The Eagle Staff Reacts to Trump’s State of the Union Address


President Trump delivers the 2018 State of the Union address

Four of the Eagle‘s staff were charged with responding to President Trump’s State of the Union address in five to seven sentences. Here are their thoughts.

Sam Bisno, Editor-in-Chief

I’m confident that my fellow editors will thoroughly dissect what President Trump had to say about all of the major issues during his State of the Union address, so I’m going to spend my five to seven sentences highlighting what I think are some of the most important things left unsaid. On the whole, Trump’s chief sentiments were (relatively) inoffensive; the normally outspoken and polarizing political machine stressed the importance of minorities to the national economy, advocated for paid family leave and prison reform, encouraged government accountability, pushed for a revamp of how we treat the terminally ill and those battling addiction, and even hinted at the possibility of creating pathways for dreamers to gain citizenship. Now, that’s not to say that Trump was Mr. Progressive – not by a long shot; he on the whole perpetuated his stances on national defense and foreign conflicts (China, North Korea, ISIS, etc.), trade, and the America First narrative, to name a few. But what was perhaps more alarming, as I mentioned before, was Trump’s habit of, at best, glossing over, and, at worst, simply omitting certain subjects. Missing from the speech was any semblance of consideration towards social issues, specifically gender equality, despite his efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, prevent transgender students from using the restroom of their choice and transgender military enlistees from serving, as well as his history of both condoning and taking a position of general apathy towards those who commit sexual assault. And while this is probably the most egregious example, countless other topics were merely brushed upon before being shoved under the rug for the remainder of the night: racial equality, education, the wealth gap, climate change, and healthcare, for starters. Overall, Trump’s lecture was nothing more than a facade; although at first glance its tone appeared to be unusually sensitive and bipartisan, an attempt to reach across the aisle while reflecting on the year past, it was in reality the same type of one-sided, fantastic, idealistic, hypocritical performance we’ve come to expect from the Donald, and what it chose not to make a part of its thesis is indicative of the true state of the Union, rather than the one he would like us to believe in.


Isaac Degenholtz, Website Director

In my five to seven sentences I would like to highlight an interesting theme of President Trump’s speech. Since the inauguration President Trump has been a very different man than our former president, Barack Obama. This is clearly seen in the President’s State of the Union address. Here the President outlines his plans, hopes, and dreams for the coming year, but a main facet of these plans is to undo much of what Obama created, especially Obama’s landmark accomplishments. He plans to destroy D.A.C.A, remove the individual mandate on health insurance, keep Guantanamo Bay running and remove many regulations set forth by the previous administration. Although President Trump, in general, has the legal right and authority to do this it has very little precedence. In other words presidents before Trump rarely dismantled some or all of the previous leaders legislation. Obama, for instance, left Bush’s P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act together and Bush did not change Clinton’s Social Security policies. I found it interesting to see that Trump’s agenda includes erasing much of Obama’s legacy whereas previous presidents have not done this.


Amanda Rose Jones, Editor

The other staff members of the Obama Eagle chose to write and analyze about the major themes in President Trump’s State of the Union address. I would instead like to accentuate the number of things that were incorrect in President Trump’s speech. President Trump stated that 2.4 million new jobs have been created since his Presidency begun. This is in fact false. There have been about 1.8 million jobs created since January 2017, and that’s the slowest gain in jobs since 2010. Trump also took credit for multiple things that started before his presidency, particularly rising wages and unemployment rates of African-American and Hispanic-American citizens. Both of these groups started their progression before Trump was in office. Wages in the United States have been on an upward trend since 2014, and the unemployment rates of African-American and Hispanic-American citizens have been advancing as early as 2010. Though the State of the Union address did have a wide portion of information that was truthful, another percentage of it was largely taken out of context and didn’t provide the explanations needed to clarify the information supplied.


Daevan Mangalmurti, Editor

I’m sure that by this point you’re pretty tired of hearing analysis of what President Trump said (and didn’t say) in his State of the Union address, so I’ll take a look at what the president’s speech actually means. The question that discerning viewers around the country might ask is “How does the State of the Union translate into actual policy, and how does what Trump said affect me?” The answer to that question is mostly unclear; presidential policy is as much a result of what Congress is willing to act upon as it is of what the president wants, and it will likely take months, if not years, for legislation passed in the coming year to affect American citizens, even as Mr. Trump’s daily Twitter stream causes America’s reputation abroad to plummet. The second part of that question, though, is easier to answer: the State of the Union doesn’t, for all intents and purposes, affect you. While progressives may feel compelled to lament every word Mr. Trump spoke, and conservatives to caper with joy, the State of the Union is merely a report on what the president feels he should be proud of, issues he is concerned about, and a potential game plan for the coming year- and as the great Prussian strategist Helmuth van Moltke famously said, “No plan survives first contact with the enemy.” The year ahead is unpredictable, and no one can be sure of what comes next- including the president.