By Eric Cassidy
On Jan. 30, President Trump addressed the nation with his first ever State of The Union speech. The speech was delivered in font of Congress, along with several special guests that were acknowledged throughout the night.
The reaction from Americans was generally positive, as polls among various news networks showed approval ratings between 60 and 70 percent.
“I think his address was mostly directed toward uniting the American people, but he has a lot to prove in the coming months,” said senior Shawn Lee.
The speech began by honoring several members in attendance, including Coast Guard Officer Ashlee Leppert, who saved over 40 lives in Houston during Hurricane Harvey, firefighter David Dahlberg, who rescued almost 60 children during a California wildfire, and Congressman Steve Scalise, who was shot at a charity baseball event in Alexandria, VA.
“While Trump and his first year have had success, much of what he said in regards to his accomplishments was misleading,” said senior Ryan Borchardt.
Trump began his address by discussing the rise of employment in our country, as well as the increased employment for Hispanic and African Americans. He also touched on the rise of small businesses, the stock market value, and his recently enacted tax cut plan.
“As a graduating senior, it is relieving to know that unemployment is decreasing, and there is a rise of opportunity in the job market,” said senior Chris Peterman.
A portion of Trump’s speech covered the drug smuggling and gang violence disrupting communities throughout the country. During this segment, he acknowledged two families in the audience who lost their daughters to gang related shootings.
“We have proposed new legislation that will fix our immigration laws, and support our ICE and Border Patrol Agents, so that this cannot ever happen again,” said Trump after recognizing the families.
Trump continued to address immigration by introducing his four-pillar plan, which involved offering citizenship to 1.8 million illegal child immigrants, securing our nations borders, ending the visa lottery, and supporting only nuclear family migration.
“These four pillars represent a down-the-middle compromise, and one that will create a safe, modern, and lawful immigration system,” he said.
The President also took time to discuss efforts in increasing military funding, including nuclear weaponry.
“Perhaps someday in the future there will be a magical moment when the countries of the world will get together to eliminate their nuclear weapons,” said the president. “Unfortunately, we are not there yet.”
Trump spoke on the topic of ISIS and the efforts of the U.S. military in diminishing the large territories of terrorist groups in both Iraq and Syria.
He continued on the topic of terrorism by discussing his newly signed order to reevaluate the military’s detention polices and to have Guantanamo Bay remain open.
This subject led into the very topical matter of North Korea and their increasing threat to the nation. He spoke of the tragic story of college student Otto Warmbier, who took a trip to North Korea in 2016 and was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor. After returning to America in a coma, he passed away several days later.
Trump honored Otto’s parents, who were in attendance, by applauding their strength through this difficult time of grief.
The President then told an empowering story of Seong-ho, another special guest and a North Korean citizen who fled the country on crutches with his family to southeast Asia in hopes for freedom. He now resides in Seoul, South Korea where he helps rescue others from North Korea.
“As long as we have confidence in our values, faith in our citizens, and trust in our God, we will not fail,” he said.