Trump State of the Union address promised unity but emphasized discord - <b>Technical Lobby</b>

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Trump State of the Union address promised unity but emphasized discord

 Trump State of the Union address promised unity but emphasized discord
Donald Trump has promised a “new American moment” in a State of the Union address that sought harmony but succeeded only in underlining the deep discord at the heart of the country’s politics.

The US president preened over a growing economy and pledged a return to national greatness with a nostalgic appeal to family, faith, law and order, the military and the national anthem. “Tonight, I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people we were elected to serve,” Trump said.

Yet from his vantage point at the dais in the House of Representatives, the split screen nation that is America in 2018 was writ large.

To his left, Republicans stood, applauded and sometimes cheered each new pronouncement. To his right, Democrats mostly sat stony faced, channeling the fury of millions who believe Trump has defiled the American presidency, and on occasion were unable to resist groans, or heckles of protest.
 Trump State of the Union address promised unity but emphasized discord
And when the speech ended, Republicans clapped and chanted “USA! USA!” – one even waved a red “Make America great again” cap – while Democrats raced to the exits with thinly disguised contempt. Their reaction told a fundamentally different story from what they were hearing: that of a tumultuous year of White House chaos, stunning examples of sexism and racism, myriad falsehoods and attacks on freedom of the press and an ongoing investigation into Trump’s links with Russia that hangs over his presidency.
Facing a historically low approval rating of around 40% at the end of the first year of his presidency, Trump spoke of “one team, one people, and one American family” and sought to cast himself as the president of all. “Tonight, I am extending an open hand to work with members of both parties – Democrats and Republicans – to protect our citizens of every background, color, religion, and creed,” he said.

There was applause from some Democrats but scepticism from others, as there had been from the moment Trump entered the chamber. As he shook hands and soaked up adulation from Republicans, Democratic senator Kirsten Gillibrand studied her phone and independent senator Bernie Sanders stood with hands folded in front of him. One Democratic congresswoman even remained in her seat reading a newspaper. Most of the Congressional Black Caucus also remained seated while wearing kente cloth sashes, scarves or ties associated with Ghana and the pan-African independence movement – a swipe at Trump’s recently reported “shitholes” insult.
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