Recently, U.S. President Donald Trump delivered his 2019 State of the Union address. What he focused on – and what he chose to ignore – reveals a surprising amount about the priorities of his administration for the year to come.
Continued Immigration Sentiments
In his speech, President Trump claimed that he was interested in increasing immigration numbers, so long as immigrants were following legal immigration routes. However, these statements and claims are in stark contrast to the realities of immigration under the Trump administration. Statistically, there has been an increase in ICE detainees with no criminal record. Additionally, 18% of the 44,435 individuals detained by ICE under the Trump administration had resided continuously in the U.S. for ten years or more, and that one in four had been in the country for at least five years.
Dollars And Sense: Discussing The American Economy
Trump’s SOTU address emphasized America’s success economically, particularly within the fuel and energy industries. While it is true that there has been an increase in U.S. smokestacks taller than 500 feet in the last four years, and while it is true that America remains a global leader in oil, many of Trumps claims regarding the American economy were exaggerated. While Trump did mention the total of 157 million people in America with employment, this number is still lower than employment numbers before the recession.
Topics Ignored And What Their Absence Means
While Trump discussed a wide variety of subjects during his address, there were several glaring holes that went unaddressed. One such topic that was glossed over was the subject of climate change; in such a significant public statement, the fact that this was not addressed makes Trump and his administration’s priorities fairly clear. Meanwhile, the world continues to consume about 600 billion pounds of plastic yearly, with the market still growing about 5% a year. With the SOTU leaving out climate change, it remains to be seen how the administration will address the growing problem.
The Public Response
While the SOTU had its glaring issues with fact-checking and the topics it failed to address, it seems to have done well for the Trump administration’s reputation. Major media outlets have generally provided neutral or positive coverage of the speech, with certain key phrases being used more in discussion of the address than in previous years that suggest a more positive response.
Additionally, the general public seems to have responded fairly well to the SOTU, following the trend outlined by the media. Following the end of the shutdown and the delivery of the SOTU, Trump’s approval ratings have risen; however, it’s uncertain whether this temporary boost will last. President Trump’s State of the Union for 2019, despite being filled with factual errors and misdirections, seems to have at least won over the public for now, despite his historically low approval ratings throughout his term as president.