STUDENTS WEIGH IN ON S.O.T.U.

Opinion One

JACOB ROEHM ’18 | GUEST WRITER • The State of the Union address is typically a chance for the president to pull together the nation by calling upon our shared values and experiences. This year’s address was a remarkable display of self control from a president who rarely exhibits it. It is telling that the Democratic reaction to President Trump’s speech on Tuesday echoes Republican responses to President Obama during his two terms. It is clear to anyone that the divisions between left and right in this country have grown deeper over the past two years. Today, the left and the right in this country see two completely different worlds. When the president speaks about bringing together all Americans, those of us on the left see his disregard for common decency and the norms of public behavior. Indeed the president spent a great deal of time talking about bringing the country together while Democrats tried to control their contempt for the president. Representative Kennedy, in his response on behalf of the Democratic Party, talked powerfully about the anxiety of living under such a rash and unpredictable leader. These anxieties and the genuine harm that Republican policies and congressional infighting are having on everyday Americans does not bode well for the president’s party. On the other hand, the Democratic Party has fared

well since the election, genuine anger at President Trump is set to give us gains in the next election cycle. However, in the long term, the cultural and economic divides
in this country must be addressed if Democrats want to take back the White House and make real gains in the legislative branch. Democrats must ensure that debates over important issues do not devolve
into shouting matches. Civility and substance will win elections in the long term, not berating and belittling our opponents. Often, Democrats will have to reach across the aisle and find common solutions even if the president won’t.

Opinion Two

ISAIAH MEARS ’20 | GUEST WRITER • As President Donald Trump took us on a journey through this past year, I couldn’t help but think that the American Dream is alive and prospering. Mr. President talked of tax cuts and unemployment being at an all-time low. He then hit on the bringing back of jobs from overseas, and the investment of billions of
dollars into the U.S. economy from companies like Apple and Exxon mobile. With this economic landscape, many have been able to start and expand small business, which have been the backbone of the American economy for decades. The bolstering of the economy has left an optimistic outlook on its citizens who continue to chase thdeir “American Dream.”

Now, what I found this speech to lack was a clear agenda for future projects. The President seemed to be defending the advancements of the past year all night, and not talk about his plans for the future. We heard about North Korea and immigration, but we failed to hear about the infrastructure plan in detail, or how he wants to combat the opioid crisis. I know that State of the Union addresses are not the place for specific detail, but parts of his speech were lacking in depth.

        With that being said, the Republican party should be proud of the President’s address. At the very least, this State of the Union was the most presidential we have seen from Trump, and that should give the country some much needed optimism, not just Republicans.

Finally, I found the most impressive part of this speech
to be when Mr. President told the stories of the courageous American people. “No people on earth are so fearless, or daring, or determined as Americans, if there is a mountain, we climb it,” he said. “If there is a frontier, we cross it.” I believe that as Wabash men we are known to run towards conflict and confront it. Thus, we should take Mr. Trump’s words and continue to change the world.