United We Stand? 👯


The State of the Union
President Trump gave his first State of the Union address last night. He focused largely on the economy and immigration. He highlighted tax reform, job growth, wage increases and a booming stock market. In regards to immigration, Trump outlined an immigration plan that would offer a path to citizenship to DACA recipients - a key sticking point for Democrats. He balanced this by pointing to MS-13 gang violence as a reason for tighter immigration measures. Other topics covered include a plan to renew infrastructure and of course the impending threat from "Rocket Man".

Count me out
Several Democrats boycotted the SOTU address. Maxine Waters, Frederica Wilson and John Lewis are just a few, with a total of at least 8 who refused to attend. Waters told the media she did not want to listen to “a liar”, Wilson said she believed Trump’s address would be full of “innuendo, empty promises, and lies”, and Lewis said that Trump doesn’t deserve his attention so why “waste my time”. Prior to the speech, Trump indicated his address would focus on unity.

The right thinks that boycotting the event is pointless, and reflects poorly on the Democratic party. The point of the address is to unite everyone who believes in what our government stands for, and the right says that refusing to come isn’t boycotting Trump, it’s boycotting America. They also point out that the reps who boycotted the event are failing to fulfill their obligation to the districts they represent, letting down voters, and not doing their jobs. As for Trump’s speech, the right applauded with a standing ovation at every possible moment.

The left sees the boycott as a powerful statement about Trump’s first year in office and the effect his alleged “hateful” and “divisive” behavior has had on people. They use this opportunity to talk about Trump’s ‘racism’, since many of the boycotters cited this as the reason for their absence. Specifically, they mention Trump’s recent use of a slur when describing African nations. Representative Joe Kennedy’s official Democratic response to the SOTU condemned Trump’s first year in office, calling it “hateful” and full of “attacks on innocent people”.

Does boycotting the SOTU help or hurt our country? 
It’s sad to see leaders from within our country so outraged that they can’t attend a politically unifying event. The left is right that some of Trump’s remarks have people feeling offended, and that by not attending these reps are trying to represent that hurt and anger. But the right has a point too - the boycott doesn’t make the statement these Democrats are going for. Boycotting the SOTU only further divides our country. Taking the moral high ground and coming together could be much more beneficial for the long term ‘state of the union’.



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