Note: I wrote this post as I listened to the Trump speech. In the end I realized it was for the most part a list of predictable platitudes. So I guess it was simply a political speech, rather than a serious policy/issues speech. 75 minutes plus I just heard.
Listening to President Trump’s State of the Union speech. He is of course selling something, himself, his image, the idea that he is making America Great (again).
And I get the idea that the message is if you do not support him you are not patriotic and not willing to join together with other Americans.
And now the day after I want to add this: Trump and the Republicans are always talking about cutting down on government regulation. Trump has issued many executive orders I think doing just that, plus he has appointed cabinet members seemingly bent on dismantling their own departments, such as the Environmental Protection Agency and Education. It’s as if there were no reason ever to have health and safety regulations or some kind of support for public education. Sure bureaucracy can get cumbersome and carried away. But Trump and the Republicans just seem to assume any regulation is a bad one — well unless it supports their causes, such as on abortion, protests using the flag, freedom of speech when the speech does not fit their belief system, and so on.
He has made some what appear at first blush to be some wild claims about major drops in unemployment among all workers and particularly minorities. I don’t have immediate access to the facts. But this is salesmanship and facts are not always useful. Salesmen lie (often), Trump lies all the time. But in salesmanship and even in consumer law I think that is sometimes called sales puffery. My product is best.
But there is no argument that Trump’s brand, as it were, has been buoyed by favorable economic news.
One thing I resent in his speech is the way he tears the past administration down. I’m not a sports fan but I think it is bad sportsmanship. He won the election. He has a right to do a victory lap and he has a right to be happy with himself but he does not have to say things in such a mean and cruel way like he or we have eliminated the terrible and cruel Obamacare (not sure his exact words). It is as if Obama and the Democrats purposely set out to somehow punish people. I don’t know whether Obamacare has worked or worked well or not. I am not directly affected by it. But that is beside the point. The Republicans took the White House and they have a majority in both houses of congress and they can do it their way — except they have not figured out quite what to do in Trump’s first year, except to try to kill Obamacare by eliminating the individual healthcare mandate in their tax law without providing a new form of healthcare.
But that is fine but why insult those who had another idea? Is this not a democracy?
Well while I was writing this he went on to describe his approach to immigration — merit-based I think. I think he means putting a premium on needed skills. Kind of hard to argue with that maybe. I mean we do have to have some kind of control and if that is the case it does seem logical that needed skills would get priority.
Also he called for or promised to close “loopholes” that let criminal gang members in under the guise of unaccompanied minors. Sounds reasonable.
He claimed everyone, it seems, is getting hefty pay raises from the Republican tax bill he recently signed. I doubt neither the president nor congress can make that possible, but I suppose government economic policies have their effect. Economics is complex. And some major corporations wanted to support the idea of the reduction in the corporate tax rate by handing out bonuses. We’ll take the money.
I am wondering to the extent Trump has had great accomplishments, or if we are to give him the benefit of the doubt on that, could he have done this and could he continue without all the acrimony and the dreadful behavior and complete lack of civil decorum?
His address so far is full of red meat nationalism — but sometimes a little red meat is good. I like steak, but you can get too much of it. Not good for your health.
This has not been an analysis really just some off the top of my head thoughts as I listen. If I get time I will write more in the coming days if it seems worthwhile.
Oh, now he says he will not repeat the mistakes of past administrations that have let aggressors such as North Korea gain power.
I wonder myself what happened. Too much wishful thinking perhaps.
We certainly want to be at peace with the world, but there are forces out there all the time who want to destroy us. I for one do not want to stand by and let that happen.
I think Obama’s idea of simply “not doing stupid stuff, an apparent jab at George W. Bush’s war in Iraq (guess Obama did insults too), was not a good mantra for foreign policy.
As far as Trump’s American First attitude, I guess it is how you interpret it. He claims it just means something akin the charity begins at home — and that was my interpretation of what he has said.
This is all going down hill — my blog post I mean. So I will leave it at this for now.
I’m listening on radio and just heard chanting but could not make it out but it sounded eerily like Sieg Heil. Nationalism can be scary when it gets out of hand and it so often does.