President Trump’s State of the Union Address (SOTU) was an optimistic look at what his administration has accomplished and policy proposals.
As we predicted, there were a few moments of unity, but quite a lot more partisanship and protest.
It’s not surprising that most left-leaning lawmakers do not support the president’s agenda. Disagreeing on policy is a welcome part of our dynamic democratic process. But at least they can celebrate when the lives of their constituents and the American people are improved.
Here are six moments from the SOTU when progressive lawmakers refused to applaud and stand for the wins of middle-class workers and families:
Rising wages – “Since the election, we have created 2.4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone. After years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages.”
African American unemployment rate at the lowest level – “Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low. African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded, and Hispanic American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history.”
Tax relief for Americans and business – “The stock market has smashed one record after another, gaining $8 trillion in value. That is great news for Americans' 401k, retirement, pension, and college savings accounts. And just as I promised the American people from this podium 11 months ago, we enacted the biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history.”
More take-home pay for workers – “This April will be the last time you ever file under the old broken system — and millions of Americans will have more take-home pay starting next month.”
ObamaCare tax penalty repealed – “We eliminated an especially cruel tax that fell mostly on Americans making less than $50,000 a year — forcing them to pay tremendous penalties simply because they could not afford government-ordered health plans.”
- 3 million workers received tax-cut bonuses – “Apple has just announced it plans to invest a total of $350 billion in America, and hire another 20,000 workers.”
Sadly, these weren’t the only moments when progressive lawmakers dug their heels into the carpet and refused to stand. On core values and displays of unity and patriotism, they protested as well:
- “We all share the same home, the same heart, the same destiny, and the same great American flag.”
- “In America, we know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the center of the American life. Our motto is "in God we trust."
- “Preston's reverence for those who have served our Nation reminds us why we salute our flag, why we put our hands on our hearts for the pledge of allegiance, and why we proudly stand for the national anthem.”
There are a few moments when lawmakers came together such as in support of the military and veterans, on providing formerly incarcerated Americans a second chance to be reintegrated into society, on the heroism of our soldiers, and the toll of gang violence. These moments were brought to life by the heart-breaking, heartfelt, and heroic stories of guests at the speech.
The state of our union is strong although our nation is polarized. Perhaps our national leaders can put aside differences and inspire unity, but the behaviors on display last night don’t signal that happening anytime soon.