Blue Dog Democrat Refuses to Bark over Trump Speech
By Andrew Knight, Guest Columnist
For many of us, watching President Donald Trump deliver his first State of the Union address was a tough pill to swallow. President Trump’s speech marked the beginning of only the second year in what has already been one of the most tumultuous presidencies in recent history.
Although the President seemed to have employed the use of a capable speechwriter and, perhaps more surprisingly, managed to stick to the teleprompter, viewers were in many ways treated to vintage Donald Trump. The President offered familiar positions on immigration reform and the economy, while touting his “success” in fighting terrorism abroad and in passing tax reform at home. Unsurprisingly, his failure to achieve the long-pledged repeal of the Affordable Care Act and the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election went unmentioned.
At this point, I could use this space to tear into President Trump as both a politician and as a human being. I could offer a detailed policy analysis of both his domestic and foreign agendas and analyze their shortcoming. I could express my horror over the President’s racist remarks or his thinly veiled shots at those who dare to protest social injustices. I could note the not-so-vaguely fascist undertones of chanting U-S-A! U-S-A! in the halls of government. I could convey my fears over President Trump’s rhetoric towards North Korea and that he seems to be unaware that he is bringing this nation right to the brink of nuclear war. However, at some point, apocalyptic predictions about how Donald Trump is dangerous, unfit for office, and degrading the office of President of the United States, simply become tiresome.
President Trump has been spewing rhetoric like this since he began his campaign two and a half years ago, and while I do not want to diminish the danger of his rhetoric or the negative impact he has had on American politics, the world has not ended. In fact, despite his rhetoric, President Trump has not pursued a radially different agenda than any other Republican in his place. I, unlike an unfortunate portion of my party, refuse to spend the next three years running around like a chicken with my head cut off every time the President opens his mouth. Yes, nearly everything Donald Trump says and does is objectionable but whining about it will not get anything done.
It is also worth noting that not everything the President said was entirely objectionable. His pledge for a $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan for example, ought to be an area where Democrats can find some common ground (even if $1.5 trillion is not enough to truly fix the nations crumbling roads and bridges).
However, just like the rest of the President’s wild rhetoric, there is little chance of any of it coming to fruition. Sure, last Tuesday night Donald Trump added to the mountain of inflammatory words that have streamed from his mouth since the day he decided to enter the political arena. However, they are fortunately just words.