With his spirited address of the State of Union on February 4, his triumph at the prolonged impeachment trial on February 5, and his tough rebuttal to opponents, particularly Democrats on February 6, US President Donald Trump paved a clear path for a bid for reelection in the 2020 presidential elections. His approval rate has stated to have touched new high.
The 5.600-word State of the Union address he confidently delivered in House chamber in Washington DC, a little over 75 minutes, which is supposed to be his ever longest speech, has drawn repeated applauses and standing ovation at the end of almost every sentence by his Republican Senators and other supporters. An Indian-American professor, who wants to remain anonymous, said that Trump has reminded the way Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi conducted himself at the “Howdy Modi” convention in Houston, TX, a few months ago.
Trump, in his State of the Union address, exhaustively touched issues like growing economy, healthcare, education, military preparedness, immigration, employment, women empowerment foreign policy, and several others. He said, “Jobs are booming, incomes are soaring, poverty is plummeting, crime is falling, confidence is surging, and our country is thriving and highly respected again. America’s enemies are on the run, America’s fortunes are on the rise, and America’s future is blazing bright. My agenda is relentlessly pro-worker, pro-family, pro-growth, and, most of all, pro-American.”
Since his election, he said, his government had created 7 million new jobs – 5 million more than government experts projected during the previous administration. The unemployment rate now was the lowest in over half a century. Speaking about successfully tackling unemployment by his government, he said that gone were the broken promises, jobless recoveries, tired platitudes, and constant excuses for the depletion of American wealth, power, and prestige. African-American poverty had now declined to the lowest rate ever recorded. The unemployment rate for women reached the lowest level in almost 70 years – and last year, women filled 72 percent of all new jobs added. The veterans’ unemployment rate dropped to a record low.
With regard to poverty alleviation, he said, under the last administration, more than 10 million people were added to the food stamp rolls. Now under his administration, 7 million Americans have come off of food stamps, and 10 million people have been lifted off of welfare.
The President said that for a good life for American families, they required the most affordable, innovative, and high-quality healthcare system. “Before I took office, health insurance premiums had more than doubled in just 5 years. I moved quickly to provide affordable alternatives. Our new plans are up to 60 percent less expensive. I have also made an ironclad pledge to American families: We will always protect patients with pre-existing conditions – that is a guarantee. And we will always protect your Medicare and your Social Security,” he promised.
Trump further said that American taxpayers’ money was being misused to provide unlimited free healthcare to illegal aliens. To stop this practice and help American patients and American seniors, there was a need to pass legislation to prohibit free government healthcare for illegal aliens. To stop illegal aliens entering the country from southern border “a long, tall, and very powerful wall” was being built. “We have now completed over 100 miles and will have over 500 miles fully completed by early next year,” he added.
Praising American citizens, he claimed that America was a land of heroes. This was the place where greatness was born, where destinies were forged, and where legends come to life, and said: “This is the home of Thomas Edison and Teddy Roosevelt, of many great Generals, including Washington, Pershing, Patton, and MacArthur. This is the home of Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Amelia Earhart, Harriet Tubman, the Wright Brothers, Neil Armstrong, and so many more.”
Regarding economy of the country, he said, it was the best it has ever been. Real median household income was now at the highest level ever recorded. Since his election, the US stock markets have soared 70 percent, adding more than $12 trillion to the nation’s wealth, “transcending anything anyone believed was possible — this, as other countries are not doing well. Consumer confidence has reached amazing new heights… Jobs and investment have been pouring into 9,000 previously-neglected neighborhoods, thanks to Opportunity Zones, a plan spearheaded by Senator Tim Scott as part of our great Republican tax cuts.” He said that wealthy people and companies had been pouring money into poor neighborhoods or areas that had not seen investment in many decades, creating jobs, energy, and excitement.
Because of the regulatory reduction campaign, Trump said, the US had become the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world, by far. “With the tremendous progress, we have made over the past 3 years, America is now energy independent, and energy jobs, like so many elements of our country, are at a record high. We are doing numbers that no one would have thought possible just 3 years ago.”
With regard to make trade more realistic, he said, Trump replaced NAFTA and signed the brand new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) into law. He expected that the USMCA would create nearly 100,000 new high-paying American auto jobs, and massively boost to exports for country’s farmers, ranchers, and factory workers. It would also bring trade with Mexico and Canada to a much higher degree. This was the first major trade deal in many years to earn the strong backing of America’s labor unions.
To stop China taking away massive American jobs, Trump said, his strategy worked. A few days ago, the US signed a groundbreaking new agreement with China that would defend American workers, protect the US intellectual property, bring billions of dollars into the US treasury, and open vast new markets for products made and grown in the US.
Regarding country’s military preparedness, Trump claimed that it was completely rebuilt, with its power being unmatched anywhere in the world and country’s borders were secure and the country was stronger than ever before. To safeguard American Liberty, he said, the US had invested a record-breaking $2.2 trillion in its military. It has purchased the finest planes, missiles, rockets, ships, and every other form of military equipment — all made in the United States of America. “We are also finally getting our allies to help pay their fair share. I have raised contributions from the other NATO members by more than $400 billion, and the number of allies meeting their minimum obligations has more than doubled,” he added. A few weeks ago, for the first time since President Truman established the Air Force more than 70 years earlier, now the US has created a new branch of the United States Armed Forces, the Space Force.
Trump further explained that his administration is also strongly defending our national security and combating radical Islamic terrorism, and that he announced a groundbreaking plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Recognizing that all past attempts have failed, Trump mentioned that the US must be determined and creative in order to stabilize the region and give millions of young people a change to realize a better future.
“Three years ago,” Trump said, “the barbarians of ISIS held over 20,000 square miles of territory in Iraq and Syria. Today, the ISIS territorial caliphate has been 100 percent destroyed, and the founder and leader of ISIS – the bloodthirsty killer Al‑Baghdadi – is dead.”
Praising America’s men and women in uniform, who always ready to fight for safeguarding humanity, the President said that one such American hero was Army Staff Sergeant Christopher Hake. On his second deployment to Iraq in 2008, when he was in Baghdad his Bradley Fighting Vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb. That night, he made the ultimate sacrifice for the country.
Trump said: “The terrorist responsible for killing Sergeant Hake was Qasem Soleimani, who provided the deadly roadside bomb that took Chris’s life. Soleimani was the Iranian regime’s most ruthless butcher, a monster who murdered or wounded thousands of American service members in Iraq. As the world’s top terrorist, Soleimani orchestrated the deaths of countless men, women, and children. He directed the December assault on United States Forces in Iraq, and was actively planning new attacks. That is why, last month, at my direction, the United States Military executed a flawless precision strike that killed Soleimani and terminated his evil reign of terror forever.”
Listing several achievements of his government, an unshaken Trump who did not show any signs of undue anxiety about the results of his impeachment trial in the Senate the following day, he concluded his speech, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tore the copy of the President’s State of the Union address.
Much to the relief of Trump, his supporters and to the dismay of the Democrats, the GOP-controlled Senate acquitted him with a 52-48 verdict on the abuse of power article of impeachment, on February 5.
A triumphant Trump, at the 68th annual National Prayer Breakfast at the Washington Hilton in Washington on February 6, unleashed his fury against those who tried to remove him from office, ahead to his reelection campaign. Speaking at the White House, he said: “It was evil, it was corrupt. This should never ever happen to another President.”
The three events during three consecutive days of the first week of February should give a shot in the arm of Trump, who is now preparing for a confidant campaign for his reelection.
– Contributed by Mr. J.V. Laskshmana Rao, a former National News Coordinator of Express News Service, New Delhi, and former Chief Editor of US-based India Tribune. He frequently travels between India and the US.
Picture Credits: newyorker.com / AFP / Getty Images