Caleb Pollema—Staff Writer
A week after being postponed due to the longest government shutdown in history, President Donald Trump delivered his State of the Union on Tuesday evening in the House Chamber on Capitol Hill.
The President sought to unify the country and Congress with an agenda that he thought would encourage both parties to unite for what he considers the best interests for America.
President Trump asked both parties to come to the table for comprehensive border reform, the lowering of prescription drug prices, investment in a revitalized infrastructure, and many other bipartisan issues.
Seventy-six percent of viewers approving of the speech, according to a poll from CBS News. Many Dordt students share the same sentiments.
“I thought his speech was pretty professional,” said Dordt sophomore Cole Evans. “He did a great job of recognizing past heroes of our country. He’s had a lot of accomplishments so far and had every right to talk about them, such as arguably the best economy in years and the lowest unemployment rate in our history.”
Trump did ask Congress to spend more money on many agenda items with infrastructure being the most pressing. This can be a cause for serious concern for many.
“I disagree with his statement on infrastructure,” said Dordt sophomore Nathan Psyck. “Our economy is already trillions of dollars in debt, I don’t think that we need to spend another 1.5 trillion on infrastructure.”
Trump touted the nation’s economic successes many times throughout his speech. He also touched on the success of women in the job market, with 58 percent of new jobs in the last year going to women.
“All Americans can be proud that we have more women in the workforce than ever before,” Trump said. “And exactly one century after the Congress passed the Constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote, we also have more women serving in the Congress than ever before.”
This caused men and women on both sides of the aisle to stand in applause and break into loud and harmonious chants of “USA! USA!”
President Trump also acknowledged many of his guests throughout the evening. He saluted several World War II veterans as Americans remember the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
He also recognized Grace Eline, a young girl who has raised over $40,000 toward cancer research. She has done this in the midst of her own battle with brain cancer.
President Trump sought to unify his Republican base through his comments on veterans and the real moral issue of abortion.
In light of the recent law passed in New York that legalized abortions regardless of the length of the pregnancy, Trump asked Congress to pass a constitutional amendment that prohibits late-term abortions.
“Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life,” Trump said. “And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: all children — born and unborn — are made in the holy image of God.”
This plea was met by long and raucous cheers from the right side of the aisle.
According to polls by CBS News, 56 percent of viewers believed that the speech would unite the country. Many viewers supported Trump’s views on the border and foreign policy, with 72 percent of viewers supporting Trump’s views on the wall.
As Trump continues to push to get his legislative agenda passed in the newly divided Congress, time will tell if his speech will truly unite the country.
A big test of the speech’s effectiveness will be in the upcoming negotiations on a budget to keep the government open as another government shutdown looms in the coming weeks.