So What Should We Do Now?

Zach Perez, Writer

Donald Trump’s first State of the Union speech seemed more like a summary of recent events than a call to action for the country. He began his speech by actually summarizing the events that have transpired since he took office, mainly choosing to talk about the country’s unified response to the several natural disasters that occurred in the South and in California, the recent economic grow, and tax cuts during this summary.  

After this nearly half hour of summary, the president move onto briefly talk about several different subjects, final landing on health care. He echoed many former president, wanting to reduce the price of prescription drugs and increase access to different cures and generic drugs alike. He hit to talking point of infrastructure hard, asking Congress to pass a bill that would supply 1.5 billion dollars to help rebuild and repair our infrastructure.

He then moved onto his two biggest topics, immigration and national defense. Trump’s remarks on immigration weren’t necessarily surprising but this is one of the first time he had take about the specific of his reform plan. He spoke of the four pillars of his plan, reforming the DACA program and implementing a 12 year path to citizenship, building the wall he promised during his campaign, end the visa lottery, and ending excessive chain migration. During his talks on immigration Trump introduce some of his most moving guests. Elizabeth Alvarado, Robert Mickens, Evelyn Rodriguez, and Freddy Cuevas, the parent of Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens who were murdered in 2016 by members of the MS-13 gang, and CJ Martinez, an agent for the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations unit who worked to take down criminal organizations, including MS-13 gang.

Trump then moved onto national defense, mainly focusing on the situation in North Korea. He before this though, he asked Congress to end the defense sequester and “fully fund our great military”. He then claimed it was time for us to modernize or nuclear arsonal. He talk about only offering aid to UN allies who back US decisions as a result of receiving little support after saying that Jerusalem belonged to Israel. He then moved to his criticism of the North Korea. This when he introduced his most moving guest, Ji Seong-ho. He is a North Korean defector who, after losing his legs and being tortured, escaped to freedom and is now helping other defectors to reach freedom. He is appearance was by far the most moving part of the speech. Shortly after that the speech ended.


As I said at the beginning of the summary, this speech seemed to more of a summary of recent events than anything else. He spent the first 25 percent of the speech telling people things they already knew. Once he did get to the actual actions he would be taking, I got of what I always seem to get from Mr. Trump’s speeches, lots of ideas with little explanation as to how they’ll be implemented. Not this is a new thing in the world of politics but compare to Bush and Obama, Trump’s speech sometime felt like a middle schooler trying to feel a minimum word requirement on an essay about national policy. He had a main idea for each topic but most of the time he just didn’t give any reason or evidence as to why what he wanted would work. As much as we student seem to hate it, I can see why MEL-CON can be important. This criticism is mainly seen while Trump talked about North Korea. While the stories of Ji Seong-ho and Fred and Cindy Warmbier were extremely moving they did more to set up the problem that we face rather than showing us what we can do to fix it. Although that is why they were there, President Trump offered no new ideas or strategy as to how we will deal with the problems developing in North Korea. The closest he got was when he remarked, “We are waging a campaign of maximum pressure to prevent that from happening.” when speaking about North Korea’s growing nuclear capabilities. Overall the speech felt like the frame of something that could have been very good, but was left with too many empty spaces were explanations should have gone.