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Op-ed: Trump’s SOTU speech was predictably problematic

President+Donald+J.+Trump+gave+his+second+State+of+the+Union+address+on+Tuesday%2C+Feb.+5%2C+to+the+116th+United+States+Congress.
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Op-ed: Trump’s SOTU speech was predictably problematic

President Donald J. Trump gave his second State of the Union address on Tuesday, Feb. 5, to the 116th United States Congress.

President Donald J. Trump gave his second State of the Union address on Tuesday, Feb. 5, to the 116th United States Congress.

Illustration by Ysabelle Kempe

President Donald J. Trump gave his second State of the Union address on Tuesday, Feb. 5, to the 116th United States Congress.

Illustration by Ysabelle Kempe

Illustration by Ysabelle Kempe

President Donald J. Trump gave his second State of the Union address on Tuesday, Feb. 5, to the 116th United States Congress.

Deanna Schwartz, news staff

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President Donald J. Trump is a liar.

This is widely recognized. According to a Washington Post analysis from December, Trump averaged 15 false claims per day in 2018. While many media outlets are hesitant to call Trump a liar outright, I’m going to say it.

His State of the Union address last Tuesday was no exception, with Trump making one false claim every two minutes. Trump lied about the usual — economic growth, the creation of new jobs, border crime, abortion, etc.

It has gotten to the point where it is nearly impossible to believe anything he says. Even when Trump isn’t directly lying, he’s misleading the American public. He spins facts to fit his narrative that he has “made America great again.”

During the State of the Union, he claimed “more people are working now than at any time in our history.” This is true, but has nothing to do with Trump. The population in the United States is higher than ever before, meaning more people are working than ever before, the New York Times pointed out.

Lies aside, Trump’s speech was problematic. He didn’t mention the shutdown once. It’s egregious that, in a speech originally meant to inform Americans about what is happening in the country, Trump did not discuss the government shutdown that left nearly 800,000 federal workers without pay for 35 days.

Trump brought attention to his guests not out of true sympathy for their trauma, but as an attempt at pathos. He highlighted the relatives of a couple killed by an alleged undocumented immigrant to bolster his argument for a wall and a ten-year-old cancer survivor as the face of his administration’s campaign against cancer. Another of his honored guests was a student bullied for having the last name “Trump” — an insult to children who are bullied for their skin color, religion or sexuality.

He threw out buzz words left and right to energize his fan base. “Wall” was said 12 times, “illegal” 10 times, “dangerous” four times and “winning” three times.

The choice to devote a portion of his speech to discussing the Holocaust upset me greatly. As a Jewish person, I am disappointed with the way Trump handles issues of anti-Semitism. After he defended neo-Nazis in Charlottesville and said that the Tree of Life synagogue tragedy could have been prevented had there been an armed guard, how am I supposed to believe anything he says about anti-Semitism is genuine?

Trump claims that there is a moral duty to create an effective immigration system. What about the moral duty for compassion?

He claims to want to protect young migrant children. How can he pretend to care about migrant youth when they die at detention camps?

If “walls save lives,” why are people dying in the custody of Border Patrol?

The State of the Union was nothing out of the ordinary for Donald Trump. Unfortunately, the ordinary is filled with lies, misleading statements and dangerous rhetoric.

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