Amidst a tumultuous couple of months in Washington, President Donald Trump stepped forward on Tuesday night to deliver the State of the Union Address.
Things have not been going well for the president over the past couple of months. The government shut down because of a disagreement over the upcoming year’s budget, with the shutdown lasting a record 35 days, from Dec. 22 to Jan. 25.
Trump demanded that $5.7 billion be allocated to his planned border wall, while the Democratic Party — which comprises the majority of seats in Congress — refused to pass the new spending bill with the billions of dollars that Trump required for his wall.
With that being said, Trump did well, or as well as can be expected, on Tuesday night. At times, he spoke of unifying the country and said he would work toward some bipartisan agreements.
“The agenda I will lay out this evening is not a Republican agenda or a Democrat agenda. It is the agenda of the American people. There is a new opportunity in American politics, if only we have the courage to seize it. Victory is not winning for our party. Victory is winning for our country,” Trump said in his address.
At other times, he attacked some of the ideals of the Democratic Party. He was both equally bipartisan and divisive. Overall, the State of the Union proved to be a mixed bag.
Throughout his speech, Trump hit on many key points, speaking about the economic boom, increase in energy, improved trade agreements and abortion.
“To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb,” Trump said when speaking about abortion.
While Trump did a good job hitting all of those key points and bringing hope to the American people that the government would be able to agree to bipartisan agreements, the key issue of the border wall and the southern border still looms over everything.
“The Congress has 10 days left to pass a bill that will fund our government, protect our homeland and secure our southern border,” Trump said. “Now is the time for the Congress to show the world that America is committed to ending illegal immigration and putting the ruthless coyotes, cartels, drug dealers and human traffickers out of business.”
Trump has been adamant about getting his border wall, previously attempting to boost his argument by saying that illegal immigrants commit more crime than the average person. Statistics have proven this to be false, despite the Trump administration repeatedly presenting it as truth throughout his presidential campaign and since being elected.
“A 2018 study by the libertarian Cato Institute, which reviewed criminal conviction data from the Texas Department of Public Safety, found that immigrants — legal or illegal — are less likely than native-born Americans to be convicted of a crime,” Priscilla Alvarez wrote in a CNN fact check article.
While a border wall in some places, or some sort of added security measures, might be useful, many people believe that having one border wall that extends all across the southern border is not needed.
On Tuesday night, Trump gave hope to the American people that there would be improvements made and that the government would be more effective. However, with the end of the temporary three-week agreement to reopen the government coming closer, Trump will have to show that he meant the things that he said about unity, by bringing the country together and making bipartisan agreements.