Screenshot from C-Span
WEB EXCLUSIVE Students and faculty discussed their reactions throughout the school day to President Trump’s third State of the Union Address which he delivered last night to a joint session of Congress and a nationally televised audience.
“The State of the Union is constitutionally mandated and is intended to be a message from the executive branch to the legislative about the issues facing the country and what is being done to solve them,” History & Social Sciences teacher Sarah Garlinghouse said. “This year, the timing of the speech was interesting because of the impeachment and because it is an election year which may explain why it felt like a campaign speech and why there was so much drama between Pelosi and Trump.”
While much of President Trump’s speech focused on the upward trends in the United States’ economy, attentions were fixed on the tensions between Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and the President.
Prior to delivering his address, President Trump seemingly ignored a handshake from Pelosi who as leader of House Democrats had spearheaded the charge to have President Trump impeached. Amidst applause at the end, Pelosi tore a copy of the address in half, later calling it “a manifesto of mistruths.”
“I think that both acts were unprofessional and immature,” junior Isabel Hoppmann said. “No matter what each side thinks about the other side’s views, they still need to represent the American people and government as a whole.”
Divisions between Democrats and Republicans were evident as well, with Democrats remaining staunchly silent while Republicans voiced their approval of President Trump’s remarks with applause, standing ovations, and chants of “Four more years!”
“I remember being shocked as to how ironic it was to hear declarations of how strong the union is when half of the room is dead silent and shaking their heads,” junior Halsey Williamson said. “I think it’s even more ironic since this is happening in the middle of an impeachment trial.”
Watching events like the State of the Union are important for getting a sense of American politics, however, it is important to be aware of political biases when considering the statements and actions taken by politicians according to senior Estie Seligman.
“In the America today that is divided along party lines, the State of the Union is heavily biased and the facts selected to support the President,” Seligman said. “In this case, Trump would like to get re-elected for a second term, so he wants to reflect his term as positively as possible in this speech. The State of the Union is worthwhile to watch in conjunction with news sources and ways of learning about the “state of our Union”, especially knowing how this particular speech can be biased.”