered unemployment” and “bringing jobs back.”
“[Trump] honored some heroes and got a lot of applause points,” Waters told the Sentinel Tuesday night.
“And, he pretended that he was calling on Congress to work in a bi partisan way, when in fact, this is the most divisive president we’ve had in modern times.
“When we take a look at the way he’s been divisive, we need to look no further than Charlottesville.
“He defended white supremacists, KKK and even ignored the fact that a young woman who was protesting against racism was killed by white supremacists. So, basically, we can add to that, that he targeted Muslims with his travel ban. He described Mexicans as rapists, criminals and drug dealers.
“He mocked people with disabilities. So, I think it’s easy to conclude that no matter what he claims about wanting to bring people together, he is a dangerous, unprincipled, divisive and shameful racist…”
United States Senator Kamala Harris echoed Waters’ statements, pointing out that many components of Trump’s speech did not reflect a large number of Americans’ realities.
“A year into this divisive presidency, special interests and the top 1% are being put at the front of the line while the vast majority of Americans are being left behind,” Harris said in a statement realeased Tuesday night.
“Last year’s job creation was the lowest in 7 years. For the first time since the Affordable Care Act took effect, the rate of Americans without health insurance has gone up. The stock market may be doing well, but that’s good for Wall Street not millions of hardworking Americans whose paychecks haven’t grown.
“And while I am always willing to work with my colleagues across the aisle, the President’s call for bipartisanship and unity rings hollow. You cannot reject bipartisan plans to improve health care and protect Dreamers or sow hate and division—and then turn around the next day and say you want to work together…”
Trump’s SOTU, kept up the themes of patriotism and making “America great again” peppering his speech with both tragic and triumphant stories that served as backdrops to proposed policies that some say don’t fairly address the issues.
He continued pushing for stricter immigration laws and “the wall” along the U.S. border with Mexico. He talked about “chain migration” and “loopholes” that have allowed gangs and crime to thrive here, to the dismay of some audience members who booed those sentiments. Trump continued with optimism however, encouraging citizens to follow their dreams.
“[To] every citizen watching at home tonight,” he said, “no matter where you have been, or where you come from, this is your time. If you work hard, if you believe in yourself, if you believe in America, then you can dream anything, you can be anything, and together, we can achieve anything.”
Some Democrats, including Waters and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus boycotted the event, while the ones who did attend were stoic, withholding applause at almost every point.