Notes on the 2018 State of the Union
I wanted to watch the 2018 State of the Union address in its entirety before I started watching Vox, Vice, Colbert, The Daily Show, and talking with my friends.
There is no doubt that I live in a bubble. Everyone I know believes that Trump is either a terrible president or he is dangerously aloof. Therefore I try to develop my own opinion from source material before I’m influenced by other’s take on the situation.
“One American Family.” – Donald Trump
Some Things that Directly Affect Us as Small Business Owners
I really like the idea of all the tax cuts and eliminating the mandated health care. During the time of the Affordable Care Act, we decided not to do the program because the monthly cost was $2,000 with a $5,000 deductible. It was super expensive catastrophy insurance so it was clearly not a wise decision for us. It makes me happy that we no longer have to pay fees for not having that bad insurance.
If the tax cuts are real, we will probably get back a good chunk of the income quarterly taxes we paid during the past year. That will be really good for us.
Eliminating regulations sounds good, but it doesn’t really help if they are destroying the capacity for the EPA to regulate companies that destroy the environment for other people. That’s the main job of the government from my perspective, to regulate against market externalities.
Thoughts on Economy
It’s great to hear that he prioritizes bringing car manufacturing back, lower prescription costs, build out safe/reliable US infrastructure.
He wants to support paid family leave. That seems like Trump is trying to reach out to what I would consider a more Democratic position.
A focus on helping former inmates to get a second chance at life is critical. I think the worst problem in the United States is the tremendous prison population. How can a country be called Land of the Free when we imprison the highest number of our citizens on a per capita basis? President Trump addressed this and I appreciate that sentiment.
Getting Tough on Immigration
The focus on fighting street gangs seems like a good thing. I don’t know anything about gang violence in the USA so if Trump, who has a lot of access to that info, believes fighting those gangs is so important, it’s probably good that the feds are getting the resources they need. When you watch things about the gang violence in El Salvador, it becomes clear that these are organizations that need to be cut down.
That said, I still think the wall is a stupid idea. Maybe it’s a persuasive talking point, but it’s not a cool direction in my opinion. We should just be trying to be a more open and free society. Walls are for communists.
I had never heard of chain migration… V and I know personally how stupid our immigration system. It seems like Trump is trying to modernize that system. I hope congress helps him change the process. If they make it harder for immigrants, it will be a disservice to the country.
64,000 Americans lost to drug overdoses in America? That’s not cool. Not cool at all…
How do they get tougher on drug dealers? Aren’t the drug dealers primarily pharmaceutical companies and doctors?
I’m unaware of this problem aside from some Vice documentaries. This is a really important issue to address and it’s commendable that the White House thought it was important enough to address directly in the speech. I just hope it’s not an excuse to lock up a huge portion of the population.
Yikes. It’s good that Trump claims to want to eliminate all nuclear weapons. It’s not cool that he says, “[it would be great to eliminate nuclear weapons]… but we’re not there yet.”
Terrorism and Foreign Affairs
I’m generally against the dissolution of human rights under the guise of fighting terrorism.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is a name I had not even heard of until this speech. I would think it’s probably a good idea that this character is locked up and his friends find it very challenging to organize.
This is why the president’s job is terrifyingly challenging. How does one protect against evil, yet protect freedom? It’s a balancing act of tremendous consequence.
Venezuela and Cuba sanctions seem harsh… but I don’t actually know much about the cost/benefit of making the countries suffer due to the philosophies of their leaders.
I feel good knowing that the president is hard on North Korea. It’s good that he is addressing specific stories in the hope of informing the public of the horrible situation that exists in countries where freedom is limited dramatically by overpowerful despotic dictators.
Focus on Freedom
The end of the speech is all about freedom, US history, defending the American way and that sort of elegant stuff. His final words are quite pleasant. The words encourage unity, freedom and American pride. I gotta say, I’ve never heard Trump speak in a way that made me think, “wow, I like this guy.”
“There is nothing we can not achieve as long as we have confidence in our values, faith in our citizens and trust in our god. We will never fail. Our families will thrive, our people will prosper and our nation will forever be safe and strong and proud and mighty and free. Thank you, and God bless America.”
President Trump is starting to sound like a real President. I hope this trend continues.
His past lies make everything he says a bit dubious. The New York Times put together a piece that leads me to believe that President Trump was generally telling the truth.
With luck, things will continue to be great in the USA and President Trump will keep acting like he did on the podium in the House of Representatives chamber of the United States Capitol. He inherited a country in great shape after former President Obama and with luck, everything will continue to be excellent in America.
The Importance of Source Material
It’s important to watch source material because it allows the watcher to develop their own opinions first.
Now, after watching the source material, when I watch Stephen Colbert (2) and Trevor Noah (both of whom I REALLY like) their shows seem dishonest. They perform a divisive comedy act that demeans The President for selected clips of him saying stupid things.
Theirs are funny, but they are reinforcing people hating Trump when his speech was essentially very good.
When I watch Vice, they do a race-based piece about responding to the State of the Union. It does a great job of complimenting the minority groups that are doing interesting stuff in the government, but it doesn’t address the good things that Trump said and his surprisingly presidential demeanor.
So source material is critical because these shows missed that very interesting development.
What are your thoughts? Did you like the speech? What do you think about the importance of watching source materials?
Feel free to comment below. I’d love to hear from you.